A prototype for the first-ever BMW M8 Convertible has been spotted again.
It’s the open-top version of the M8 coupe that BMW presented in prototype form during the 2017 M Festival held at the Nürburgring, and the car is being prepped as Munich’s challenger to high-performance grand touring convertibles like the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible and Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet.
An M8 endurance racer is already in action. The road-going M8 variants aren’t expected to be revealed until late 2018. The cars are being developed alongside the new 8-Series that BMW previewed in concept form during the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and will also reveal later this year.
BMW M8 Gran Coupe conceptEnlarge Photo
Included in the 8-Series and M8 families will be a Gran Coupe sedan. BMW previewed the M8 Gran Coupe in concept form at the 2018 Geneva auto show and confirmed the production version for launch in 2019.
Underpinning the complete range should be the carbon fiber-infused version of the BMW Group’s CLAR modular platform that debuted in the 2016 7-Series. Referred to as “carbon core” technology, we’ve only seen BMW use it so far in the 7-Series. Lesser models like the latest 5-Series stick with more conventional materials.
Power in the M8 models will come from BMW’s familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. In the 2018 M5, the engine is tuned to deliver 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It’s possible slightly more power will be extracted from the engine for M8 duty.
2018 BMW M5Enlarge Photo
Whatever output BMW selects, expect the engine to be paired with an 8-speed automatic and the M division’s new M xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Looking at the prototype for the M8 Convertible, openings on the flanks hint at a vertical vent on the trailing edge of the front fenders, while at the rear are the M division’s signature quad-pipe arrangement for the exhaust tips. The car looks very wide and imposing. This is aided along by the massive wheels which are wrapped in equally massive tires and house powerful brakes.
The original 8-Series sold in the 1990s was meant to have its own M8 version too. A prototype featuring a 6.0-liter V-12 was built though the project was canned at the last minute due to low expected demand. The car’s engine lived on, however, in McLaren’s F1 supercar.