Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

BMW's M8 GTE will win Le Mans on looks alone

BMW's M8 GTE will win Le Mans on looks alone

When we finally got a look at the concept auto, it was an absolute jaw-dropper.

While BMW holds off on unveiling the production version of its new 8-Series a while longer, the Bavarian automaker is whetting our palettes with the debut of the BMW M8 GTE racecar at this week's 2017 Frankfurt motor show.

Under the hood of the M8 GTE is a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 that's restricted to approximately 500 horsepower, depending on what class the car's racing in. According to BMW Motorsport director, Jens Marquardt, the race vehicle will directly influence the development of the road auto.

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The M8 GTE will compete in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and North American IMSA Sportscar championship.

BMW's also upfront about the fact that the M8 GTE has been co-developed alongside the road-going M8 it'll eventually sell.

There's lots of clever tech incorporated into the design and manufacturing of the vehicle to improve its performance. Unlike its road-going cousins, though, the M8 GTE is built entirely by hand. 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. Presumably, the aero kit will have to be changed out for something a little subtler, but BMW claims there's a close relationship between the M8 and the M8 GTE.

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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 has now revealed official images of the new M8 GTE which will take on GT rivals Ford, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin and Porsche to set-up an intensely fierce field for next season.

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