BMW is powering into Porsche and Aston Martin country with its fastest and most powerful sports cars to date.
Aimed squarely at the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage, the new BMW M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible mark the German brand's first foray into the world of luxury supercar motoring with prices starting from Â£123,435 for the Coupe and Â£130,435 for the drop-top model.
Performance credentials are impressive with the Coupe able to rocket from standstill to 60mph in little more than three seconds and from zero to 124mph in 10.6 seconds - around the time it takes a ‘warm' hatch to cover the 0-60mph sprint. The Convertible is only marginally slower and both cars will go on to an electronically-limited maximum 0f 155mph, rising to 189mph if the optional M Driver's Package is specified.
The new models are fitted with the most powerful engine ever developed for a BMW M series car - a high-revving, 4.4 litre, V8 unit with twin-turbo technology developing 625hp. The high-performance power unit is mated to an eight-speed Steptronic auto transmission which channels 750Nm of torque to the road via BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system which has a rear-wheel bias to optimise traction.
The driver can choose various settings for the engine, suspension, steering and braking, independently of one another and the sophisticated electronics even allow drivers to select and store their preferred settings for the engine sound, gearshift characteristics, driving stability control and auto start stop function.
As you might expect for this kind of money, standard specification is generous, although, in normal BMW fashion, there are a number of what the company calls ‘exclusive' options available for those who want to spend even more.
The interior design features red accents and the newly developed, electrically-adjustable sports seats have perforated 3D quilting, pronounced side bolsters, clearly defined shoulder areas and integral head restraints with illuminated model badges. Full Merino leather trim is standard, and both cars come exclusively with bi-colour leather/Alcantara trim.
BMW's Comfort Access system, telephony with wireless charging, the BMW display key, 12.3 inch digital instrumentation screen, 10.25 inch infotainment touchscreen with voice and gesture control, head-up display, driving and parking assistance systems, automatic, hands-free boot opening, rear view camera, navigation, adaptive LED headlights, automatic roll-over protection and ambient lighting are all included.
The Convertible's fabric soft top can be opened and closed in just 15 seconds at speeds up to 31mph and addition standard fittings include a wind deflector and seat-mounted air collars.