I’m sure majority of you reading this remember the glory days of the classic BMW E31 8-Series. It was 12 years ago when BMW revealed its flagship model. Featuring BMW’s first ever production V12, the M70/M72, and later the S70, and the first ever production V8, the M60/M62 4.0L V8, the 8er was a showcase of what BMW was capable of, especially since they were at the height of competing with Mercedes-Benz.
In usual tradition, an M-tuned version of the 8-Series was produced, the 850CSi (which happens to be my ultimate dream car). But it was never exactly dubbed an M8, yet its chassis, steering, suspension, engine – basically the entire car was slightly redesigned by BMW’s in-house tuner. It was able to out handle a Porsche 911 in certain respects back in the day thanks to BMW’s AHK, or Aktive Hinterachs-Kinematik, which designated their four-wheel steering system that adjusted the angle of its rear wheels depending on the turn angle of the front wheels, unlike other systems at the time which only changed their angle depending on the forces that acted upon them. The 850CSi also held a top speed of nearly 200 mph with the help of that M70 V12 retuned from 5.0L to 5.6, dubbed the S70. The result was 375-hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.
The S70 V12 was later featured in the McLaren F1, which helped it hold the title for the world’s fastest production car until the Bugatti Veyron. But there’s also a little less known version that most aren’t aware of.
BMW envisioned a Ferrari-competitor, dubbed the M8 and until recently, the car remained almost a complete mystery. Equipped with the S70 V12, which was retuned to 550hp, only one prototype was made and its whereabouts went unknown until now.
BMW’s M-Division fully revealed the M8’s 550hp S70 V12 prototype after more than a decade of being teased. Take a look!
– By: Chris Chin