In a much anticipated return to the World Endurance Championship, BMW’s M8 GTE racer is slated to take to the grid in 2018.
The last time a BMW race car took to the grid at a WEC event was the BMW M3 GT2 in 2011.
Set to go up against Ferrari, Ford, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Chevrolet, BMW ultimately hopes to win at Le Mans.
And to do that, it’ll need the M8 to be an incredible car.
With a 4.0-litre V8 instead of what will likely be the production 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 in the road car, the GTE makes around 375kW when tuned to race, which should be much less than the road-going M8 will have at its disposal.
This engine which BMW says is based on a production V8, will be mated to a sequential six-speed racing gearbox.
But with a kerb weight of only 1220kg through the extensive use of super light carbon fibre reinforced plastic, the racer is likely to be much lighter than the standard M8. As it should be.
BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt says the M8 GTE will debut at Daytona in late January.
“The BMW M8 GTE is our new GT flagship and will go head to head with the strong opposition in this sector,” says Marquardt.
More 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show news
“For us, the presentation of the uncamouflaged car at the IAA 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.”