Now that the 6 series convertible and coupe are no more, the new flagship for BMW is the 8 series. We can argue that these are really new 6 series cars, but thats not my call.
The M version is where all of the fun comes into play, and these are beastly cars with a lot of innovations, technology and horsepower jammed into a single platform.
The heart of the beast is a high-revving 4.4-liter, TwinPower Turbo, V-8 engine that produces 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque (the Competition has a 17 horsepower upgrade over the M8). 0-60 mph sprint for the M8 Convertible Competition is 3.1 seconds. The official quoted numbers tend to understate horsepower; the M5 Competition dynos closer to 660 horsepower than 617, (my 2014‘s official number is 560hp but it runs closer to 600hp).
Other M8 changes over the M6 include an automatic only all-wheel-drive system, with 3 distinct working modes called 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD — 50/50, rear biased, or all rear drive. (The rear 2WD option is designed for the track).
The convertible starts at $142,500, the Competition models at $155,500. Objectively these are not inexpensive cars, but they seem to be designed to compare with the Aston Martin DB11, Bentley Continental GT or McLaren GT. Those exotics are all priced much higher for (surprisingly) comparable performance. And, BMW gives you a network of dealers with standard parts, making these much more livable, easier to maintain, for track or road, than the quirkier exotics.
These are very handsome cars, subtle and stealthy. The detailing is lovely, the interior beautiful, but it lacks the in your face visual cues of the more expensive exotics. If you don’t want to scream your arrival but want to be able to keep up with those cars on a track, the M8 Competition is a monster worth considering.