When BMW's M division showed its prototype M8 coupe a couple of months ago, it confirmed that it would be joined by a racing version. Now the company has finally shown the racecar, called the M8 GTE, and it looks mean. The photos the company released are from the car's very first track test. It's covered in a camouflage vinyl wrap, but it doesn't hide much.

The first thing you'll probably notice, aside from the addition of a large wing, are the drastically widened fenders. All four corners look a few inches wider, perfect for fitting extra-wide racing rubber and adding more extractor vents. Speaking of vents, the ones in the hood are pretty enormous, too. And on the right side of the car, there are a couple of big exhaust tips jutting out from the side skirts. This racecar also gives us the clearest look yet at the grille of the M8 and the 8 Series. It's rather wide, and looks a bit like that of the upcoming Z4/Z5 roadster. Parts BMW did manage to disguise well are the headlights, which are extremely difficult to make out.

The BMW M8 GTE will make its racing debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2018. After that, BMW says it will participate in a number of events in the global FIA World Endurance Championship, and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. BMW hasn't revealed what will be powering the M8 GTE yet. In the IMSA series, current BMW M6 racecars use turbocharged V8s, so using something similar would make sense as BMW already has experience with that type of engine. If that's the route BMW chooses, it will likely be a V8 displacing 4.0 liters or less, since that's the limit for forced induction engines in the WEC. It would also be a nice point for the marketing department if the road-going M8 uses a turbocharged V8, as we expect.

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