2020 BMW M8
We liked the regular BMW 8 Series, and it was only a matter of time before a more potent version came 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. Here are six reasons we're excited to see the most powerful 8 Series later this year.
The BMW M5 signaled the M division's move to all-wheel drive; however, the rear-wheel drive bias is still there. We expect the M8 to follow suit with the same drivetrain, which means it should also get a drift drive mode that turns it into a rear-wheel-drive machine at the push of a button.
At 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, the M850i xDrive is already quite potent. The BMW M8 should kick it up a notch using a more powerful version of that engine. In the M5, the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes 600 hp in standard trim and 617 hp in M5 Competition guise. BMW has promised more than 600 hp for the "base" M8, likely the same 617 hp as the M5 Competition, but if you need more than that you should keep reading.
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 650 hp or more, 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 steering, suspension, transmission, engine, differential, and all-wheel drive settings. 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...
Like the standard BMW 8 Series, the M8 should be available in three body styles, including a coupe, convertible, and upcoming 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.
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.