New BMW M8 Competition arrives with 616bhp

High-performance 8 Series model starts at £123,435

BMW has announced a range-topping M8 Competition model of the 8 Series. It’s the first time the German manufacturer has produced an official M version of an 8 Series, and the new M8 becomes the most powerful production M car ever built.

Both the coupe and convertible variants are on sale now for £123,435 and £130,435 respectively, with first UK deliveries scheduled for October. The M8 Competition will be a direct rival for the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe.

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The M8 uses the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine as the existing M850i but power has increased from 523bhp to 616bhp. The combination of power, four-wheel drive and an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox results in a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds for the M8 Coupe and 3.3 seconds for the M8 Convertible, with both models limited to a top speed of 155mph. An optional M Driver Package raises the top speed to 189mph.

The M8 features the same adaptive suspension setup as the M850i, which has been tweaked to cope with the additional power. The car’s engine mounts have been stiffened and the exhaust system has also been revised. Larger, more powerful brakes are fitted and carbon-ceramic brakes are available as an option.

As with the M5 saloon, BMW claims that the xDrive all-wheel-drive system in the M8 is rear-biased and only pushes power to the front wheels when required. Switchable driving modes are accessible via the iDrive infotainment screen, giving the driver the ability to deactivate the front wheels completely, making the M8 purely rear-wheel drive.

To separate the M8 Competition from the standard 8 Series range, the outside of the car gets a subtle but muscular makeover, with larger air intakes in the front bumper, a lip spoiler and quad exhaust setup at the rear, 20-inch forged alloy wheels and full LED headlights. Elsewhere, a gloss black finish has been applied to the cars kidney grilles, wing mirrors and the rear diffuser. Additional exterior options include upgraded ‘Laserlight’ matrix headlights and an M Carbon exterior package.

The interior changes see the addition of a pair of sport sports seats complete with ‘M8’ logos, red steering wheel-mounted M buttons to select different drive modes, carbon fibre interior trim and a leather-trimmed gear selector. The 12.3-inch digital dial cluster behind the steering wheel features unique M8 graphics, while a 10.25 infotainment screen sits in the middle of the dashboard running BMW’s latest iDrive system.

Just like the standard 8 Series models, the M8 Competition has a semi-electric folding function for the front seats, for easier access to the rear seats. The coupe has 420 litres of boot space, while convertible buyers will have to make do with 350 litres due to the folding fabric roof. Both variants feature 50:50 split folding rear seats to increase storage space. BMW claims fuel economy for the coupe variant of 26.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 242g/km, while the convertible claims 26.6mpg and a CO2 figure of 256g/km.

The M8 Competition is equipped as standard with BMW’s Driving Assistant cruise control system and Parking Plus Assistant, which includes automatic parking functionality and a reversing camera. Buyers can spec the Driving Assistant Professional pack, which adds steering and lane assist.

Do you want to know more about the current BMW 8 Series? Read our review of the 8 Series coupe and 8 Series convertible.


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