Expect BMW M8 To Come With Over 615-HP, Feature M5 AWD Drivetrain

Interview

It'll also make it to market in both coupe and convertible format.

BMW seems to enjoy taking a different approach to teasing its most enticing models. Take the BMW M8 for example. Though the Bavarian automaker was more than happy to peel the wraps off an 8 Series Concept, it wanted to keep the performance version of that hidden, showing off a camouflaged version of it following the 8 Series reveal. By getting that out of the way it no longer has to feel shy about showing up in public with a full-blown M8 to for testing.

It was spotted last month circling the Nurburgring with a ferocity that’s almost too quick to be characteristic of a grand touring machine. Thanks to Autocar, we now know why that is. By using the best of its existing hardware, given a slight upgrade to avoid redundancy, BMW will prioritize performance to compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-AMG GT rather than a V12 Aston Martin. Power will come from a reworked version of BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making upwards of 615 horsepower in both a coupe and convertible version. Interestingly enough, it seems that the M8 won’t send power exclusively to the rear wheels.

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Instead BMW will rip the performance all-wheel drive system (dubbed M xDrive) out of the 5er and give it to the 8 Series. M division president Frank van Meel was sure to clarify that the 8 Series is being developed in conjunction with the M8 to ensure that dual nature is second nature to the entire model line. “We have been involved with the wider 8 Series project from the very beginning," van Meel told Autocar. "Our challenge as engineers was actually to ensure that the standard car wasn’t too sporty for its customers, because we wanted the M8 to feel like a proper step up. Also, because not all 8 Series customers want an M car.” We’re sure comfort-seeking buyers will appreciate the restraint.

Those with knowledge on the inner workings of the 8 Series have leaked out that it could be based off of the 5 Series’ platform with much of the engine and drivetrain coming from the 5 Series. While the M5 is certain to be a stunner, BMW wants to go the extra mile with the 8 Series for obvious reasons. “We certainly want to make a statement with this car. It will sit at the very top of our model range and, for now, we have no confirmed plans for any series production model above it, so we understand it must have a specification suiting its position in our hierarchy,” said van Meel. Does that mean more than 615 horsepower? We hope and think so.

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