Typically, we the public see the production model of a sports car long before its racing variant. Not so with the new BMW 8 Series, the racing version of which made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Dubbed the M8 GTE, the car will be competed in the FIA WEC and IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, starting with the 2018 24 Hours of Daytona in January.
Per BMW, the racer is being developed in parallel with the production car and that learnings from the track will carry over onto the street.
Powering the M8 GTE is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 good for over 500 hp. BMW says the head and block are from the production engine, so we can expect the to see the same mill in the street car. A six-speed sequential gearbox handles transmission duties.
The 2,689-lb car race car rides on a 113.4-inch wheelbase and has a footprint that’s 196.1 inches long and 80.6 inches wide. While the production M8 will certainly be heavier, as well as substantially taller than the racer’s 47.7-inch height, the footprint should be very similar.
BMW says that the M8 GTE will take to the track before the M8 debuts for the street, so don’t expect a production debut until the 2018 Geneva Motor Show at the earliest.