We really like the regular 8 Series—and named it our Design of the Year—and given BMW’s product cadence, it’s only a matter of time before a burlier version comes along. Enter the upcoming 2020 BMW M8, which recently leaked on Instagram. Considering how good the M850i xDrive already is, we expect the M8 to up the ante even more. BMW has previewed the flagship M car with the M8 Gran Coupe Concept and plenty of photos of camouflaged prototypes, and it has been dropping clues about its performance chops along the way. Read on for the reasons we’re excited to see the most powerful 8 Series later this year.
All-wheel Drive with Drift Mode
The BMW M5 signaled the M division’s move to all-wheel drive, but the system still maintains a rear-wheel-drive bias. We expect the M8 to follow suit with the same driveline, which means it should also get a drift drive mode that turns it into a tire-roasting rear-driver at the push of a button.
More Power Standard
At 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, the M850i xDrive is already quite potent, and the M8 should kick it up a notch using a more powerful version of the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. In the related M5 sedan, that engine good for 600 horsepower in standard trim and 617 horses in M5 Competition guise; with BMW promising more than 600 horsepower for the “base” M8, we’re thinking that Competition level of power will be the baseline here. If you need more than that you should keep reading.
The Competition Model Should be Ridiculous
An M8 Competition will no doubt join the lineup in addition to the standard BMW M8. Expect firmer suspension calibration with revised spring rates and dampers, a lower ride height, stiffer engine mounts, and a louder exhaust system, just to name a few upgrades. The Competition model’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine has been rumored to deliver at least 650 horsepower, which would place it at the top of the Ultimate Driving Machine hierarchy in terms of power.
Like most high-end BMW M models, the M8 should come with adjustable settings for the suspension, transmission, engine, differential, steering, and all-wheel drive. That should give you hundreds (if not thousands) of combinations to choose from when personalizing the M8’s driving experience to your liking. Is that overkill? Perhaps. But if you like having options . . .
Three Flavors to Choose From
Like the standard BMW 8 Series, the M8 should be available in three body styles, including coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe—a swoopy four-door sedan with a coupe-like roofline and additional rear passenger space. We’ll see the regular 8 Series Gran Coupe this June.
M Car Exclusivity
A BMW vehicle wearing an M badge and a single numeral next to it belongs to a small, very exclusive club of high-performance machines. Full-fledged M cars are less common than their non-M counterparts, and with that exclusivity comes a higher price tag. Expect the standard M8 to fetch a good deal more than the M850i coupe’s $112,895 starting price, and the M8 Competition to be even pricier.