What It Is: The BMW M8 is the first supercar from the blue-spinner crew since 1981, when the last of the 453 BMW M1s were sold. The M8 coupe will feature a few retro design cues, but also state-of-the-art gasoline-powertrain technology. The structure and body will use lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber, aluminum, magnesium, and even titanium, in pursuit of a 2760-pound target weight.
Why It Matters: As BMW downsizes its mainstream models and introduces electric cars, it runs the risk of degrading its sporting image. A car like the M8 would burnish the reputation of BMW Motorsports.
Platform: The new M8 will be built on the platform of the i8, a futuristic carbon-fiber plug-in hybrid that uses some 5-series components.
Powertrain: An upgraded version of the M5’s direct-injected 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo, coupled to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. BMW engineers are talking 600 to 650 horsepower.
Competition: Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Porsche 911 Turbo.
What Might Go Wrong: BMW boss Norbert Reithofer is not a fan of this car, but the head of BMW M GmbH, Friedrich Nitschke, is. The top boss could cancel the project at the last minute. The reason: The M8 doesn’t strictly comply with BMW’s 21st-century technology strategy, which focuses on alternative powertrains and smart connectivity.
Estimated Arrival and Price: Due in BMW’s centennial year of 2016, the M8’s target price is 250,000 euros, or $330,000 at current exchange rates.