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BMW shows M8 GTE racer at Frankfurt. Image by BMW.

BMW shows M8 GTE racer at Frankfurt
M8 will race against fierce competition in top international GT category from next year
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Newer articles featuring 2018 BMW 8 Series

2018-01-24: BMW teases new 8 Series coupe

What's all this about?

This long, low, sleek, menacing creature is BMW Motorsport's new M8 GTE racer, the car that the German marque has built to take on the likes of the Porsche 911 and Ford GT head-on in the FIA's top GT racing category. It will compete in the 2018 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), debuting at the Daytona 24 Hours in January and tackling the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, as well as other iconic events.

How fast is it?

Racing cars rarely have speedos; it's all about lap times. It will be very, very quick though, with only 1,220kg for the circa-500hp V8 engine to push around, slick tyres and meaningful downforce, the more powerful M8 road car won't see which way it went on track.

Why is it less powerful than the road car?

Blame regulations intended to ensure close racing between GTE-class cars which can vary in size from little Lotus Evoras to the brutish M8. It's a formula that has worked, and the battles throughout the class can often be tighter than those in the prototype categories.

How come it's so light?

Widespread use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic, as well as a ruthless gram-shaving program has allowed the M8 to get down to the minimum weight allowed in the class. There's been some innovative production methods at play, too; rapid prototyping and 3D printing allow quick turnaround times for bespoke parts, while 'artificial intelligence' was used to help develop the car's traction control system. Let's hope it doesn't become self-aware any time soon...

Will it win?

Hard to tell when you consider the competitiveness of the GTE class, although BMW Motorsport is no stranger to success. Remember Le Mans 1999, when the works Mercedes CLRs started taking flight? The overall win went to BMW that year, so don't be too surprised if the M8 GTE is quick straight out of the box come Daytona in January.

Maurice Malone - 12 Sep 2017

Earlier articles featuring 2018 BMW 8 Series

2017-05-11: BMW set to revive 8 Series
2017-05-25: BMW previews new 8 Series Coupe

2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.

2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.2018 BMW M8 GTE racer. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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