During the Industry Pool at the Nürburgring I have filmed the 2018 BMW 8 Series.
For the last few months, BMW has teased images and details about the new 8-series. However, now we’ve been given a firm release date: the new 8 series will be revealed on 15th June, just a few days before this year’s Le Mans.
The unveil will coincide with the track-going M8 GTE’s entry to this year's race, which marks 7 years since BMW last competed at the Circuit de la Sarthe endurance race.
‘There isn’t be a better setting for the world premiere of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe than the 24-hour race at Le Mans,’ said BMW’s Klaus Fröhlich.‘The race is a pure demonstration of passion, dynamics and long-distance capability. These characteristics define our new sports car in a special way.'
The BMW 8-series will rejoin the Munich line-up later in 2018, replacing the 6-series with a conscious nudge upmarket. This is one of the worst-kept secrets of the car industry: we've been spying the new Eight in Europe and around the world, and there's been a stream of concept cars and racers too.
BMW unveiled the M8 Gran Coupe concept at the 2018 Geneva motor show, providing our best look at the new grand tourer, which is expected to be unveiled around the time of the Le Mans 24-hour race in June 2018.
There will be a whole range of 8-series bodystyles: first are the convertible (G14) and coupe (G15), while a fast four-door badged Gran Coupe (G16) is coming in July 2019 to rival the Porsche Panamera.
Expect the following engines and models to be available on the Eight:
840i 321bhp straight six
M850i 456bhp 4.4-litre V8
M8 650bhp 4.4-litre V8
With power outputs like that and lightweight materials keeping the kerbweight low, the new 8-series is going to be seriously fast in a GT fashion. More lowly models will be capped at 155mph top speed, but if you whip the restrictor off we hear that nearer 191mph is likely for the M8.
The M8 will be built in every bodystyle, CAR understands, and should use many of the current M5's parts. That includes the M5's wonderful twin-turbo 4.4 V8 and the same ZF eight-speed feeding xDrive AWD. Weighing in at close to 1800kg, it undercuts its closest and newest rival - the Mercedes-AMG GT4 - by 245kg. That should pay dividends at the traffic lights, and in the corners.
BMW has gone to the unusual lengths of issuing some of its own official 'spyshots' of the new 8-series, including this artfully lit picture above. Strip away the monochrome camo and you can make out the now familiar, sporty, GT-style proportions of BMW’s reimagined Eight.
Munich says the track-going M8 GTE racer is being developed alongside the new 8-series; it made its racing debut at the 24 hours of Daytona race in January 2018.