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2020 BMW M8 Competition Unleashed With 625-HP

Reveal / Comments

And you can have either one as a coupe or convertible.

True to the poorly-held secrets we've heard emanating from BMW, the M8 and M8 Competition have just been revealed and will go on sale at the same time, giving the automaker yet another weapon it'll use to chip away at Mercedes' sales figures. And given that those crazy Bavarians decided to allow the M8 and M8 Competition to go on sale in both coupe and convertible forms, this reveal feels more like a festival of performance that just happens to be led by four new Ultimate Driving Machines.

Just as expected, both the M8 and M8 Competition are powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine similar to the one under the hood of the M850i that's currently on sale. With its two turbochargers nestled inside the cylinder banks' "V", the engine can conjure its wickedly high horsepower figures with minimal lag.

Unlike the base 8 Series' totally weak 523 horsepower output, the M8 makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque while the M8 Competition churns out a gut-punching 625 horsepower. While torque remains consistent between the M8 and M8 Competition, the more hardcore model can sustain peak torque up to 5,800 rpm, 200 rpm more than the M8 can. Power gets routed through an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and makes it out to all four wheels via BMW's rear-biased M xDrive system, which also boasts a rear-wheel drive "drift mode" if owners feel like going on a tire-killing spree.

That kind of performance allows the M8 to rocket from 0-62 mph in 3.3 seconds, a feat the M8 Competition can pull off in just 3.2 seconds. Opting for the convertible version adds 0.1 seconds to each car's respective 0-62 mph time. And though BMW limits the M8 and M8 Competition to 155 mph, opting for the M Driver's package raises the limit to 189 mph.

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Stopping from speeds like that will be an interesting experience in both the M8 and the Competition model given that each version features an adjustable brake-by-wire system, which helps reduce the size of the brake module and allows drivers to choose between two programmable braking modes: comfort, and a sharper-feeling sport mode.

Drivers seriously committed to performance will want to opt for the M carbon ceramic brakes rather than the standard M compound brakes, especially after learning that the M8 has a curb weight of 4,312 pounds in coupe guise and comes in at 4,587 pounds as a convertible.

Chassis tweaks are a crucial part of making the M8 a true performance car. But the M8 also has to feel like the range-topping luxury car that it is. That's why BMW gave all M8 models an M-specific adaptive suspension that includes electronically controlled dampers and electromechanical M Servotronic steering, allowing the car to vary how it responds to the forces exerted on it by the road or a lead-foot driver. M-specific forged links, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a more rigid front end help keep the M8 and M8 Competition agile, while both the coupe and convertible version of the Competiton model get stiffer engine mounts, additional negative camber on the front axle, and toe links with rubber mounts swapped for ball joints.

Visually, the M8 will improve on the M850i with large air intakes, M badges everywhere, gills on the front side panels, aerodynamic side mirrors, a rear spoiler, and a rear apron with its diffuser elements painted in contrasting colors. M8 Competition models also get Competition badging, larger wheels, gloss black trim accents, unique exhaust tailpipes, and a standard M Sport exhaust system (it's an option on the M8). Regardless of whether buyers opt for the carbon package, the coupe will get a standard carbon fiber roof while the convertible makes do with a luxurious fabric top.

Meanwhile, the interior remains an example of how BMW makes zero compromises on the luxury front. Cabin visitors will find a leather steering wheel with M drive mode buttons, M Sport seats with 3D quilting, and a standard heads-up display to go along with the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment screen.

Expect the M8 and M8 Competition to make a public appearance in both coupe and convertible forms at an official reveal event in Munich later this month. The cheapest model, the M8 Coupe, will start at $133,995 including destination while the priciest car, the M8 Competition Convertible, will start at $156,495 including destination. The M8 Convertible and M8 Competition Coupe, on the other hand, will go for $143,495 and $146,995 including destination, respectively.