It’s not often that a shiny new car stops people from taking a second look, whether they’re car lovers or not.
The new BMW M8 Competition does just that. It’s the most powerful BMW production car ever built, and it has the most Australian name you can give a car. Pronounced with an Australian accent, it reads Mate Competition.
It draws attention, in part, because it’s so loud, but the icy colors you can select, like the icy Marina Bay Blue on our test car, make it stand out even more.
It’s damn fast and turns heads, but does it live up to its exorbitant price tag? We hit the road to find out.
How much does the BMW M8 Competition cost?
Make sure you sit down. The price of the BMW M8 Competition 2020 is $352,900 before road costs.
You can choose from 20 colors, including seven frosted colors (the matte finish you see on our test car), plus a high-end Pure Silver Metallic color. The frosted colors will cost you $2,600 more, while the Pure Metal Silver color requires an investment of $10,400.
Other than that, the only two options of note are the Carbon Package ($10,300) and carbon ceramic brakes ($16,500), both fitted to our test car. The Carbon Package adds a carbon fiber spoiler and carbon inlays to the front splitter and side panels.
This is the first time a figure wrap has been used on a carbon fiber splitter.
What do you get?
As you can imagine, BMW has pulled everything on the M8 Competition, so the level of specification is quite high.
On the outside, you’ll find 20-inch alloy wheels, BMW Laserlight headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, soft-close doors, front and rear parking sensors, automatic boot closing and a night-vision camera.
Inside, you’ll find leather seats, a leather-wrapped dashboard, suede upholstery, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and armrest, a 16-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio system, head-up display, proximity entry, and start. , radar cruise control with automatic steering, dual-zone climate control, BMW iDrive OS7.0, and a 360-degree camera.
A note on laser headlights. They are very good. The visible range is increased to 600 m thanks to the use of lasers and mirrors in the headlamp cluster that project light through the yellow phosphor and then through the main lens.
They are coupled with an LED matrix feature to help project a high beam around other vehicles.
Is the BMW M8 Competition safe?
The BMW 8 Series has not been subjected to Euro NCAP or ANCAP crash tests, but it has low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
It also has a night vision camera capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists for greater protection.
There are a number of standard safety features, such as lane departure warning and lane keep assist, as well as safety technologies that prevent other vehicles from merging and mitigate the risk of other vehicles merging into you. .
What is the interior of the BMW M8 Competition like?
It is the definition of luxury. Merino leather as far as the eye can see and seats that hold you like a warm hug. There is a lot to like about the interior of the M8 Competition.
Piano black surrounds the center button console and carbon fiber is used in abundance for the rest. The striking gear lever of the BMW M850i is replaced by an M gear lever with M-coloured stitching and integrated shift intensity controls.
At the top of the dashboard is BMW iDrive OS7.0 in the form of a 10.25-inch screen that is operated as a touch screen or via the rotary control in the central tunnel. In front of the driver is another 10.25-inch screen for essential functions and a huge head-up display that works in two sizes: one larger and one more condensed.
This is the first time you will see a screen like this.
With 16,500 euros you can buy a set of 400 mm carbon ceramic front brakes with six-piston calipers. You can recognize them on the road with their golden clamps.
BMW has developed an excellent system for managing safety features and displays during track driving. The M button allows the driver to switch between normal mode (in which all displays and safety systems are activated), sport mode (in which the radio and non-critical safety systems are deactivated and a speedometer is displayed custom) or track mode. In its fastest and most focused setting, the center display is off, all safety systems (except stability control) are disabled and the focus is entirely on driving quickly without distractions.
Overall, OS7.0 is the best iteration of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. It’s fast, easy to use, and comes with a comprehensive voice recognition system capable of doing everything from making calls to entering destinations.
It is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging.
BMW has jumped into connected services and offers a number of paid apps that can be added to the car over time. This includes remote software updates to avoid unnecessary visits to the dealership. Leg and headroom in the front row is excellent, but we would have liked to see an extension of the seat belt arm to make it easier to put on. It can be a little out of reach in its normal position, and most convertibles and coupes in this segment have a retractable arm that shortens the belt. It’s a little complicated, I know.
In the second row, it will be difficult for you to fit anyone larger than a child. Adults have (barely) enough leg and knee room, but it’s the headroom that will have you sitting sideways. Like the Porsche 911, the seats are for emergency use only.
The fit and finish, as well as the build quality of the cabin, are excellent. It’s as tight as a drum and, for the most part, feels like it’s worth the $350,000 you spent.
It’s mated to a punchy 16-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio system and combines with the custom LED cabin lighting package for internal surround lighting in the speaker cage.
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