Better Eight than never! Yup, BMW is bringing back its flagship 8-Series coupe, after a gap of 18 years, and you can see it first in the UK at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.
JUN 19th 2017
BMW Concept 8‑Series to have UK debut at FOS!
Sure to be one of the most eagerly-awaited new-car previews at FOS this year, the all-new model is being shown in concept form that’s thought to be a dead ringer for the production version, due in showrooms next year.
The new Eight, which had its world debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy at the end of May, offers elegant coupe styling on a grand luxury scale. BMW chief Harald Krüger has said it will “add a genuine dream car to our line-up.”
Featuring BMW’s top tier of lightweight carbon tech and turbocharged performance, it is likely to share much with its sister-ship, the M760Li xDrive V12, which will also be on show in BMW’s dedicated display area in Goodwood’s Stable Yard. You can read more about the new Eight here.
The Concept 8-Series’ appearance will also give race fans a chance to check out its track potential. As well as a full-on M8 road car there will be an M8 GTE endurance version for both European GT racing and the IMSA series in the US, with a debut likely at the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018. There’s even an entry promised for Le Mans in 2018 – BMW’s first in seven years.
Also on show in the Stable Yard will be the latest BMW Art Car, the 19th in the series and this time a colourful take on the BMW M6 GTLM race car by American conceptual artist, John Baldessari.
Bimmers in action on the hill this year are headlined by the new M4 CS, latest in a distinguished line of M car special editions that began in the ‘80s with the E30 M3 Evolution. With a 7min 38sec Nordschleife time under its belt already, the lightweight CS will be driven in the Supercar Shootout by double British Touring Car Champion driver Colin Turkington along with BMW WSR teammates Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan, and television presenter and ex-racing driver, Tiff Needell.
“Motorsport’s game-changers” is the theme of this year’s FoS and BMW will be marking that with the appearance on the hillclimb of two epochal cars from the past. One is the V12 LMR that won overall victory in the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, the other is the exquisite Gordon Murray-designed Brabham BT52, the first turbocharged car to win a grand prix.
Famously the BT52’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine developed 1500bhp for qualifying, so steering it up the 1.16-miles at speed without mishap at Molecomb or a brush with the wall will need someone of special skill. BMW has that sorted, with the legend who is Ricardo Patrese taking the wheel in what is sure to be one of the weekend’s highlights. Another highlight will be touring car hero Roberto Ravaglia taking on the hill in a BMW M3 Group A DTM race car.
Fans of the two-wheeler variety are not left out in BMW’s FoS fest for 2017, with the sensational HP4 RACE superbike making its first appearance at Goodwood. The 750 limited-edition handmade racing machine is the world’s first motorcycle to offer a fully carbon frame and wheels. Another must-see will be former World Superbike Champion Troy Corser riding the BMW S1000 RR Seniro TT 2104 up the hill.