We’re about 2 months away from having the fastest BMW M model ever offered make Australian landfall, or so says the Munich automaker’s local arm. The M8 Competition Coupe is slated for a Q1 2020 launch, but its starting price of $352,900 and corresponding spec sheet has been revealed earlier than expected.
As stated, the flagship BMW two-door will be arriving in its most potent form yet revealed. The Competition endows the standard M8 with even more performance and better handling through a bevy of small but significant tweaks, though the latter is highlighted by suspension tech derived from the M8 GTE race car.
A double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension are paired to an overall stiffer suspension setup and engine mounts as well as additional strengthening braces for an altogether tauter chassis and sharpened response. In addition, the S63 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 has been tuned to yield outputs of 460kW and 750Nm - a 13kW hike - courtesy of a revised induction system.
As with nearly all BMW M cars of this newest generation, drive is channelled through an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission the company has now branded as M Steptronic, from which the M xDrive four-wheel drive system distributes power between the front and rear axles.
With launch control engaged and all-four wheels primed, the M8 Competition is able to dispatch the 100km/h sprint in just 3.2 seconds before reaching a de-limited top speed of 305km/h. Prior to this, most BMWs would tend to falter in standing sprints next to their respective rivals from AMG and Audi Sport (which had embraced all-paw drive much earlier), especially in less than ideal conditions.
Due to BMW engineering the driveline to be able to fully decouple the front wheels, activating 2WD mode will have the M8 Competition behave exactly as any rear-driven car would, retaining those classic characteristics we’ve come to associate with the marque.
In addition to an entire roof constructed in Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer, there are plenty of other exterior bits finished in CFRP, with the lightweight material given a high gloss finish and used as intake surrounds for the kidney grilles, M-specific side mirrors, front air vanes, front splitter, side sills, and rear diffuser element.
Inside, the car takes its best swing at blending a sport-focused interior with premium materials and finishings. The M Sport seats, for example, are given the full quilted Merino leather treatment while the dashboard and instrument panel are finished in ‘Walkanappa’ leather.
Elsewhere, the rest of the cabin trimmings receive Carbon Fibre inserts as standard, though this can be switched out with the BMW Individual Piano Black accents at no extra cost. Other creature comforts are par for the course in a high-end BMW, including wireless smartphone charging, a fully digital instrument cluster running BMW OS 7 in tandem with iDrive, and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond audio system.