Home: Motoring > BMW unwraps new M8 Coupe and Convertible

BMW unwraps new M8 Coupe and Convertible

From:Greg Kable 2019-06-05 07:00:01

Track focused Competition variants to bolster line-up from the outset of sales

The new four-wheel drive BMW M8 Coupe will offer up to 460kW and a top speed of 305km/h in top-of-the-line Competition guise when Chinese deliveries begin later this year, making it the most powerful and fastest two-door model yet sold by the German car maker.

Revealed here for the first time in production guise ahead of its planned public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September, the latest in a growing line-up performance models from BMW’s M division builds on the strengths of the recently introduced M850i with a V8 petrol engine shared with the latest M5, a chassis honed during a 24-month development program at the Nurburgring circuit and leather-lined cabin equipped with BMW’s latest digital and connectivity functions.

As with the M850i, the M8 offers the choice of both coupe and convertible bodystyles – the latter featuring a multi-layer fabric roof structure that stows in a dedicated compartment at the rear of its two-plus-two cabin. It enters the BMW M line-up as a replacement for the rear-wheel drive M6 and M6 Convertible and a high-end rival to the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S63 4Matic Coupe and Convertible.

Key identifying features of the new flagship BMW model include a uniquely styled bumper, M division identification within the grille and side air vents, 20-inch M-Sport wheels, M-Sport mirror housings, a boot deck lip spoiler and new rear bumper housing a wide diffuser element and BMW M’s signature quad round tailpipe treatment.

At 4867mm in length, 1907mm in width and 1362mm in height, the M8 Coupe is 36mm shorter, 8mm wider and 12mm lower than the discontinued M6 Coupe. It also uses a wheelbase that is 24mm shorter than that of its predecessor at 2827mm, with corresponding track widths at are reduced by 4mm at the front at 1627mm and increased by 20mm at the rear at 1632mm. 

Inside, there are a number of traditional M division elements, including the latest M-Sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedal caps, heavily contoured M-Sport seats, unique M-Sport digital instruments, M-specific graphics for the infotainment system, a newly designed M-sport gear lever.

Power for the M8 comes from the same longitudinally-mounted twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as that used by the M5. Among its technical highlights is a high-pressure fuel injection system that operates at up to 350 bar, indirect charge air cooling and cross-bank exhaust manifolds.

As with its four-door sibling, the 90-degree unit is offered in two different states of tune across four different models. In the standard M8 Coupe and M8 Convertible it develops 441kW at 6000rpm and 750Nm of torque between 1800 and 5600rpm, some 51kW and the same torque loading as twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine used by the M850i.

With various tweaks to its induction system and with a more rigid engine mounting, the reserves of the BMW M developed engine are increased, providing the M8 Coupe Competition and M8  Convertible Competition with 460kW at 6000rpm and the same 750Nm of torque as the standard M8 but over a 200rpm wider band of revs between 1800 and 5800rpm.

By comparison, the rear-wheel drive M6 Coupe’s older specification twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine kicked out 412kW and 680Nm while the four-wheel drive S63 4Matic S’s twin-turbochaged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine delivers 450kW and 900Nm.

Drive is channelled through an eight-speed torque converter equipped M Steptronic automatic gearbox featuring steering wheel mounted paddles and BMW M’s Drivelogic function that allows the driver to select between three different shift modes.

The M8’s four-wheel drive system draws on developments brought to the latest M5, providing the choice between standard 4WD, 4WD Sport and, with the DSC dynamic stability control system switched off, a pure rear-wheel drive 2WD setting.

BMW quotes an official 0-100km/h time of 3.3sec for the standard M8 Coupe and 3.2sec for the M8 Coupe Competition. Both models are claimed to weigh 1885kg and are limited to a nominal top speed of 155mph, though this can be raised to 190mph with an optional Driver’s Package that brings Z-rated tyres.

Underpinning the new BMW M flagship is a so-called adaptive M suspension with double wishbones up front and a five-link arrangement at the rear together with variable damper control and standard 20-inch alloy wheels shod with 275/35 ZR20 front and 285/35 ZR20 tyres. The steering uses a further developed version of the M850i’s EPS (electric power steering) system with an M-specific Servotronic function with a variable ratio. 

Editor:Greg Kable