The wraps came off the M8 GTE, resplendent in the traditional – and fabulous – BMW Motorsport colours, during the Frankfurt Motorshow in Germany.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “The BMW M8 GTE is our new GT flagship and will go head to head with the strong opposition in this sector.”
Marquardt is referring, of course, to Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche – the five marques against which BMW will compete in what is a hugely competitive and popular class of sportscar racing.
“For us,” Marquardt added, “the presentation of the uncamouflaged car at the IAA [Frankfurt] is the next important step on the road to our first race outing, which we plan to be the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2018. The FIA WEC and the IMSA series in North America are a top competitive environment for our new challenger. With the BMW M8 GTE, we are bringing cutting-edge technology to the top international class of GT racing, whilst at the same time tying in with our tradition at Le Mans. The development of the BMW M8 GTE is on schedule, and we can hardly wait to see the car challenging for victories in 2018.”
The M8 GTE is powered by a 4-litre turbocharged V8 engine, mated to a six-speed gearbox, with ‘virtual development’ of the electronics – including the traction control being tweaked with the help of artificial intelligence – helping to ramp up the sophistication.