2020 BMW M8 Convertible spy shots

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A prototype for a new BMW M8 Convertible has been spotted for the first time.

It’s the open-top version of the M8 coupe that BMW M presented in prototype form during May's 2017 M Festival held at the Nürburgring, and it’s 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 also in the works and due for a reveal later this year. The road-going M8 variants aren’t expected to be revealed until late 2018. The cars are being developed concurrently with the new 8-Series that BMW previewed in concept form during May’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The new 8-Series range, including this M8 Convertible, is thought to be based on the carbon fiber-infused version of BMW’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.

2018 BMW M5

2018 BMW M5

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Power in the M8 models, meanwhile, will come from BMW’s familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. In the new 2018 M5 that was revealed on Monday, 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.

Whatever output BMW M 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 lights are still dummy units. The headlights will eventually be replaced by laser units while LED units will feature at the rear. The soft-top roof may also be a dummy unit, as evidenced by the camouflage gear. However, this may simply be there to protect the interior and/or roof folding mechanism from prying eyes.

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