Diehard BMW fans would note that there never was an official M version of the original E31 8 Series from 1989 through 1999. BMW did make a one-off M8 concept and prototype, but that never made it into production. And the closest thing to an 8 Series fully tuned by BMW's revered M Division was the 850CSi, which featured an upgraded version of the original 850's V12, along with a plethora of suspension and chassis tweaks, and strictly a six-speed manual (though European cars had the rare option for an automatic).
But now, an official M8 is ready to take the world by Sturm.
Based on the G14 (convertible), G15 (coupe) and soon-to-be G16 (four-door Gran Coupe), the new M8 essentially cranks everything up on the already potent 8 Series. As if the standard M850i xDrive weren't enough, with its 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 offering 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and a 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds, the new M8's upgrades boost that output to a grand total of 600 hp. Competition models gain extra oomph, with 617 horsepower. Same amount of twist, but it comes on a shade earlier.
The resulting performance yields a 0-60 time of just 3.1 seconds for the M8 Coupe, and 3 seconds flat for the Competition model. The convertible, with its slightly heavier weight from its folding roof mechanisms, takes 3.2 seconds, while the M8 Competition convertible can make the sprint in the same time as the standard M8 Coupe.
The M8's upgrades also add up under the skin. Both the standard M8 and M8 Competition benefit from larger brakes, larger and lighter wheels, and beefier tires to cope with the extra power and performance. Engineers tweaked the transmission and M xDrive for improved performance, faster shifting and better response. The M8s also benefit from an upgraded intelligent Active M rear differential to make the most of the extra power. And similarly to the system found in the F90 M5, the M8 in all forms can disable its all-wheel drive system to become rear-wheel drive only at the touch of a button, in the event some sideways hooning is in demand.
The M8 Competition comes with a dedicated Track Mode, which maxes out the performance settings on the engine, suspension, steering, braking and all-wheel drive setting, while disabling the radio and control console to relieve the driver of any distraction.
Altogether, the BMW M8 is slated for production sometime in July 2019 with a starting price of $133,000 for the coupe and $142,500 for the convertible, while the M8 Competition coupe runs $146,000 and the Competition convertible is $155,500.