Famed Bimmer tuner takes its shot at Bavaria’s flagship M model

Like most cars, the M8 Competition Gran Coupe is far from perfect. It’s preposterously fast for a car that weighs in excess of two tons, and yet, the speed doesn’t really translate to the kind of enjoyable driving experience you’d expect from BMW’s range-topping model. Fortunately, AC Schnitzer is always there to answer the bell.

The German tuner known for developing programs for all sorts of Bimmers has come up with a program for the M8 Gran Coupe, one that addresses some of the perceived shortcomings of the M8 Competition Gran Coupe. The result is what you’d expect from AC Schnitzer.

Are there ways to improve the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe?

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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Step inside and you’re treated to world-class luxury refinement. Pop open the hood and you’ll see a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. In full bloom, the M8 Competition Gran Coupe is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Opt for the M Driver Package and you can unlock the limiter and unleash a higher top speed of 190 mph in the process.

You see all these things about the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe and you wonder if there’s anything about Bimmer’s flagship performance model that needs improving. Luckily, there is.

What kind of upgrades did AC Schnitzer give to the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe?

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The package is a comprehensive tuning kit, for sure, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the finished product.

There are a few parts and panels that didn’t come from BMW. The front splitter, for example, is an aftermarket addition, as is the two-piece rear spoiler that’s arguably the most stand-out element of AC Schnitzer’s tuning package.

The latter is actually a recycled part since the tuner initially developed it exclusively for the G20 3 Series.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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Look closely at the side sections of the M8 Competition Gran Coupe and you’ll also notice carbon fiber side skirts peeking from underneath the side panels of the massive performance sedan. None of these parts are noticeable from afar, but they do enhance the M8 Competition Gran Coupe.

An AC Schnitzer tuning program isn’t complete without a new set of wheels thrown into the mix. For the M8 Competition Gran Coupe, the tuner is offering four sets of its AC3 Evo wheel design, all of which measure 21 inches in diameter. You can have your pick of the lot among these four choices: Forged Silver Anthracite, Forged Anthracite Silver, Flowforming Silver Anthracite, and Flowforming Anthracite.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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Interior upgrades are limited to the usual AC Schnitzer add-ons. There’s a paddle set that can be scored. You can also add an aluminum pedal set, an aluminum footrest, and a key holder that’s specific to the M8 Competition Gran Coupe. On the flip side, there are no branded floor mats available in this package. Strange, isn’t it?

What kind of performance improvements are we looking at?

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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On its own, the M8 Competition Gran Coupe is capable of performance numbers that you wouldn’t expect from a car of its size. Remember, this is a 4,480-pound performance sedan that can clock a 0-to-60-mph run in just three seconds.

Insert the tuner’s plug-and-play software program into the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine and just like that, an extra 95 horsepower and 73 pound-feet of torque become available, raising the engine’s output to a whopping 720 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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The tuner didn’t release performance figures post-upgrade, but if the sedan can do 0 to 60 mph in three seconds in standard form, it’s reasonable to think that it can hit that mark in, say, around 2.6 to 2.8 seconds with the sizeable power bump.

Boasting a two-ton rocket is one thing, but you’ll still have to control it to maximize all the fun you can get out of the M8. Thankfully, AC Schnitzer also has that part covered. A new suspension and spring kit effectively lowers the M8 Competition Gran Coupe’s ride height by 20mm or 0.8 inches.

What’s the cost of these added goodies?

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe By AC Schnitzer
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AC Schnitzer does not reveal the pricing details of its programs. Instead, you’re going to have reach out to the tuner to address your aftermarket needs and the costs that come with those needs. That said, a typical AC Schnitzer tuning program can run anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 depending on the upgrades you select.

It’s pricey business, but you’re paying for top-quality work on your top-quality M8 Competition Gran Coupe. Besides, if you can afford a BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe — it starts at close to $150,000 — you should have no problems affording AC Schnitzer’s program for Bimmer’s top-rank ride.

Final Thoughts

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Personally, I’m of the mindset that the BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe is fine on its own. It’s already tricked out with all the niceties you can expect from BM M. It’s teeming with state-of-the-art technology. And it has a powerful - and maybe somewhat unnecessary - 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine.

The ride could be better, sure, but it’s not that bad that you immediately regret buying one. I’m fine with all of that, but I’m not going to begrudge anyone who would want to maximize the super sedan’s all-around potential, especially if their access to doing that goes through AC Schnitzer. The German tuner is one of the best BMW tuners in the world, if not the best.

  • Leave it
    • The M8 Competition Gran Coupe is fine on its own
    • Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing
    • Unnecessary cost
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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