BMW have long been pioneers of the purists wet dream cars. All the way from the E30 M3 right the way to the latest F80 M3 CS. However from time to time BMW like to create a land-yacht with power to match. In 2005 they crammed a 5 litre V10 into their E63 M6, the power plant shared with the E60 M5. What resulted was a handsome large coupe bestowed with an F1 derived V10 and 500bhp. The SMG box had a few issues, but modulating the throttle during changes could smooth this out. A car that was happy pottering to the golf club and back in a docile manor. Yet hit the sport mode to wake the engine up a bit and it was a savage. A well orchestrated blend of comfort and godly amounts of power resulted.
The New M8 competition has a reworked version of the 4.4 litre bi-turbo charged V8 seen in the last M5. 625hp and 750nm is now at your disposal. The quoted 0-60 times of the M8 are 3.1 seconds, however I’ve seen these gain traction and shave a further few tenths off. The M8 is one of those rare beasts where everything seems to have come together for a thrilling and engaging experience. Albeit delivered with sumptuous comfort and grand-touring potential, if that’s your thing of course. The interior confused me a little, everything exquisitely finished. Lashings of carbon fibre , leather and diamond stitching virtually everywhere. The “bucket” seats are an odd mixture of a comfy sitting chair and a performance bucket. They’re well bolstered and fairly supportive but very soft and squishy whilst doing so. The M8 feels just as expensive as it is, I wouldn’t say there’s a sense of occasion to it as you’d get with an Italian rival. But if you told me I had to cover hundreds of miles in it I’d be happy to do so.
So what exactly are you getting for your money? Spec the BMW Drivers package on top you gain some track education and 189mph enabled in your M8. You get the lightweight 20” “competition” alloys and lashings of carbon fibre. The carbon mirrors and rear spoiler compliment the M8s sculpted carbon roof. The “double bubble” roof design harks back to the M6 gran-coupe and is a beautiful piece of automotive architecture. If you spend £20,000 on the “ultimate” package here’s what you get. Carbon ceramic brakes (important for stopping a 2 ton car), M carbon engine cover, ventilated seats , carbon fibre interior package, better M sport exhaust, M exterior styling pack, TV function , Bower and Wilkins sound upgrade and a host of other goodies you probably wouldn’t notice honestly. However that makes this a £143,000 car. Which is a Herculean amount of money for a BMW. Yes it’s their new flagship land-yacht and yes it’s very very fast. But when you’re spending that sort or money you’re usually looking at something a little more prestigious.
The M8 is a handsome car, although BMW’s ever expanding kidney-grilles are probably right on the cusp of being a little too much here. I love the finish on the exterior. The carbon has helped to create a purposeful beast. However I’m going to throw a spanner in the works now. A 3 year old Ferrari GTC4Lusso can be had with as little as 10,000 miles on it for £145,000. For the sake of a couple of grand and being a cash buyer I know what I would choose. Both are great cars though and you’ve got to commend BMW for the staggering performance in the new M8 competition.