The BMW M8 GTE is a twin-turbo V8 powered racer. It's set to challenge the best sports cars in the world in the FIA World Endurance Championship. And it marks BMW's first trip to Le Mans since 2011.
In a sea of electric concepts debuting this week in Frankfurt, it's nice to see that the classic sports racer still survives. Based on the M version of BMW's upcoming 8 series, and unusually it's being revealed before the M8 it's based upon, the M8 GTE will compete in the GTE class of the FIA WEC. It will also see duty in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America. It replaces the M6 GTLM and Z4 GTE in those series.
Under the long hood is a 4.0L twin-turbo V8. Power output is in the neighbourhood of 500 hp, depending on classification and rules balancing. Because this is an endurance racer, it's designed to maximize durability as well as increase fuel economy. And while fuel economy on track is a very relative thing, fewer breakdowns and pit stops mean more time turning laps.
This is a large car, coming in just 20 mm shy of five metres, but heavy use of carbon fibre means that it weighs just 1,220 kg. And while it doesn't share many components with the road going 8 Series, the styling is clearly the same.
It wears a quick-change carbon body on a carbon core. The suspension is double wishbones front and rear with four-way adjustable shocks. The transmission is a six-speed sequential gearbox with electronic paddle shift system. It also has a limited slip differential.
The M8 GTE's racing debut will take place at the 24 Hours of Daytona next January. After that, it will race in the two sports car series for the remainder of the year. And the production M8 should bow sometime before that. Just don't expect the massive wing or rear diffuser to hit that car. Maybe on the options list?