The 2018 BMW M8 GTE is probably the automaker’s top of the range model for the international GT racing scene. That’s why there’s no better venue to launch it than at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA).
We know that the 8 Series Coupe will go on sale after completing the track next season. It will first head to the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) following its appearance at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA).
The BMW M8 GTE that is currently on display at Frankfurt is an indication of innovative and cutting-edge technology. It came with a BMW M Sport livery, which was specially designed for this occasion. This also gives us a preview of what’s to come in 2018.
The first production model rolled off the company’s Dingolfing plant in Germany on 1st July 2017. This is the same place where the BMW 8 Series will be manufactured as well. With the development of the BMW M8 GTE, there is a close link between production and motor racing. Having said that, the knowledge they have gained from racing will be incorporated in the development of the production model.
Under the hood is a 4.0 liter TwinPower Turbo V8 engine, that helps produce as much as 500 horsepower, depending on the classification. This engine has been developed to focus on the efficiency and maximum durability, while being paired to a six-speed racing gearbox that gives power to the wheels.
What’s even more interesting with this model is the fact that it was developed with an artificial intelligence (AI) system, making “virtual development” an important role for this model. An example of this would be the traction control that works with an AI.
As for design, racing and production engineers worked together to build the framework of the BMW M8 GTE. The engineers have made use of lightweight materials and design for the model. With the use of ultra-light CFRP components, it has lost a ton of weight. Overall, it weighs just 1,220 kilograms, with its dimensions of 4,980mm long and 2,046mm wide. When looking at the design, it will remind one of both the 8 Series and the M8. This can be seen mostly on the roofline and the front and rear light design.
So far, the development of the BMW M8 GTE is right on schedule, which means that we should see this as early as next year as it goes on the racetrack.
For some back story, it was in 1939 when BMW first brought a car out to the 24 Hour Le Mans. It was the BMW 328 that took victory after 236 laps of racing. But since 1972, BMW cars have focused on the endurance classic.