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BMW M8 GTE Revealed; Completes Initial Three-Day Test

BMW releases first photos of new M8 GTE car, completes first test…

Photo: BMW

BMW’s new-for-2018 GT challenger has been revealed, with the German manufacturer releasing the first photos of the BMW M8 GTE.

The car, which will debut in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, continued its development program last week, completing a three-day test at the Lausitzring with drivers Martin Tomczyk and Maxime Martin at the wheel.

It came following its initial rollout at BMW’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany on July 1.

“To see the BMW M8 GTE on the racetrack makes me very proud,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt.

“Everyone involved has done a magnificent job in recent months to allow us to reach this milestone in the development of our new flagship for the GT racing scene.

“In the first instance, the purpose of a test like this is obviously to get to know the car.

“In this regard, greater emphasis is placed on the safety aspect than performance. However, the first impression of the BMW M8 GTE out on the track is a very positive one.”

Former DTM champion Tomczyk said he had “great fun” in the car. BMW did not release any further details on the initial test.

“The BMW M8 GTE is good to drive from the outset, and it is easy for us drivers to work out the way it handles, which is important,” he said.

“We got a lot of kilometers under our belt, and gathered a lot of data. We also took our first steps with regard to performance, which is by no means a given at a first test.

“We will obviously work more intensively on that at the coming tests, and will build on the strong basis we established here at the Lausitzring.”

Photo: BMW

Photo: BMW

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Kyle

    July 20, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Looks sleeker, less clunky compared to the M6. I kinda dig it.

    • Slicks in the wet

      July 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Maybe less like a box, but it also looks like a bloated bar of soap now….

      • ol

        July 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm

        which is what most cars look like these days

        huge bars of soap with tiny windows. they are only getting bigger

  2. Luc

    July 20, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Me too, but I guess we’ll be surprised at how big it is compared to other cars. Also the 8 is bigger than the 6. Behold!

    • EH

      July 20, 2017 at 11:28 am

      No it’s not. It shares the 5 platform just like the current 6.

  3. Mark Twain

    July 20, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Interesting rear spoiler design

  4. John

    July 20, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Ford GT : Shark :: BMW M8 : whale

  5. P

    July 20, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Excellent work BMW.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, this car is an 11.

    Also, I think this car has a hint of the BMW M4 DTM in the Bodywork. (2nd Pic)

    Looking forward to hearing more like:
    Who going to be driving the cars in the WEC and the WTSC?
    Which American team is going to take on the M8?
    What are the liveries going to look like?

    All those questions will be answered in the next few months.

  6. Jack

    July 20, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Canal boat

  7. JamieR

    July 20, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Looks bigger yet sleeker than i imagined. Can’t imagine it being the most nimble car, but hey nothing BoP can’t fix.

    • Snowhawk

      July 21, 2017 at 12:01 am

      Ha ha…yes, so true and well put

  8. fourloko

    July 20, 2017 at 8:01 am

    at least it doesnt look like a brick anymore

  9. Pete

    July 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

    It looks much better than the M6.

    Now let’s just hope to the racing gods that it also sounds better…

  10. Mike

    July 20, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Did they get a waiver to lower the roofline from the production car?

    • Ron

      July 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      No! I think Porsche and Aston said no! They tried to lower the footprint on the car but needed all of the other teams to sign-off!

  11. Travis McBee

    July 20, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I’m going to enjoy this!

  12. WBrowning

    July 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

    The camo makes it look rather dull with a lack of styling and or character lines etc. sort of remedial with lots of flats and rounded corners. Hoping it looks better un-camouflaged, but glad to see them entering the fray.

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Camo is definitely concealing the lines well, just take a look at the 8 series concept and you’ll see that the car will look quite different once the camo comes off.

  13. jason

    July 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Glad to see the car in racing trim with the rear wing and everything. It has potential especially considering the livery BMW uses now with R.L.L.

    I hope that the GTLM and WEC Pro teams will use the same livery and car numbers across both series like what Ford and Porsche do now. The continuity will be nice.

    The strength and depth between GTLM and GTE Pro is nearly identical at this point. It will be awesome to see BMW move into WEC now. What we need at this point is an Aston Martin presence in GTLM.

  14. Bob

    July 20, 2017 at 11:06 am

    BIG friggin’ car! Hope it works out. I still miss the M3. But they have so many models now, they’re diversifying & promoting the other M models. Apparently going with the bigger is better concept.

  15. N8

    July 20, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Agree with everyone that it sure looks big. Is the house just relatively narrow for the flared body though? Have to see how it looks next to another car.

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I agree that the car has a much less noticeable wheel arch flare to it… seems that BMW has incorporated a more tapered flare design similar to the Corvettes. On that note, I see elements of the Porsche, Ford and Corvette on this car, and I imagine the rear potentially looking a bit like the Aston diffuser setup too.

  16. beertownmayor

    July 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    What’s going on at the rear? like rear fascia is missing. The rear of the wheel arch stops pretty high. looks like a support or attach point real low where you would think the arch should end. Very noticeable in the first picture.

    • Slicks in the wet

      July 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      I’m guessing…”holy rear diffusers, Batman!”

    • Max

      July 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Thats to help with extracting air from the rear/wheel arches, Porsche and AMR GTE cars also have this.

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Yep, potentially looks like an Aston-esque diffuser solution.

  17. Mike S.

    July 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Bentley boat in disguise. Heavy lady a bit sleeker than Bentley but a boat.

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Huh, beyond the relative size I can’t see the Bentley at all in this one.

      • Mike S.

        July 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        No it is different I agree. If nose was a square then it would resemble it more.

  18. Mamozrenesis

    July 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I agree with all people saying it looks like a big whale…But I’m sure BMW will make it very fast!

    Will it also be used by the RLL team in IMSA or will it be only for the factory team in WEC?

    • Slicks in the wet

      July 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Second paragraph buddy.

      “The car, which will debut in January’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, …”

      • Mamozrenesis

        July 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        Yes, you’re right. My apologize.
        Don’t know why but I tought that it was the factory team to go to Daytona and not RLL.

    • Mike S.

      July 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      That is a yearly contract that RLL has been re upping yearly with BMW. Hearing that may happen or Andretti in the mix maybe. Hopefully RLL in that case.

      • Ed H.

        July 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        I thought Andretti is starting a BMW team in Formula E. If so, not GTLM in IMSA. I think it will remIn with RLL.

  19. Davy

    July 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Looks chunky. I actually like the M6 they have in IMSA right now.

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      It’ll look far less chunky once the camo comes off.

    • Snowhawk

      July 21, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Me too

  20. Justin Porter

    July 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I dig it, but I still feel that they should have dropped their twin-turbo V8 into the back of an i8 while the waiver wagon was making its rounds…

  21. Axl Rose ate my Buick

    July 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    It looks like more like a WTCC car than anything else.

  22. jeff

    July 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    i’ll be flagging at daytona for the pre-season testing and i’ll get to see all the new stuff first !!!!!

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm


  23. tracer

    July 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Are the wheel and tire size/diameters listed anywhere for the GTLM cars? I don’t know if my eyes are playing tricks on me, but I could swear the bimmers’ wheel diameters are an inch or more smaller than the rest of the field… they look downright tiny on this M8 test mule.

  24. StueyB83

    July 20, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    It looks like a Funny Car in the first photo… like a slot car shell on an undersized chassis.

    If the base car is so big why do they need to flare out the wheel arches so much?

    • tracer

      July 20, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Because the wheel wells of a modern production car (especially recent BMW’s) allow for minimal rubber beyond spec…

  25. Matt

    July 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Porsche just built s mid engined car to compete with Ford and Ferrari, corvette seem poised to finally release a mid engined car to remain competitive, why are bmw entering a limousine?

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