BMW actually needs a full-fledged supercar in its lineup

BMW just introduced the M8, the beefed-up version of the revived 8 Series, and now the top brass believes that there’s no need for a dedicated supercar in its lineup. That’s the word from BMW M division boss Markus Flasch, who thinks that the M8 is an "ultimate performance machine" and compares it to the Porsche 911 Turbo. I can’t agree with him. Here’s why.

The BMW M8 is by no means a superar

BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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In this day and age, supercars hit 60 mph in less than three seconds

Granted, the BMW 8 packs a lot of punch. The twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 generates a whopping 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque in standard trim and an even more appealing 617 horses in Competition spec. That’s a lot of oomph, more than any other Bimmer save for the M5. But here’s the deal: it’s not exclusive. The M5 is just as powerful, and you can’t have that. It takes away from the exclusive status that’s mandatory for a supercar.

The second issue that prevents the M8 from being a supercar is its 0-to-60 mph sprint. The regular M8 hits the speed in 3.1 seconds, while the M8 Competition reaches the benchmark in three seconds flat. And that’s not quick enough. The M8 is definitely quick if we compare it to supercars from a decade ago, but three-second ratings won’t cut the mustard in 2019. In this day and age, supercars hit 60 mph in less than three clicks. It’s usually 2.8 and 2.7 seconds for most supercars, while the ones that hit or even surpass the 1,000-horsepower mark need only 2.5 and sometimes even 2.4 seconds. Heck, the McLaren F1 needs 3.2, and this supercar was launched 27 years ago! And it has just one extra horsepower at 618 horses, also coming from a BMW engine.

BMW M8 specifications
BMW M8 BMW M8 Competition
Engine V8 V8
Displacement cm³ 4,395 4,395
Engine power hp 600 HP @ 6,000 RPM 617 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Engine torque 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 – 5,700 RPM 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 - 5,860 RPM
0-60 mph seconds 3.1 3.0
Top speed (optional) mph 155 (189) 155 (189)
BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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Next up, the M8’s top speed is too low. The coupe will hit 155 mph if you keep charging, and that’s an electronically limited barrier. Lift the limiter and top speed increases to 189 mph. That’s definitely impressive, especially for a BMW, but it won’t touch the full-fledged supercars out there. That’s because all serious supercars can break the 200-mph mark. Most of them even go beyond 210 mph.

The BMW M8 will be the fastest Bimmer on the ’Ring. So what?

BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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The quickest BMW on the Nordschleife isn't hard to beat

BMW M division boss Markus Flasch told WhichCar that the M8 is a supercar because "it will be the fastest ever BMW at the Nurburgring Nordschleife." That’s cute, but it doesn’t mean much. BMW didn’t run too many ’Ring attempts in recent years, and Bimmers from the past weren’t astoundingly quick either. What I’m really trying to say is that the quickest BMW on the Nordschleife isn’t hard to beat.

All Nurburgring lap lists show the BMW M4 GTS as the company’s quickest vehicle on the German track. The beefed-up coupe lapped the course in 7:27.88 minutes. The latest BMW M5 was notably slower at 7:38.92 minutes, during a run from 2018. Getting back to the M4 GTS, it’s the 48th fastest car on the ’Ring. Far from flattering, right?

BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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The M8 will be significantly slower than a handful of old supercars

Sure, that’s not to say that the M8 won’t be quicker. It will definitely shave a few seconds of the M4 GTS’s time, but with the M5, which has the exact engine, good for a 7:39-minute lap, will the M8 run the course notably quicker? Let’s say that BMW manages a miracle and shaves around 15 seconds off the M5’s time, bringing it down to 7:24 minutes. This number will indeed make the M8 the fastest BMW around the ’Ring, but it won’t do much to convince me that it has supercar credentials.

BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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With a lap of 7:24 minutes, the M8 won’t even be in the top 30 fastest cars on this track. Not to mention that it will be some 40 seconds slower than the record holder, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. It will also be more than 10 seconds slower than sports cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS. It will be slower than the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1Le too, and GM doesn’t want us to think that the Camaro is some sort of supercar. Actually, speaking of supercars, the M8 will be slower than a handful of old supercars, like the Lexus LFA, Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper ACR, and the previous-generation Chevy Corvette ZR1.

Time to insert another quarter, BMW...

The BMW M8 IS NOT a Porsche Turbo killer

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Despite the 37-horsepower deficit, the 911 Turbo S is two tenths quicker than the M8

In his interview with WhichCar, Markus Flasch said that BMW test drivers are calling the M8 "a Porsche Turbo killer." That’s an ambitious statement, and it’s partially true, but only when it comes to horsepower. At 617 horsepower, the M8 Competition is indeed more powerful than the Porsche 911 Turbo S, which generates 580 horses. However, the current 911 Turbo is on its way out, and the upcoming supercar will be significantly more powerful. Reports claim a 600-horsepower Turbo and a 640-horsepower Turbo S.

BMW M8 vs Porsche 911 Turbo
BMW M8 BMW M8 Competition Porsche 911 Turbo Porsche 911 Turbo S
Engine V8 V8 Twin-turbocharged boxer 6 Twin-turbocharged boxer 6
Displacement cm³ 4,395 4,395 3.8 liters 3.8 liters
Engine power hp 600 HP @ 6,000 RPM 617 HP @ 6,000 RPM 540 HP @ 6,400 RPM 580 HP @ 6,750 RPM
Engine torque 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 – 5,700 RPM 553 LB-FT @ 1,800 - 5,860 RPM 486 LB-FT @ 1,950 - 5,000 RPM 516 LB-FT @ 2,100 - 4,250 RPM
0-60 mph seconds 3.1 3.0 2.9 s 2.8 s
Top speed (optional) mph 155 (189) 155 (189) 198 mph 205 mph

But let’s forget about the upcoming 911 Turbo for now. Although it’s not as powerful, the current 911 Turbo is quicker than the M8. The "base" version with 540 horsepower hits 60 mph in 2.9 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package. The 580-horsepower, Turbo S version is even quicker at the 2.8 seconds. So despite the 37-horsepower deficit, the 911 Turbo S is two tenths quicker than the M8.

The Bimmer falls behind when it comes to top speed as well. While its 189-mph rating (with the limiter off) is impressive on its own, it makes the M8 slower than both version of the 911 Turbo. While the base model tops out at 198 mph, nine mph more than the M8, the range-topping Turbo S hits 205 mph. That’s 16 mph more than the BMW M8 and a proper supercar top speed rating.

Bottom line, the M8 might be an impressive car among other BMWs and other grand tourers, but it’s not a supercar. At around 4,000 pounds, it’s barely a sports cars.

Further reading

BMW Lives in a Delusional World Where the M8 is a Supercar
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW M8 Coupe.

2020 BMW M8 Convertible
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW M8 Convertible.

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo.

2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible.

2019 BMW 8 Series Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

Source: Whichcar

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