The BMW M8 GTE Has Huge Kidney Grille Nostrils

BMW's newest race car that marks its return to Le Mans looks imposing. Can it beat every other competitor?

BMW

Earlier this year, BMW announced that it would be killing the 6-series model line. The big coupe void in its lineup would be replaced by a new, more upmarket model that used an old name: the 8-series. BMW also announced that the M version of the 8-series would bring the company back to Le Mans in 2018.

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This is the M8 GTE. Take a look at that honking schnoz.

What you see here is our first look at a 'production' 8-series, since we've only seen the concept version so far. A lot of what we saw on the concept seems to have made it straight through to the race car, which means also to the road car.

BMW

First, we have the huge kidney grilles, which have to be big enough to park the old M6 in. There's a unique design for the mirrors, undoubtedly for aero efficiency, but we hope those make it to the M8 road car as well, since they're a very interesting design. The all-carbon fiber M8 GTE has the same head and tail lights, as well as the roofline as the production M8.

Around back, we have sleek taillights that look exactly like those on the concept. In fact, the M8 GTE looks like a next gen version of the M6 GT3, just with a new name and styling updates. And since the M6 was always a very pretty car, that gives us confidence that the M8 will be more of the same.

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BMW

The M8 GTE is powered by a motorsport version of BMW's twin-turbo V8. Displacement for the class is capped at 4.0 liters with more than 500 hp, depending on where it's racing. That power goes to the rear-wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. We expect the M8 road car to have BMW's 4.4 liter V8, all-wheel drive, and an eight-speed automatic, much like the M5 that it'll share many components with.

BMW says that the M8 GTE will make its race debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January. It hasn't been announced what team will be running the cars in America, but BMW's current partner Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing should be in the running to field the cars. We can't wait to see it on track.

BMW
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