There’s a new top dog in BMW’s M brand, the M8 Coupe and Convertible. While they will inevitably be the fodder of badge-worshippers and social climbers, they’re also legitimate performers. Both use the S63 4.4-liter turbo V-8 engine, which has been proven to be quite the powerplant in the M5. It produces a stout 600 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque.
The impressive setup includes direct injection, upgraded cooling/oil supply, plus cross-bank exhaust manifolds. BMW puts the turbos inside the engine’s V, which cuts down on lag and helps with heat management.
If you want to push further, BMW is offering a Competition variant for both the M8 Coupe and Convertible. It bumps output up to 617 horsepower. While peak torque is the same, BMW says additional tuning makes it available for an extra 160 rpm. These models also have stiffer engine mounts, boosting response and improving handling. An M Sport exhaust system is included, plus the driver can change the exhaust note using the M Sound Control button in the center console — you know, so you don’t wake up the neighbors.
Thankfully, the new M8s aren’t just a lot of power and show, but not much go. The Coupe can sprint from 0-60 in just 3.1 seconds, while the Convertible does it in 3.2 seconds. Choose the BMW M8 Competition Coupe and you can do it in a flat 3.0 seconds.
Sadly but not surprisingly, you can’t get a stick with any of these cars, no matter how much you beg. Instead, an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with fancy, shmancy Drivelogic comes standard. Oh, there’s a “manual mode” but that’s actually somewhat insulting. M xDrive and all kinds of other goodies are included.
The 2020 BMW M8 will arrive at dealerships this fall.