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Barnstorming BMW M8 Coupe locked in for Australia

John Law

BMW Australia this week confirmed pricing and arrival details of their barnstorming new M8 Competition Coupe. The car will arrive in the second quarter of 2020 and sit above the current range-topping M50i xDrive, with the M8 Competition offering more focus and more poke from that car’s 4.4-litre V8, while setting punters back $352,900 (driveaway price not yet available).

That’s an impost of $77,000 over the M850i – but the M8 is a bona fide M car, competing in a world of kilometre crushing GTs such as the Bentley Continental GT, recently facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT, and coming 992 gen Porsche 911 Turbo. While the M850i blends comfort with pace, the M8 will almost certainly best it on track.

The M8 Competition coupe has identical outputs to the already-announced, four-door M8 Gran Coupe Competition due later in 2020. The pair make 460kW of power at 6,000rpm, and an impressive 750Nm of torque between 1,600rpm and 5,600rpm. The V8 will sling the coupe to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds – 0.6 seconds quicker than the M850i two-door – while heading on to a very respectable top speed of 305km/h.

2020 BMW M8 - Detail 1

Drive is transferred through an eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox – as found in the X5M and X6M Competition – to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Rear wheel drive fans need not worry though, as when all traction aids are disabled the M8 Competition will disconnect the front axle and – with help from the active M Differential – perform obligatory smokey slides.

Suspension geometry has been revised over the regular 8 Series, increasing negative camber up to 1.2º from 0.75º for more front-end bite. The M8 gets stiffer engine mounts, and in a first for BMW, adjustable brake feel with comfort and sport settings.

Steel brakes with blue calipers are standard – however you can option a set of carbon ceramic items for a whopping $16,500. The upgrade won’t just be easy to feel – it’ll be easy to spot, too, as it adds snazzy gold calipers.

2020 BMW M8 - Ext 1

Although we’ve seen images of the M8 Coupe before, it’s still important to mention just how good it looks. BMW really nailed the proportions for the 8 Series range, all the cars sit low and wide and the M specific bumpers, side skirts and bonnet lend a perfect amount of extra aggression to the car. The M8 Coupe also gets a distinctive double-bubble carbon reinforced roof to keep the centre of gravity low.

Inside the M8 gets a sportier treatment that the non-M models, ditching the rather elaborate crystal gear-selector (which we’ve grown to love) in favour of a more restrained piano-black and leather item. There are also extra red highlights to be found on the starter button and shift paddles. Overall it looks to be a more athletic than luxurious place to be.

As usual, buyers will be able to pick from a suit of interior options, with choices from classy woodgrain, piano black, or carbon fibre, as well as Ivory white and navy blue leather, or black and Tartufo tan as pictured here.

2020 BMW M8 - Int 1

Australia will only get Competition spec M8, while European markets also have access to a detuned M8 making 447kW. Australian-delivered cars will be equipped with a high specification. 

Highlights include comfort access, heated and cooled M sport seats, heated steering wheel and armrests, laser headlights with auto high-beam, digital dashboard, the latest iDrive with gesture and voice controls, merino leather and individual paintwork included in the $352,900 price.

BMW continue to offer some great colours including the Frozen Marina Bay blue hue pictured here – a $2,600 option – as well as several other matte paints including Frozen Dark brown. BMW will also offer no-cost individual metallic paints, including Aventurine red and Almandine brown. 

2020 BMW M8 - Ext 3

A Carbon exterior package which brings carbon capped mirrors, rear spoiler, front apron, and rear diffuser will increase the price of the M8 Competition by $10,600.

Overall the M8 Competition Coupe is more expensive, more powerful, stiffer and more focussed than the M850i xDrive cousin, we’re excited to experience the prodigious power for ourselves in 2020.