At What Car? we like to disseminate the facts about cars in the most transparent fashion, so, to explain the difference between the BMW M8 and the regular BMW 8 Series, we’ve devised the curry rating. It works like this: the regular BMW 8 Series is rated jalfrezi because it’s pretty pokey; the BMW M8 – the subject of this review – tops out at vindaloo.
Yes, the M8 – whether you choose the coupé or convertible version – is as spicy as a tabasco pepper soaked in methanol and then set on fire. It uses the same engine as the BMW M5 saloon but with even higher power and torque outputs: 616bhp and 553lb ft respectively.
The M8 comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, but you can set it to rear-wheel drive if you’re feeling bold. Performance upgrades are available, such as a delimited top speed of 189mph (the default is a limited 155mph) and carbon-ceramic brakes, which retain their effectiveness for longer on a race track.
Despite all the above, the M8 isn't solely about performance. No, BMW says it’s as much about luxury, hence it comes equipped with many toys. If many isn’t enough, you can option many, many more. You can also further individualise your M8, upholstering it with bespoke leathers or Alcantara, or adding lashings of carbonfibre to its exterior.
Is it any good, though? Read on to find that out, as well as, more importantly, how it stacks up against its rivals. These are many and varied; from the sportier corner, there’s the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, while the Bentley Continental GT and Mercedes S-Class Coupé (and Cabriolet) cover the luxury end of the market. The M8 is designed to sit between those two extremes.
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