BMW M8 prototype

Rekindled BMW 8 Series at Nürburgring Promises More than Just Lethal Performance [Video]

BMW’s release last week of their latest concept of a reborn 8 Series model, is also good news for fans of the Le Mans circuit.  In a curious pathway, the 8 Series will father a mythical M version of the new model, which in turn allows for BMW to “let’s go racing” with the M8 GTE racer.

The 8 Series from BMW previously ran from 1989 to 1999 and offered either a V8 or a V12 engine.  Also, known by the chassis designation, E31, the gran tourer was BMW’s flagship model at that time and topped out at 155 mph, thanks to an engine limiter.

Now in 2018, the 8 Series will be revived with this concept offering a preview of what’s to come.  Offering both a step up in BMW luxury and vehicle dynamics, the 8 Series coupe will challenge the competition.  The rear wheels bulge out from beneath fender flares, nearly mimicking a wide body kit.  And the front end offers huge intakes in the front grill.

Even more exciting was the related news that BMW will also release an M model of the Series 8 coupe.  The M models from BMW have always offered a sportier performance.  Ironically, the M Series was never offered in the previous version of the Series 8 (or the current Series 7), but one factory production M8 car was made and kept secret for years.  It served as a testing vehicle for engineering upgrades. For the new 8 Series, you can expect a beefier brake set up, tuned exhaust and more horsepower.  A prototype will be shown during the Nürburgring 24-hour race.

BMW 8 Series prototype seen at 24 Hours of Nürburgring race

BMW M8 Prototype

Which leads us to Le Mans racing.  BMW fully intended on returning to the competition and the Series 8 provides the gateway. BMW will take to the track with the BMW M8 GTE model. This will be the race-ready version of the Series 8 and will compete next January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. BMW’s Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt was secretive about the specs but noted, “I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular.”  That would be an understatement if the present concept version is any indication of what the future for BMW will hold.

Still wearing its camouflage wrap, the BMW M8 prototype made an appearance at 24 Hours of Nürburgring over the weekend. Official specs haven’t been announced but this video shows you the start up sound, revs, and acceleration on the Nürburgring!

Mark C. Bach is a well preserved automotive junkie, due to the Arizona dry heat. He loves anything that moves and is especially fond of muscle cars and classics.