BMW has released official information about the upcoming M version of its new 8 Series flagship coupe. Earlier, we expected the M8 to receive the M5‘s V8 engine, and that is indeed the case: BMW’s announcement includes the mention of the TwinPower Turbo V8 producing “north of” 600 horsepower, as the wording goes. When the camo comes off, we’ll see just how far north that is.
Future drivers of the new M8 can also switch from rear-biased all-wheel drive to just rear-wheel drive, as the torque vectoring drivetrain’s power delivery is said to be fully variable, depending on the driving situation and the driver’s wishes. There’s the electronically controlled M differential as well, and the sole available gearbox is the eight-speed automatic. The M-tuned chassis and body structure have been stiffened from stock.
In the photo gallery above, the test car shown at Estoril still wears spy camouflage, but it’s clear there’s just the handling prowess to be fine-tuned — the rest of the package appears quite complete, down to the quad pipes. Official introduction of the M8 is said to take place in Frankfurt next September, and the coupe will be followed by a convertible and a four-door Gran Coupe version later.
BMW hasn’t disclosed any other performance-related numbers than the power output, but Autocar suggests some more information: The M8’s center of gravity is 24 mm, or .95 inches lower than the M5’s, the 0-62 mph time is under 3.4 seconds, and the top speed should be in excess of 186 mph — some serious stuff. In comparison, the less-hardcore M850i takes 3.7 seconds to reach 62 mph, which is hardly slow. Autocar also mentions the possibility of an M8 Competition version, which can have as much as 650 horsepower.