No sooner has BMW resurrected the 8 Series, and you’re already spoilt for choice if you’re trying to up the performance stakes – will it be the BMW M8 or the AC Schnitzer ACS8?
It would have been nice to have something more worthy of Claus Luthe’s and Klaus Kapitza’s original, but the E31 BMW 8 Series is too tough an act to follow.
At least from a design perspective, because when it came out almost 30 years ago, the 8 Series was and remains a timeless machine. We’ll see how this resurrected 8 Series fares, but BMW is sure quick to rectify at least one of its past mistakes.
Back in the 1990s there never was an official BMW M8, and although prototypes were built and it was a close run thing with a production green light, it never materialized and we were forever left to wonder what this leather-bound autobahn cruiser could do on a mountain pass or race track.
Now BMW didn’t want to miss another opportunity which is why there is a BMW M8, and since they’re at it, it may as well be the most expensive and most powerful M car ever. These accolades belong to the 2020 BMW M8 Competition, powered b a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine making 625bhp and 750Nm of torque. This allows for a sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds, since of course the M8 is all wheel drive which ever one you go for.
The Competition variant also throws in 100mm wide tailpipes, and specific chassis adjustments plus stiffer engine mounts. Optionally you can also add carbon-ceramic brakes which are pretty huge – they measure 400mm up front and 380mm at the back, so you need 20-inch forged wheels to clear them. Additionally the M8 Competition includes tech like BMW’s Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus as standard plus everything else you can imagine in a car straddling this price bracket. Which, by the way, is in the $160,000 to $200,000 range…
If the real thing doesn’t do it for you, you can try AC Schnitzer’s take on the BMW 8 Series. The German tuner has turned out the new AC Schnitzer ACS8, which is based on the M850i xDrive and upstate stakes with an engine tune that delivers 620 horsepower.
The rest is all about carbon fibre and an aggressive body kit that includes some bumper flicks. AC Schnitzer also drops the suspension by 20mm, and fills the arches with massive split-spoke wheels. Seeing as the tuner also offers a BMW M5 Competition kit that goes up to 720 horsepower, we can see where things are headed in the future for the M8 in the aftermarket world.