BMWis in the process of developing a race version of its M8 sedan to compete in the World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans beginning in 2018.
The M8 GTE will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show next month and made its track debut early last month. It is powered by a race-prepped turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine and six-speed sequential gearbox and gets bespoke high-performance parts.
WEC regulations restrict the M8 GTE to about 500hp, approximately 115hp less than the road-going M8’s expected output. However, the GTE’s extreme chassis set-up and lighter weight will ensure it is significantly faster on track.
BMW intends to use the M8’s racing involvements to boost development of the next M8 road car. The road car will arrive after the regular 8-series is launched internationally. The standard flagship sedan is expected at the Los Angeles motor show in December.
The German manufacturer’s entry into next year’s WEC and Le Mans will see it compete against Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche for GTE class honours. The M8 GTE will take the top spot in BMW’s motorsport range replacing the M6 GT3. It will be the first factory BMW to enter Le Mans since 2011.
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