When BMW introduced the 8 Series back in 1989, it reshaped the full-size luxury segment with a car that was gorgeous, unique, and loaded with innovative features. However, the global crisis and high fuel prices of the early 1990s prevented it from becoming a strong seller, with a little over 30,000 units sold until 1999, when it was discontinued. Almost two decades later and the 8 Series is set to return. Following the unveiling of a concept car in May 2017, BMW also released a bunch of photos confirming that an M8 is also underway in 2018.

The M8’s arrival will mark a premiere for the nameplate, which didn’t receive the M treatment in the 1990s. Although BMW did make a prototype, it eventually decided that there’s no market for the M8 and the project was scrapped. Times have obviously changed now, and with Mercedes already providing AMG versions of the S-Class Coupe and with Bentley producing the Continental GT Speed for quite a few years now, BMW needs an 8 Series and an M8 to keep up with the competition. Find out what we already know about this grand tourer in my speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8.

  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600 (Est.)
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 BMW M8 - image 718331
2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718681
"The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the camouflaged M8 is that the production model won't look as exotic as the 8 Series concept."

The first thing that comes to mind when looking at the camouflaged M8 is that the production model won’t look as exotic as the 8 Series concept. This confirms that BMW will give the series coupe a softer stance and that it will remove the big vents behind the front fenders, the massive intakes under the headlamps, and the aggressive engine hood.

The front grille also sports a less angry design that’s more in line with BMW current sytling cues. This isn’t a bad thing though, as the vertical slats are pretty thin and sharp and the kidneys are wide enough to produce a wide stance. The headlamps are obviously thicker than the concept’s, but thinner than anything else you get right now save for the i8. Down below, the bumper appears to be standard BMW M stuff, with large outlets toward the sides and longer vents with a mesh grille in the middle. This section will be unique to the M8, while the 8 Series will sport a less aggressive element.

Onto the sides, the large scoop behind the front fenders is missing, while the roof sits slightly higer. This isn’t surprising, as concept cars are usually sleeker than their production counterparts. However, the good news is that the rear haunches, one of the most stylish features on the 8 Series concept if you ask me, appear to be very similar. Moving over to M-specific additions, we have beefier side skirts and a set of juicy twin-five spoke rims in dark grey. Behind them we can see the obligatory blue brake calipers.

2016 BMW M8 - image 718315
2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718004
"Around back, the M8 has very little in common with the concept car. The production taillights are quite mundane and don't extend that much into the fenders."

Around back, the M8 has very little in common with the concept car. For starters, the production taillights are quite mundane and don’t extend that much into the fenders. The trunklid also seems to have a different shape, but it still carries a pretty big spoiler. Granted, it’s not as massive as seen on the concept, but it should give the coupe a sleek look. Most of the fascia is camouflaged and the taillights aren’t visible all the way, but they should reach pretty far into the trunklid. The license plate is placed below, just like on the concept, but the bumper lacks the massive creases toward the sides. Below, there’s a quad exhaust pipe configuration as seen on every other M car around.


2016 BMW M8 - image 718202
2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718681

Exterior comparison our rendering vs 8 Series Concept.

As usual, we asked our rendering artist to create a digital image of the upcoming M8. The rendering is based on the spy shots released by BMW, but also includes some toned-down features seen on the 8 Series Concept. In case you’re wondering why we’re using a convertible for this article, I think that BMW will also do a drop-top version to compete against the Cabriolet variants of the Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65. You can check out that article here.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718005

8 Series Concept interior shown here.

"Although clean and uncluttered on the passenger side, the dashboard is highlighted by premium red stitching on the upper side and around the center stack area."

BMW had very little to say about the M8’s exterior features and production schedule, but shared no information about the interior or the technology inside. On the other hand, we have the 8 Series concept for hints as to what we may find in the M8.

As you’d expect, the show car’s interior is a fancier rendition of BMW’s current styling language. It sports an appealing blend of clean surfaces and vertical lines, a sleek center console, all-digital instrument clusters, and a new steering wheel design.

Although clean and uncluttered on the passenger side, the dashboard is highlighted by premium red stitching on the upper side and around the center stack area. It also has vertically oriented, almost triangular A/C vents at each corner. These features are likely to find their way in the production 8 Series and to some extent in the M8 too.

2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 718014

8 Series Concept interior shown here.

"Unlike some Bimmers that have the infotainment system placed atop the dash, the 8 Series concept has it integrated in the center stack."

Unlike some Bimmers that have the infotainment system placed atop the dash, the 8 Series concept has it integrated in the center stack, albeit still above all controls. This is a feature that will definitely make it on the production model, as will the brand-new buttons underneath. The area between the A/C controls and gear lever is made rom carbon-fiber, which gives the center console a sporty look and makes a lot of sense in a future M8. While customers might not get this lightweight composite in the 8 Series, it will definitely adorn the M8’s center stack.

The instrument cluster appears to be quite spartan for modern standards, but what we see in the concept might be just one of the settings available. Of course, the M8 will have a more complex display with digital gauges and a number of M-specific features. The steering wheel is one feature I don;’t expect to see in the M8 in this form. Although it will keep its sporty stance and flat bottom, it will have a simpler design.

The 8 Series concept is also quite luxurious when it comes to materials, using Merino leather in Dark Brown and Fjord White, as well as hand-polished aluminum. The M8 should get similar treatment, although the base package will probably include black upholstery only. As always, look for several "M" emblems on various elements inside the cabin.


"Considering what we can get in other range-topping M models, it's safe to assume that the M8 will get its juice from a twin-turbo V-8 or V-12."

This is arguably the most important part of the upcoming M8, especially since we’re expecting a very potent grand tourer. With both Mercedes-Benz and Bentley offers outputs in excess of 600 horsepower in the AMG S65 and Continental GT Speed, respectively, BMW is pretty much constrained to drop a lot of oomph in the M8.

Considering what we can get in other range-topping M models, it’s safe to assume that the M8 will get its juice from a twin-turbo V-8 or V-12. Actually, there’s a big chance that BMW will offer both, just like Mercedes-Benz does with the AMG S63 and AMG S65.

2017 BMW M760Li xDrive - image 665340

M760Li engine shown here.

"The V-12 engine could be sourced from the M760Li, which uses a twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12."

The V-8 will likely come in the form of a twin-turbo 4.4-liter unit similar to that offered in the new BMW M5. Output should sit close to the 600-horsepower mark to counter the 577 horses delivered by the Mercedes-AMG S63. xDrive AWD is likely to be standard, at least here in the United States. The V-12 engine could be sourced from the M760Li, which uses a twin-turbo, 6.6-liter V-12. This unit cranks out 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of twist in the range-topping 7 Series and should be capable of more oomph in the M8. Given that the Mercedes-AMG S65 is good for 621 horses, it wouldn’t be surprising to see BMW push output toward the 650-horsepower mark.

The V-12-powered M8 is also likely to come with AWD, which would give it an advantage over the RWD-only Merc. This would be most visible in the acceleration department, with the M8 likely to hit 60 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. As with most Bimmers here in the U.S., the M8 should come with an automatic transmission only.

BMW M760Li xDrive
Config/No of cyls/valves V/12/4
Engine technology M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology: two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, Double-VANOS variable camshaft control
Effective capacity cc 6,592
Output 600 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 590 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 3.92 seconds
Maximum speed 250 KM/H (155 MPH)


2016 BMW M8 - image 718289

It’s a bit early to talk about prices here, but it’s pretty clear that the M8 won’t come cheap. My bet is that the grand tourer will fetch more than the M760i xDrive, which retails from $156,700. Expect a price tag of almost $170,000 for the V-8 model and a sticker of at least $200,000 for the V-12 variant.


Mercedes-AMG S63 / AMG S65

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 - image 713977
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 - image 713977

You might not be able to buy the M8 untl 2018, but Mercedes already offers a performance grand tourer. Essentially a two-door version of the large S-Class, this coupe is already an iconic presence on the market, having managed to steal some attention from the much more established Bentley Continental GT. This AMG-prepped tourer comes in two flavors. The "base" model is the S63, which just received a new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 instead of the old 5.5-liter unit. This powerplant cranks out 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, paired with all-wheel-drive for a tremendous 0-to-60 sprint in under four seconds. Next up is the S65, motivated by a larger twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 with 621 horsepower and a whopping 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. But despite being more powerful, the S65 is actually slower than the S63 due to being a RWD-only model. Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG S63 starts from $164,750, while the S65 retails from $236,250.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG S63 here.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed - image 617632
2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed - image 617628

Revised for the 2016 model year, the Continental GT Speed, gained a few exterior tweaks, but remained the muscular and elegant we all know. Showcasing an imposing exterior look with added sporty features, the GT Speed is complemented by a luxurious interior packed with Bentley’s latest technology and a ton of options from the Mulliner division. Powered by a 6.0-liter W-12 mill, the GT Speed hits the streets 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of twist, which places it above the Mercedes-AMG in terms of horsepower, but below as far as torque is concerned. Using an eight-speed ZF transmission, the Bentley hits 60 mph in four seconds, slower than its rivals. On the other hand, its top speed is rated at a mind-boggling 206 mph. Pricing starts from $203,500 in the United States, making it cheaper than the AMG S65 and the upcoming M8 with the V-12 engine.

Learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed here.


2016 BMW M8 - image 718313

Arguaby the most anticipated return in BMW history, the 8 Series is about to make a comeback for the 2018 model year. The M8 is obviously the bigger news here. Not only because it will be the first 8 Series with an M badge, but also because BMW is in dire need of a performance-oriented grand tourer. The M6 has been a rather dull competitor for the AMG E63 and more recently the AMG S63 and S65, and an M8 seems to be the only vehicle that can change the balance of power in this tight, but extremely demanding niche.

  • Leave it
    • Not as fancy as the concept
    • Tough competition from Bentley and Mercedes-AMG
    • Likely very expensive

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Alongside the ongoing development of the standard 8 Series, the engineers at BMW M are also working flat out on the M model. A fully camouflaged, early prototype of the future BMW M8 will be unveiled in a driving presentation as part of the support programme for the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Classical M features like larger air intakes, modified brakes and a sports exhaust with four tailpipes hint at the significantly boosted power and dynamic potential of the car and whet the appetite for a driving experience of intense emotional richness.

2016 BMW M8 - image 718329

“The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” explains Frank van Meel, President BMW M Division. “The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements.”

2016 BMW M8 - image 718315

Development is also underway of a race-spec car – the BMW M8 GTE – to spearhead the return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans: “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” says BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”

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What do you think?


  (548) posted on 04.17.2013

The 2016 BMW M8 looks so cool in the second photograph. It looks like a flaming coal with its color. It is nice to see that this lighter version combines the luxury and sportiness on this car.