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The new BMW M8 will come in three shapes

BMW’s new flagship to be offered in Coupe, Gran Coupe and Cabrio

In a world that seemingly can’t get enough of high performance cars, there’s yet more news that will keep the horsepower addicts out of rehab a while longer. Because BMW bosses have strongly hinted that the M8 will come in three flavours: coupe, gran coupe (previewed in concept form above) and cabriolet. And, that the M8 version of the 8 Series will be a completely different beast to the regular 8 Series.

“The 850i isn’t just 80 per cent of the M8. The M8 will have a totally different character.” So said Markus Flasch, head of the 8 Series vehicle line, speaking to TopGear.com. Given that the 850i we drove recently doesn’t exactly feel down on power, that makes the M8 one mouth-watering, and also mildly terrifying, prospect.

It’s all part of a clear brief that BMW has set itself for the 8 Series – keep the car as focused as possible. As such, this car will sit at the top of the BMW sports car tree – 7 Series leads on tech, 8 Series is the lead athlete. And although that job was previously done by the 6 Series, the 8 isn’t a replacement for it. BMW isn’t killing the 6 off, just not replacing it for the time being.

All of which makes sense of the fact that this is the first time BMW has launched the race car ahead of the road car. The M8 GTE has been going hard at it in the GTLM class in the IMSA championship, up against the likes of the Ford GT and Porsche 911 RSR. And Flasch is clear that knowledge gained from one feeds into the other – the race team is based just 400m down the road from the production car people.

So it comes as little surprise that Flasch confirmed that the 8 Series will not have a plug-in hybrid version. Despite the current clamouring for everything to be electric, Flasch said that there was no internal pressure to “compromise this car” and offer a plug-in hybrid version.

“Of course we can do one if customers want it, but that is not the intention at this time. We have other cars that fulfil the hybrid sports car remit. This [the 8-Series] is a pure sports car.”

So there you have it folks – yet more M cars to keep us all happy. Let us know in the comments below if this will sate your power addiction.

Photography: Mark Riccioni

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