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2020 BMW M8 breaks cover with up to 617 hp

by Ronan Glon

G'day, M8.

BMW is moving full-speed ahead as it expands the 8 Series family. We've seen the coupe and convertible variants already, and the four-door Gran Coupe is around the corner. In the meantime, the Munich-based firm unveiled the coupe and convertible versions of the range-topping M8. Both models pick up where the M6 left off.

Power for the M8 comes from an evolution of the standard 8's twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 engine. In this application, it delivers 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque to the four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and the same xDrive all-wheel drive system found in the latest M5. That means the M8 is all-wheel drive in its standard configuration and, at the flick of a switch, rear-wheel drive when the driver wants it to be.

Cars equipped with the optional Competition Package boast 617 horsepower from the same V8. Torque stays flat, however. The M8 Coupe reaches 60 mph from a stop in three seconds flat when equipped with the Competition Package, or 3.1 seconds without it. The Convertible posts figures of 3.1 and 3.2, respectively.

BMW M went to great lengths to make the M8 more dynamic and more rigid than the 8 Series. Modifications made to the steering, braking, and suspension systems ensure the flagship M car handles as well as it accelerates, both on and off the track.

Even in its M-tuned configuration, the 8 Series remains relatively low-key. Both body styles wear an M-specific body kit that adds larger air intakes chiseled into the front bumper, a spoiler on the trunk lid, and a new rear bumper. 20-inch wheels wrapped by high-performance tires come standard, while cars equipped with the Competition Package receive specific alloys.

BMW will begin building the 2020 M8 in July. Pricing starts at $133,000 for the coupe, and $142,500 for the convertible.

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