When BMW announced the end of the 6 Series, its departure also meant the end of the M6's participation in racing. The new 8 Series will replace it both on the road and the track, and its racecar variant is looking good.
The BMW M8 GTE gives us a look at the next generation of BMW's racecar. This car will hit the track before the 8 Series goes on sale at dealerships, which should help boost demand. It will participate in the next season of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Yes, that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans. BMW hasn't fielded a car at Le Mans since 2011, so that's pretty big news.
Under the hood of the M8 GTE is a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 that's restricted to approximately 500 horsepower, depending on what class the car's racing in. The block and head are standard production units. A six-speed sequential racing transmission sends all that power to the rear wheels.
The M8 GTE looks gorgeous. It takes the lines of the 8 Series and exaggerates them with wild carbon fiber body panels and a honkin' wing out back. Thanks to all that carbon fiber, the M8 GTE weighs just 2,689 pounds, which is only about 300 pounds heavier than a new Mazda MX-5.
BMW claims that there's a good deal of production 8 Series design language in the M8 GTE. If you take a close look at the headlights, taillights and roof, you'll be seeing them again very soon.