The mind-bending acceleration delivered by the BMW M8’s 617-hp twin-turbo V-8 is strong enough to get the car to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. At 10.7 seconds the M8 reaches 129 mph as it covers a quarter-mile of road. That’s quicker than a 710-hp Ferrari 488 Pista from something with a rear seat weighing more than two tons. Chalk it up to all-wheel drive traction and an overachieving engine. The M8 is crazy-fast, but its smooth delivery of felony speeds and its bolted-to-the-road stability make driving fast feel almost responsible. Available as both a coupe and convertible (the four-door M8 Gran Coupe is reviewed separately), the M8 cockpit is well-appointed and uses a large infotainment screen to handle navigation or audio selection. However, its rear seat isn’t a practical space. As one of the most affordable cars that will get you into 10-second quarter miles every time you try, the M8 is a big coupe with even bigger performance numbers.
What’s New for 2023?
There are only a few changes applied to the BMW M8 for 2023. The kidney grille has been slightly redesigned and now illuminates, and every M8 receives a new 12.3-inch infotainment display.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since the M8 coupe costs considerably less and is better suited for racetrack action, we’d recommend it over the convertible. Both body styles come with a handsome number of standard luxuries, so we’d only select options that help unlock the M8’s full performance potential. These include the M Carbon ceramic brakes, which BMW says reduce weight and are built to better withstand track abuse. To ensure owners are best prepared to handle the coupe’s brute power, the M Driver’s package includes one day of performance driving school. Even better, it raises the top speed limiter from 155 to 189 mph.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The M8 is powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The mighty mill pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that can disengage power to the front axle. We’ve spent some time behind the wheel of the coupe and convertible M8 Competition where we marveled at their refined manners and right-now powertrain responses. When we strapped our test gear to the 4251-pound M8 Comp coupe we were blown away by its ridiculously quick acceleration, reaching 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. Despite an exhaust note that doesn’t quite excite like rivals from Mercedes-AMG, the BMW is blindingly quick, and its automatic is brilliantly perceptive. Although the all-wheel-drive system is intended to provide rear-drive thrills, we found that provoking power slides is best left for the safety of an empty parking lot or a race track. The M8 didn’t punish us on regular roads, thanks a compliant ride that belies its track-focused capabilities. However, don’t mistake its pleasantness for weakness. The M8 chassis has tremendous levels of grip and telegraphs some feedback to the thick-rimmed steering wheel. The M8’s combination of quickness and nimbleness makes it a compelling partner anytime the road opens up or turns twisty. Unfortunately, more than half of the coupe’s 4251-pound curb weight is over the front axle, which could contribute to its reluctance to rotate more freely. Likewise, we found the braking system’s adjustable pedal feel less-than-engaging.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The M8 coupe and convertible are expected to be equally fuel inefficient in the city and on the highway. That is to say they’re all expected to earn 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. While we haven’t tested any M8 on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, we’ll evaluate its real-world mpg once we have the opportunity to do so. For more information about the M8’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
As with most BMW M cars, the M8’s interior design and passenger space are virtually identical to the regular models’. Although the design doesn’t strike us as very imaginative, the leather surfaces are beautifully stitched together and the trim pieces are appropriately upscale. Every M8 comes standard with luxurious features that include customizable ambient lighting, a 12.1-inch digital gauge cluster, heated and ventilated front seats, a nappa leather-covered dashboard, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and wireless charging. Its cabin provides plenty of space for front-seat passengers but makes those banished to the small back seat feel like second-class citizens. Those who want an M8 and need to regularly shuttle more than two people will want to consider the much roomier, four-door M8 Gran Coupe. We managed to fit five carry-on suitcases in the trunk of a regular 8-series coupe, so we expect the M8 to provide the same amount of storage.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Nestled in the middle of the dashboard on every M8 is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that acts as the hub of BMW’s infotainment system. The main display is complemented by a rotary controller and physical buttons on the center console. The interface features crisp graphics and quick responses, but some of the menus are heavily packed and require the driver to take their eyes off the road. Still, the system’s voice commands worked well, and it can even be optioned with gesture controls. Desirable standard features include Apple CarPlay (but not Android Auto), a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The coupe and convertible are available with myriad driver-assistance technology, which includes options such as self-parking assist and night vision. For more information about the M8’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available blind-spot monitoring
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty that aligns with those of its high-performance rivals. The company also offers one of the longest complimentary maintenance plans in the industry.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2020 BMW M8 Competition
front-engine, rear/all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
PRICE AS TESTED
$175,745 (base price: $147,995)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-8, aluminum block and heads
268 in3, 4395 cm3
617 hp @ 6000 rpm
553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.7-in vented, cross-drilled, carbon-ceramic disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4; F: 275/35ZR-20 102Y ★ R: 285/35ZR-20 104Y ★
Wheelbase: 111.3 in
Length: 191.8 in
Width: 75.1 in
Height: 53.6 in
Passenger volume: 81 ft3
Trunk volume: 15 ft3
Curb weight: 4251 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.5 sec
100 mph: 6.3 sec
150 mph: 15.5 sec
170 mph: 22.0 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.4 sec
1/4 mile: 10.7 sec @ 129 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 189 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 146 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 288 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.03 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 15 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/19/26 mpg