The M8 GTE will compete against the likes of the Ferrari 488, Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage and Ford GT, and BMW hopes that lessons learned on the track will help the M8 be a rival for those cars on the road.
At the Frankfurt International Motor Show however, BMW has launched the M8 GTE, which gives a better idea at what the road-going 8-Series could look like. We have a feeling however, they won't. Boo. However, we know the roof line and design of the front and rear lights will be carried over.
The engine of the M8 GTE is a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, the same seen in the M6 GT3 racer, producing 372kW. It's good for a base output of 493bhp, and is hooked up to a six-speed sequential racing gearbox.
There's lots of clever tech incorporated into the design and manufacturing of the auto to improve its performance.
Both the M8 GTE and the road vehicle feature significant weight reductions through the extensive use of ultra-light carbon fiber-reinforced plastic components.
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The M8 GTE is 4980mm long without the rear wing, 2046mm wide without the specially designed wing mirrors, and 1212mm tall, while it wheelbase measures in at 2880mm. It will be the first factory BMW to enter Le Mans since 2011, and with Toyota all on its tod in the LMP1 hybrid category, the inclusion of another German firm into the GTE category could mean that Le Mans in 2018 focuses more on GT cars.
Taking the baton from the M6 GT3, the M8 GTE is BMW's Motorsport's halo vehicle. Not a bad thing.
A fascinating aspect of the M8 GTE's engineering was the use of artificial intelligence in developing the multi-stage traction control, along with 3D printing technology.
BMW also confirmed that the M8, which goes on sale next year, will feature beefed up brakes and a sports exhaust.
Look for the BMW M8 GTE to make its racing debut at next year's 24 Hours of Daytona.