• Jul 2, 2010
Unlike Mercedes-Benz which produces AMG badged versions of just about every model in its lineup, BMW has maintained greater exclusivity with the M badge. Until last year's launch of the X6 M and X5 M, there have only been four M models (not counting the M1), but one M got as far as prototyping and testing, but never produced: The M8.

Powered by a 550 horsepower version of BMW's original M70 V12 engine, the M8 was meant to challenge the Ferrari 456 GT. However, following testing of the single prototype, BMW canceled the program and built the 375 hp 850CSi instead. The M8 prototype was long thought to have been crushed, but it turns out that it was stashed away in a corner and turned up in the BMW museum in Munich. Check out the BMW Blog for more shots.

[Source: BMW Blog]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      This car really deserved to be produced.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't be so sorry it never made it. I'll bet it would have had overheating problems.
      Score that kick, one time!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yo, Smellmo, That's just ignorant thinking.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lemme guess...

        You seem to think just because of the narrow nose that it has cooling issues? So explain to me how the 850CSi never had any cooling issues.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty car with a monster V12 shoehorned in front...what's not to like??
      • 4 Years Ago
      The engine BMW developed for this later became the basis for the McLaren F1.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Phillip,

        It seems that we're both kind of right, if I'm understanding this post correctly: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1023987

        The McLaren's engine is not a lightly- or even hugely-modified M8 engine. Though as you say it seems that it's also not a completely-thorough redesign either, sharing certain dimensions as you point out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wikipedia is wrong again.

        The M8 engine is indeed essentially the same engine that was later used the the MacLaren F1.

        The SOHC M70 V12's found in the 7 and 8 series are all the same family as the MacLaren V12. They all share the same bore spacing and cylinder deck heights.

        For the M8, BMW simply used an M3 4-valve head and made an opposite LHS casting. This is the same case for the MacLeren F1.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW should bring back a bright red like that for the 'M' Division.
      • 4 Years Ago
      STILL a good looking car; What a testament to great design. Like the Celica-Supra, Mid 90's Supra, NSX, and ANY M3, some cars just stay pretty...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I belong to a BMW club in Korea, and two of my friends in the club have 850CSI models in mint condition. I believe only about 5000 or 7000 were originally built. They are beautiful cars.

      But when they were first introduced, even the 850CSI was basically a supercar back then, in terms of power, price and technology.

      Imagine what the M8 would have cost. Who would have bought that? That's the main reason BMW killed it, AFAIK.

      By the way, apart from the cool factor, why is this even news? It's been known for years that BMW still has the M8 prototype stashed away.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This machine is the reason I fell in love with the automotive world. I saw my first 850CSi at a gas station parked next to a brand new corvette. That MV12 that I later realized was an 850CSi was and still is the most beautiful car I have ever laid eyes upon. To know that the M8 is back in its Bayrische Heimat - I will definitely be visiting the BMW Museum/BMW Welt when I go back to Munich this fall...

      Stunning.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great car... cool story... awful photos. Who took these? My mom?!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who wants to go rob the museum in Munich with me??
        • 4 Years Ago
        We have a fast ride to get out with
        • 4 Years Ago
        Me but I get to drive!
      • 4 Years Ago
      DAMN! On BMWblog there is a good shot of the engine bay...... that is A LOT of carbon fiber for back in the day!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, what we have missed. If that had come out back then with 550 hp, imagine the horsepower ratings of the M6 now.
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