The first 8 Series with an "M" badge

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. Discontinued in 1999, the 8 Series returned almost two decades later in 2018. For the first time ever, the grand tourer is also set to spawn an M8 version. Confirmed by the German firm, it should arrive by the end of 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 offering 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 upcoming BMW M8.

  • 2019 BMW M8
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8(Est.)
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600 (Est.)
  • 0-60 time:
    3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Spy Shots

March 15, 2018 - BMW M8 caught playing in the snow

2019 BMW M8
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2019 BMW M8
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BMW M8 Exterior

- * Aggressive bumpers
- * M-specific add-ons
- * Carbon-fiber parts
- * Bespoke wheels
- * Lowered suspension
- * Concept-based design

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior
- image 783866
Expect the performance model to look a bit sportier than the M850i

Having already seen the standard 8 Series, it’s easy to imagine how the M8 will look like. The fact that BMW launched the 8 Series with the M850i trim also helps, as this range-topping model bridges the cap between the standard coupe and the M8. All told, expect the performance model to look a bit sportier than the M850i.

The front fascia will be identical above the bumper, featuring the same wide kidney grille layout and slim headlamps with sharp corners. However, while the standard model has a chrome grille, the M8 will have it finished in black. An "M8" badge should also find its way on there. The bumper will have a slightly different design, as this is where M model usually stand out. Look for larger side vents with prominent fins, a bigger diffuser, likely made from carbon-fiber, and a wider center vent. The engine hood could also have extra vents.

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
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Around back, the M8 will probably get a carbon-fiber spoiler and a more aggressive diffuser

The profile won’t change much design-wide. BMW will probably add beefier side skirts, but other than that, look for mildly revised details like "M8" badges on the front fenders, black window trim, carbon-fiber mirror caps, and new, lightweight wheels.

Around back, the M8 will probably get a carbon-fiber spoiler and a more aggressive diffuser. The exhaust pipe layout could also be modified to include four pipes instead of two, although that will happen for aesthetic purposes only. The CFRP roof option will probably remain, but BMW could add an additional option for a bare carbon-fiber roof.

BMW could also meddle with the 8 Series’ advanced aerodynamic system and upgrade the active flap control unit in the kidney grille, the air curtain, and the air breathers.

Rendering

2019 BMW M8 Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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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.

BMW M8 Interior

- * Carbon-fiber trim
- * All-black upholstery
- * Bespoke instrument cluster
- * Sports seats
- * Flat-bottom steering wheel

2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
- image 783831
The 8 Series' already sporty seats will be replaced by race-inspired units with heavier bolstering

The 8 Series’ cabin is also unique compared to other models, but it doesn’t share too many details with the concept car. The M8 will get an almost identical layout, starting with the wide center console that rises toward the dashboard to separate the driver and front passenger areas. Most of the main control features, including those for the audio system and air conditioning, will be placed here. The remaining features will be accessible through the freestanding, 10.25-inch infotainment display at the top.

The new screen is part of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which also includes a fully digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster that shares graphics with the X5 SUV and the upcoming Z4. However, the M8 will get bespoke graphics and dials and at least one more mode for sporty driving. The aluminum trim will carry over from the standard model, but BMW should also add a few carbon-fiber elements, at least on the options list.

2019 BMW 8 Series Interior
- image 783792
BMW should also add a few carbon-fiber elements, at least on the options list

The 8 Series’ already sporty seats will be replaced by race-inspired units with heavier bolstering. The front seats will also have a semi-electric folding function on each seatback for easier entry and exit for rear-seat passengers.

Leather and Alcantara will be standard, but the M8 will probably get more of the latter for a motorsport-inspired look. Unlike the 8 Series, which can be had with a variety of upholstery colors, including two-tone layouts, the M8 will be mostly black. Other M-specific features will include pedals, driver’s footrest, bespoke floor mats, illuminated door sills, and, of course, "M8" badges.

The audio system should get an update for this model, so the standard 11-speaker system will probably be replaced with the 16-speaker Harman Kardon unit that’s optional in the regular coupe. The fully active, 16-channel, 16-speaker sound system from Bowers & Wilkinson will be available for the M8 too.

BMW M8 Performance

- * Revised V-8 engine
- * Around 600 horsepower
- * V-12 mill possible
- * Automatic transmission
- * Standard AWD

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
- image 718308
The 4.4-liter V-8 could crank out around 600 horsepower in this model

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 offering 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 chance that BMW will offer both, just like Mercedes-Benz does with the AMG S63 and AMG S65, although it may not happen at first.

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. BMW has already revised this engine for the M850i trim of the 8 Series and tuned it to deliver 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of twist. Squeezing around 600-horsepower from it shouldn’t be too difficult and this will help counter the 577 horses delivered by the Mercedes-AMG S63. xDrive AWD for this model is likely to be standard, at least here in the United States.

2019 BMW M8 Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
- image 718329
BMW could also add a V-12 version later on

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
Engine 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)

BMW M8 Suspension and Brakes

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
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The performance coupe will make use of the 8 Series’ base underpinnings, but the M division will upgrade certain components in order to enhance dynamics. The 8 Series suspension system that combines a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle will carry over, but the M8 will get stiffer springs, new torsion struts, and revised damping plates.

A bespoke Adaptive M upgrade will update the electronically controlled dampers and the Integral Active Steering system that reduces the turning circle and increases agility. The rear-wheel steering system will come standard. The standard 8 Series already uses an M-developed braking system in M850i trim, but the M8 will get an ever better system with multi-piston calipers at all corners and vented discs. Naturally, both units will be bigger for enhanced stopping power.

BMW M8 Safety

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
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The M8 will benefit from the same safety and driving assist features introduced with the 8 Series. The package will include Personal Co-Pilot, a suite of driver assistance technologies that give the coupe semi-autonomous capability. Using camera images and data provided by ultrasonic and radar sensors, it monitors vehicle surroundings and takes actions depending on the environment and the traffic around the car.

The standard Cruise Control system already includes automatic braking function and Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, but the M8 could also get the optional Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go. Other highlights include the active Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the front and rear and Driving Assistant Professional, which adds Steering and Lane Control assistant and Crossing Traffic Warning.

BMW M8 Prices

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
- 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 initial thought was that the M8 will will fetch more than the M760i xDrive, which retails from $156,700, but with BMW having announced that the M850i will start from from $111,900, the beefed-up coupe could be less expensive. My best guess is that the Germans will ask around $135,000 for the range-topping model.

BMW M8 Competition

Mercedes-AMG S63 / AMG S65

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729558

You might not be able to buy the M8 until 2019, but Mercedes-Benz 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 2018 Mercedes-AMG S63.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

2016 - 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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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. On the flipside, the GT Speed is a bit dated now, as Bentley has introduced a new-generation Continental GT recently. A brand-new Speed version could arrive by the end of the year with more power than ever.

Learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed.

Conclusion

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
- image 718313

Arguaby the most anticipated return in BMW history, the 8 Series finally made a comeback for the 2019 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

References

BMW 8 Series

BMW Teases The Upcoming 8 Series With Images And Video
- image 763009

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

BMW M8

2019 BMW M8 Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the BMW M8.

BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior High Resolution
- image 717999

Read our full review on the BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe.

no article
- image 741745

Read more BMW news.

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.

2019 BMW M8 Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
- 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.”

2019 BMW M8 Spyshots Exterior High Resolution
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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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