What’s more outrageous than BMW’s new flagship coupe and convertible, the 8 Series? The much-awaited M version. When the 8 Series launched last year, it came in M850i trim — a “watered-down” version, if you will, of the full M8 (albeit still with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 making 523 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque). Last night, BMW unveiled the real deal.
The 2020 M8 will come in coupe and convertible body styles as well as standard and Competition trims. In standard form, its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 is good for 600 hp and 553 pounds-feet of torque; the Competition model boosts that to 617 hp (torque remains the same).
BMW calls the engine its most powerful production engine ever, estimating the M8 Coupe’s zero-to-60-mph time at 3.1 seconds (3.0 seconds in Competition trim). For each variant, convertible editions are 0.1 second behind. Top speed, however, is electronically limited to 155 mph, or 189 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package. Those who opt for the latter also get access to M School driver training at one of BMW’s two U.S. Performance Center driving schools, either in Spartanburg, S.C., or Thermal, Calif.
Power runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive, which only sends torque to the M8’s front wheels when the rear wheels reach their traction limits.
A host of exterior and interior upgrades set the M8 apart from lesser 8 Series models. Outside, coupes feature large openings in the front bumper and wear an M carbon-fiber roof. Competition grades have unique two-tone 20-inch wheels.
Inside, the models wear an M steering wheel with shift paddles and red M1 and M2 buttons, which can be programmed with various engine, suspension, steering and braking system modes. Other M exclusives include M Sport seats with illuminated M badging below the head restraints, extended Merino leather in either Silverstone or Black, and carbon-fiber cabin trim. The M8 Competition models add M seat belts with highlight stitching in BMW Motorsport colors.
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All these extras won’t come cheap. The 2020 BMW M8 coupe starts at $133,995, up significantly from the M850i’s $112,895 price tag (all prices include destination). M8 convertibles tip the scales at $143,495, up from the regular convertible’s $122,395 price. Competition models add $13,000 to either car.
Production of the M8 begins in July.
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