Big news from the Nurburgring this weekend. BMWM is taking the highly unusual step of releasing an early look at the 2018 M8 as the 8 Series concept is simultaneously being unveiled at Lake Como In Italy. But perhaps in bigger news (for Motorsport fans at least), BMW is also announces its intention of tackling LeMans with a production based M8 race car in 2018. The new M8 GTE will replace the M6 GTE that has been racing in GT series around the world (with hopefully more success).
What’s more interesting to us is the overall shape and size of this new 8 Series. Seeing it in its concept form and now development form, it would seem it’s no larger than the current 6er and perhaps even a bit more svelte. One would hope that BMW has built this car from the ground up to do duty as a performance car as well as a race car. In fact sources have told us that BMW has been developing the M8 GTE with approximately 10 cm of height taken out to produce a more slippery silhouette. A change that would have required all manufacturers to sign-on and allow a break in regulations. However just before approval two unnamed manufacturers formally objected and have effectively stopped that approach. While that will likely put BMW behind a bit on development, we’d expect a very strong effort to make this car successful. Especially given that current M6 GTE has been one of the least successful BMW race cars in recent memory.
Either way BMW fans have a lot to look forward to in 2018 as the M8 GTE debuts at Daytona and shortly thereafter in showrooms.
Official Release: Alongside the ongoing development of the standard 8 Series, the engineers at BMW M are also working flat out on the M model. A fully camouflaged, early prototype of the future BMW M8 will be unveiled in a driving presentation as part of the support programme for the Nürburgring 24-hour race.
Classical M features like larger air intakes, modified brakes and a sports exhaust with four tailpipes hint at the significantly boosted power and dynamic potential of the car and whet the appetite for a driving experience of intense emotional richness. “The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” explains Frank van Meel, President BMW M Division. “The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements.”
Development is also underway of a race-spec car – the BMW M8 GTE – to spearhead the return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans: “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”