2019 BMW M8 Competition Review | carsales

2019 BMW M8 Competition Review | carsales

With 460kW of firepower under the bonnet,
the BMW M8 Competition is claimed to be the manufacturer’s fastest production car ever. And what better place than here at the Portimao
racetrack in Portugal to unleash all those neddies. In either of the two M modes, the engine produces
staggering output and peak torque is available from as low as 1800rpm. This is one powerplant that doesn’t need to
be revved to high heaven for optimal performance. In fact, the M8 will pull hard out of tight
bends even in gears that would too high for rapid acceleration in most other cars. But that’s not to say the turbo V8 won’t rev. If anything, it’s an engine that is so refined
and free spinning that it will catch out drivers expecting it to hold on for another 500 rpm
beyond the redline. Watching the tacho becomes imperative, especially
when the vehicle is operating in manual shift mode. Naturally, it’s an engine that sounds wonderful
when driven to its ceiling speed and with the induction system pumping massive quantities
of air and fuel into the combustion chambers. The M8 Competition isn’t all about the engine,
however. An eight-speed ZF automatic and BMW’s xDrive
all-wheel drive setup with an Active M differential work together for excellent straight-line
traction. BMW engineers have tuned the M8 Competition
chassis for adjustable handling – the car will understeer or oversteer according to
the driver’s choice, and too much throttle or easing right off into a bend will bring
the tail out, but in a secure, predictable arc. If the driver brakes later or powers on gently
through a bend, the M8 Competition will widen its line. This is a challenging track, but the M8 is
handling the elevation and tight turns very capably. Ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers at
the front and soft-compound Pirelli tyres keep the M8 Competition pointing in the right
direction – usually – and provide excellent feedback for the driver. As much as the track session highlighted the
BMW’s brilliant dynamic ability, it offered little opportunity to assess the M8 Competition
for much else, although we can say that the driving position is great, but rear-seat accommodation
is lacking for taller passengers. Ultimately, in any case, the M8 Competition
is a car for the driver. Buyers in love with the BMW brand will fall
head over heels for the M8 Competition, and not even a projected price tag somewhere north
of $300,000 will deter them. Nor should it.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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