BMW M8 Competition Coupé: the Bavarian for a Million

3.2 seconds to 60 mph – a level of performance that until recently was reserved for cars like Ferrari and similar low-end vehicles with loud engines. The latest BMW M8 Competition Coupé, the Bavarian brand’s fastest and most expensive model, boldly enters this world.

The BMW 8 Series has held a special place in my heart for some time. I previously had the opportunity to test the the calm and composed 840i versionas well as allow myself a moment of madness in the wilder M850i. Both adventures, although completely different, I have fond memories, and that’s why the vision of confrontation with top variant of the model excited me so much.

At the same time, the BMW M8 Competition had been on my car bucket list for quite some time – after all, in every respect it was to be the most exciting car in the German manufacturer’s repertoire. One more factor added to its uniqueness – the tested car was valued at over a million zlotys. And you know that this amount is no mean feat. It is an absolute car top class.

Interestingly, BMW has already made an attempt to create the M8 model in the past. In the economically difficult 1990s a project based on the then iconic and luxurious 8 Series was created, which was supposed to rub shoulders with Ferrari and Porsche and show the sporting potential of the brand from Bavaria. Unfortunately, the 550-horsepower monster never made it into series production, and the sole prototype has been kept secret from the world, with only one public presentation in its history.

The second approach to the M8 was already successful and fully informed. The modern interpretation bears little resemblance to its 1990s predecessor, but is certainly no less spectacular and technically astounding. Mainly because of the 4.4-liter, turbocharged V8 engine, developing in the tested Competition version as much as 625 horsepower! This allows for cosmic performance – the first 100 metres after just 3.2 seconds, and on a German freeway the speed can reach 305 km/h. This is unbelievable for an almost two-ton BMW.

Equally spectacular is the look of the M8 Competition. I love the design of the new “8”, even more so here in a sporty edition. The carbon fiber elements work well with the phenomenal dark green optional paint and emphasize the dark image. Kudos to the BMW Polska team, who once again confirm their good taste and talent in configuring press cars.

As a result, this is not a car for those who value anonymity. The BMW M8 turns a lot of heads. We can easily convince ourselves of this while driving down Nadwislanska Street in Krakow on a warm evening, or during an ordinary traffic jam. Driving in traffic has an additional aspect – it is impossible to escape from those glances. Even at first glance you can see that this is an expensive and unique car, and that we are dealing with a serious sports competitor. Thus, it draws attention to itself much more than other models in the BMW range.

The interior of the BMW M8 Competition does not differ much from the other versions of the model, and is just as luxurious. The main difference is the gearshift lever, this time not crystal, but leather and with the operating principle known from other M models. Other than that, there are great sports seats with the illuminated M8 symbol, a massive steering wheel rim, an audio system from Bowers & Wilkins, carbon inserts and two programmable buttons that tempt you to set everything to Sport+ under its red color.

And once the red button is pressed, all the BMW M8 Competition magic happens, transporting you to the world of supercars. This is a frighteningly fast car. So much so that during the first few miles, many words came out of my mouth that my mom would not have been proud of. I found it hard to believe how easily and smoothly it accelerates from different speeds. It’s a true highway bullet that will be great for long road trips. What’s more, despite its considerable weight, it’s also surprisingly nimble in the corners, which will be a definite asset for weekend out-of-town rides.

I didn’t get a chance to take it to the track, but I’m sure that’s where the M8 Competition Coupé can fully spread its wings, and the driver will appreciate the firm, sporty suspension and the multitude of modes, such as brake force settings. Fortunately, as a substitute for trackside excitement, I was left with a launch procedure that shifts the insides and sinks deep into the memory.

But let’s not kid ourselves, not many BMW M8 Competition owners will take it to the track. The car will be more for daily or weekend driving, where the Competition version’s hard suspension can be a nuisance in the long run, especially in the city. Engine sound is also a disappointing issue. The M8 was caught up in new European standards that tied the hands of BMW engineers, making the M850i version released a few months earlier sound better in my opinion.

Despite appearances, it’s the M850i that may mess with the minds of many potential customers considering buying an M8. It seems more sensible and comfortable on a daily basis, while not much slower and much cheaper. At the same time, with each successive level of sport mode, the M8 shows how different it is from its weaker version. And it is these sporty emotions that will be decisive in this case.

On the way back to Warsaw I met a red Ferrari 458 Italia on my route. I caught up with them, exchanged smiles and thumbs up with the owner and for many kilometers we rode in a mini-convoy, one behind the other, at the legal speed of 120 km/h. As I admired the beauty of the Italian machine in the mirror, I realized an important thing – I felt like an equal competitor. This is a great compliment to BMW, and a beautiful testament to how fast motoring is evolving and how boldly premium sports cars are entering supercar territory.

Is the BMW M8 Competition worth a million zloty? The price of a retrofitted M8 already opens the door to an Aston Martin or Porsche. Looking at my bank balance, it would be ridiculous if I answered this question in all seriousness. But I am convinced that the sports-hungry fans of the Bavarian brand who have that million will reach for the M8 Competition without hesitation. And they will be delighted!

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