The BMW M8 Takes The Nurburgring By Storm With A Massive Spoiler That Screams GTS

Whether you like or dislike the idea that the BMW M8 is basically a supercar within the BMW lineup, the Munich-based company is currently testing the large coupe with a massive rear wing. BMW already has a long history of large, fast coupes prepped for track action. Just remember all the M6 GT3 cars in the Blancpain and British GT series. In fact, the BMW M8 first debuted as an endurance racer called the M8 GTE. Now, a production model that hauls a big wing can mean a multitude of things - an additional M Performance model, an early prototype of the BMW M8 GTS, or the BMW M8 CS. Or just a prototype created for the development of the next-gen aero for the whole fleet of dangerously quick M cars.

Far away from the spotlights and the glamour of the Frankfurt Car Show we spotted this BMW M8 testing today. So, what’s so strange about a M8 that’s already official you might ask? A wing!

We noticed that this M8 prototype has a big wing in the back, a wing that’s never been seen before on the 8 Series and of course that wing makes us wonder what this could be. A special aerodynamic package? A Clubsport model? Well, for now we don’t really know what BMW is up to with this M8 but we are investigating more and hopefully we will find out. Until then just enjoy the photos.

The BMW M8 Testing on the Nurburgring Points Our Thoughts About The M8 In The Right Direction

BMW M8 Caught Testing With Rear Wing
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I remember vividly when BMW revealed the M850i. The company tasked a photographer to create a set of pictures on the track, thus completely focusing the inclination of M Performance and the 8 Series towards track duties. It was something I did not expect, but when I later saw a car, sat in it, and even had a short driving stint, I felt what BMW was after.

The company listened, and offered a car so focused, precise, and intense - just like the original 8 was in the nineties. While the lack of a V-12 feels like a massive downgrade, and its umbilical link with the 5 Series all too powerful, the 8 Series truly is an impressive driving machine. That leads us to the model BMW Motorsport tested at the Nurburgring.

It may well be that BMW prepares to wow us with something even more extreme than the BMW M8 Competition. I have a few reasons to believe it. First of all, the spoiler at the back is a massive piece of real estate and it is a fixed piece of real estate. If you zoom in, you can see that the spoiler has a manually adjustable angle of attack. If we go back a bit, I can remember that the BMW M3 GTS E92 and the BMW M4 GTS F82 had similar rear fixed spoilers. It is, usually, a sign of extremes within the BMW world.

BMW M8 Caught Testing With Rear Wing
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More importantly than the spoiler itself is the fact that previous GTS cars had more powerful engines compared to non-GTS Ms.

The M3 GTS E92 had 444 horsepower compared to 414 of the M3 E92, while the M4 GTS F82 disposes of with 500-ish horsepower compared to the 425 horsepower of the M4 F82.

With that in mind, I wonder if the proposed BMW M8 GTS could be even more powerful than the BMW M8 Competition whose engine churns out 617 horsepower. That only if BMW decided to drop the words BMW M chief Frank van Meel said in 2015. See, van Meel said that M will limit the power of its ICEs to 600 horsepower. Now, van Meel moved on to do other stuff within BMW in 2018, and 8-Series lead engineer Markus Flasch stepped up to fill his place within the M division.

Now, Flasch confirmed that the new M3 and the M4 would have a manual transmission. He also acknowledged that BMW Motorsport is looking to electrify some of its future models. All this makes me think that Flasch wouldn’t be too opposed to offer us an M8 GTS with even more power than what the 4.4-liter, Twin-Power, V-8 offers in its most potent form.

BMW M8 Caught Testing With Rear Wing
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One other possibility is that the BMW M8 that hauls around the 'Ring ends up as a Clubsport model.

The most memorable BMW Clubsport model, at least for me, was the BMW 330CI Clubsport E46 from 2002. BMW removed all the insulation material - 20 kilos of it - to increase the sound of the glorious straight-six under the bonnet. Plus, that car had an awesome rear spoiler. Not as large as the one you can see on the BMW M8 prototype depicted here, though.

While there is at least a chance that a Clubsport model appears, one other thing tells me that we are looking at the most extreme interpretation of the BMW M8 yet. Those wheels are taken from the Competition model, meaning that it probably has a stiffened suspension, sharpened steering, and possibly less weight compared with the standard M8. Plus, people today want to see extremes - like the proposed M8 GTS - not cool, neatly tailored stuff - like the 2002 BMW 330 Ci Clubsport E46.

Conclusion

BMW M8 Caught Testing With Rear Wing
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In the end, I can tell you that this prototype can be a number of things:

  • a model that develops next M Performance parts
  • an early prototype of the BMW M8 GTS
  • a Clubsport model
  • or just a vehicle BMW engineers use to test stuff

Whatever the case, the BMW M8 has a critical part to play within the BMW lineup. I would for sure like to see more versions of it in the future.

Further reading

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

2019 BMW M8
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW M8 Coupe.

2020 BMW M8 Convertible
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Read our full review on the 2019 BMW M8 Convertible.

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