Thank the regulators for forcing designers to stray so far from the concept.
As badly as Mercedes and BMW have claimed they want to go after the Porsche 911 with sports cars of their own, it's clear that both automakers have strayed from building lightweight luxury track cars and have gone in the direction building heavier and more comfortable, yet still highly capable, sports cars. The Mercedes-AMG GT and the four-door "coupe" model it's spawned are proof of that, and while BMW doesn't have a direct competitor yet, the upcoming M8 Competition will soon be the closest alternative.
These photos were snapped in South Africa and seem to depict the car in a production-ready form. While we've already seen many of the nuances the M8 Competition boasts over the M850 xDrive currently on the market - like carbon fiber elements added to the front and rear ends, Auto Evolution noted how these images give us a better way to compare the M8 Competition with the M8 Gran Coupe Concept that debuted during the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
Some of the changes are disappointing. For example, the concept gets sleeker headlights, a more aggressive front end with very large intakes, large intake nostril grilles, and a ducktail rear end. These images instead seem to show the M8 Competition with a more muted front bumper bearing smaller intakes (likely for better aerodynamics), taller nostril grilles, and a more subdued tail end that's defragmented by the added rear wing.
The hardware, on the other hand, will likely not disappoint. Expect BMW to pack an upgraded version of the 4.4-liter twin turbo V8 that resides in the M5 Competition, which will likely come to market making more than 625 horsepower. The hottest M equipment will also appear on the M8 Competition, including BMW M's version of xDrive complete with a Drift Mode, large yet lightweight carbon ceramic brakes, an adjustable brake-by-wire system, active M suspension, an M-approved rear differential, and more.
Given how many uncovered M8 Competitions we've been seeing, it wouldn't be far-fetched to expect the car's reveal to happen any day now. Interestingly, BMW will likely sell the M8 Competition alongside the standard M8, which makes it sound like the product planning department thinks each car will attract a very different customer than the other.