BMW knows that the 523 bhp isn’t sufficient for a lot of people. Which is why the new M8 was being developed alongside the standard 8 Series. As a final round of testing, the upcoming flagship was put through its paces at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, and the feedback was taken from the select media moguls.
The new M8 is expected to weigh a bit less than the standard car. The centre of gravity has also been lowered and according to BMW, the car will have even weight distribution. There are M-specific optimisations to further increase rigidity in the body structure, chassis components and chassis mounting. Steering has been tweaked for precision and so are the cornering dynamics, thanks to the M-specific suspension.
Speaking of which, BMW says that the double-wishbone front axle and five-link rear axle has been reworked. A further increase in the track width at the front axle enhances directional stability, while the rear axle features bespoke toe links with stiffer rubber mounts, firmer anti-roll bars and more rigid wishbones. The result is a neutral steering behaviour even at the dynamic limits and a linear build-up of transverse loads across the full range of lateral acceleration. Additional struts and an elastomer bearing on the rear axle mounts increase the rigidity of the chassis mounting.
As for the brakes, the front discs measure 395 mm in diameter and feature 6-piston fixed calipers, while the rear wheels work with single-piston floating calipers and 380 mm discs. Buyers can opt for M carbon-ceramic brakes measuring 400 mm at the front axle and 380 mm at the rear.
19-inch M light-alloy wheels are fitted as standard while the 20-inch M light-alloy wheels shod with mixed-size M-specific ultra-high-performance tyres are optional.
As for the business end, BMW says that the 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo produces north of 440 kW/590 bhp. Transfer of power happens via fully variable M xDrive all-wheel-drive system with rear-bias and 2WD mode.
In M Dynamic mode, the AWD system sends even more power to the rear wheels, opening the door to controlled drifts. Switching off the DSC stability system brings 2WD mode into play. The Active M Differential at the rear axle also works fully variably and has a locking effect between 0 and 100 per cent.
Market launch of the new M8 Coupe will happen in 2019, followed by the M8 Convertible and M8 Gran Coupe at a later date.