Before the production model is ready, BMW are going racing with the new 8-Series in the World Endurance Championship GTE class. The race going M8 GTE will share some body panels and features with the road going version, including the roofline and front & rear lights. In fact BMW says that data collected from the race outings will be directly used to form the production model, set to be released some time in 2018.
The WEC GTE class championship is currently hotly contested and in a very healthy place, with many manufacturers identifying it as a strong platform to sell their cars potential. BMW will be racing the M8 GTE in this championship alongside the 2018 Le Mans 24 hours aiming to take the fight directly to their closest rivals. The car will also run in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018, starting with next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona.
"The BMW M8 GTE is our new GT flagship and will go head to head with the strong opposition in this sector," said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. "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. The FIA WEC and the IMSA series in North America are a top competitive environment for our new challenger. With the BMW M8 GTE, we are bringing cutting-edge technology to the top international class of GT racing, whilst at the same time tying in with our tradition at Le Mans. The development of the BMW M8 GTE is on schedule, and we can hardly wait to see the car challenging for victories in 2018."