New BMW 8 Series (2018) price, specs and news: M8 GTE revealed in Frankfurt

We haven’t seen the final version of the BMW 8 Series yet, but thanks to the Frankfurt motor show, we’ve got a better idea of what it’ll look like. Instead of showing us the production version of its 8 Series Concept car, BMW has gotten its priorities a bit wrong, and instead shown us the M8 GTE – a racing version of the new 8 Series.

“The BMW M8 GTE is our new GT flagship and will go head to head with the strong opposition in this sector,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “For us, the presentation of the uncamouflaged car at the IAA is the next important step on the road to our first race outing, which we plan to be the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2018. The FIA WEC and the IMSA series in North America are a top competitive environment for our new challenger.”

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“With the BMW M8 GTE, we are bringing cutting-edge technology to the top international class of GT racing, whilst at the same time tying in with our tradition at Le Mans. The development of the BMW M8 GTE is on schedule, and we can hardly wait to see the car challenging for victories in 2018.”

BMW has struggled with the styling of some of its cars recently – from the weird-looking X7 concept to the rather strange-looking i Vision Dynamics, but I think the M8 GTE looks amazing. Featuring a kidney grille that’s been transformed into massive nostrils, and all the usual carbon fibre dress up you usually see on GT cars, the M8 GTE isn’t pretty – but it is memorable. And although it’s a race car, the M8 GTE gives up some details of the forthcoming road car, too.

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The rear lights and front lights of the new M8 GTE are far simpler than those on the 8 Series concept car, and it’s likely they’re borrowed from the road version. Most GTE cars borrow elements from the road cars they’re based on, and the M8 GTE’s rear lights look easier and cheaper to manufacturer.

What’s more, more rounded front headlights and a bold grille are found on the M8 GTE, and I expect them to also be borrowed from the production 8 Series, too.

BMW 8 Series: What we know

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“The BMW 8 Series Coupe will build on our tradition of luxurious sports coupes and add a genuine dream car to our line-up – a slice of pure automotive fascination,” said Krüger at the BMW event. “The 8 Series Coupe will underpin our claim to leadership in the luxury segment. I can tell you today that this will be a true luxury sports coupe.”

What to expect

The new BMW 8 Series concept at least, looks to be a rather svelte looking coupe, with the same large dimensions as something like the S Class coupe – so you can tell exactly what BMW is aiming for. Featuring flowing, muscular lines and a large grill, it’s more of a GT-style car than an out and out racecar, but that makes sense when you look at the competition. 

Pictures of the interior also show the new 8 Series is a match for the S-Class coupe, and that’s one of the reasons we expect it to cost roughly the same as the flagship Mercedes. With that in mind, we’re expecting the new 8 Series to cost around £100,000.

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BMW 8 Series: M8 also on the way

New pictures released by BMW have shown a new M8 version of the coupe. Taken at the Nurburgring 24 our race a few weeks ago, the new images depict a camouflaged version of the new M8, with the normal paintwork replaced by headache-inducing testing livery.

“The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” explained Frank van Meel, president of BMW M Division. “The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility.

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What’s more, BMW intends to take the new M8 out racing, too. BMW says development of a BMW M8 GTE, designed to race in Le Mans is already underway. “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt. “Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still.” 

“We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular, he added. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”

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