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The Sheer Lunacy of the BMW M8 Competition



Exactly how many horses do you need under the hood of your car? If more is better for you, then get ready for the 617-hp BMW M8 Competition.

Among fighter pilots in Air Force units around the world, they have a saying that Speed is Life. While the rest of us on the ground aren’t worried about dogfights in the sky, that’s still a sentiment among car aficionados who detest slowpokes on the road.

Which brings us to the BMW M8 Competition.

617 Horsepower

To appreciate just how fast this monster can get, try to remember that when the E60 M5 came out in 2005, it offered an amazing 500-horsepower V-10 engine under the hood. But you can now get 523 horsepower in an 8-series, or at least from the M Performance model.

With the regular M8, you now get 600 HP from the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8. But somehow BMW thinks that 600 horsepower may not be enough for some folks, which brings us to the 617 horses from the M8 Competition. That power level is courtesy of the 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged and intercooledV-8 engine, with aluminum block and heads. You also get 553 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm.

Just How Fast Can This Go?

If you’re at a stoplight, you can get to 60 mph in a blistering 2.5 seconds. That’s extremely quick, considering that the Ferrari 488 Pista takes longer than that even when it gives you 710 horsepower.

With the M8 Competition, you’re at 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds. The quarter-mile doesn’t take long either, as you can finish it in just 10.7 seconds at 129 mph.

Overtaking on the road won’t be a problem as well. It only takes 2.3 seconds to go from 30 mph to 50 mph, and for 50 mph to 70 mph you only need another 2.4 seconds.

It’s a good thing the brakes work well here, as you just need 146 feet to stop completely from 70 mph. you’ll need 288 feet to get from 100 mph to a complete standstill. Driving the M8 Competition will involve a lot of braking, because it doesn’t take much to get this monster going.


The M8 Competition price tag starts at $148K (or $147,995 to be exact). It’s $13K more expensive than the M8 coupe, but that base price will rise a lot more quickly than you thought if you’re tempted by the options.

  • The ceramic brakes will cost you $8,150. Better pay for it, though, because you really want that stopping power.
  • The extra active safety features will cost you an additional $2,800. The funny thing is that you may even end up turning all these things off when you drive so you can have more fun on the road.
  • Do you want the carbon-fiber exterior trim? You can have it for $5,400.
  • A custom paint job will also set you back $5,500.
  • The Bowers & Wilkins stereo with its 16 speakers sound great, except that it costs $3,400.
  • The car’s top speed is limited to 155 mph, but you can get to raise that limit to 189 mph if you pay $2,500. The good news here is that this option also gives you a full day at a BMW school for high-performance driving. At least you’ll have a better idea of what to do with all that speed.

With all the add-ons we had on the M8 Competition, we drove the price up to $175,745. This isn’t really a sensible amount of money to spend on a car unless you’re filthy rich. But then again, it’s actually a lot cheaper than the other cars capable of the same speed. The other cars which can finish a quarter mile in just 10 seconds or so tend to cost $60,000 more. In a sense, this darn thing is a bargain—which is another lunatic aspect you have to think about.


This may have a back seat, but it’s like BMW put it here just for decoration. It doesn’t seem to have enough space for actual passengers back there. But the folks in front can’t laugh, either, as it’s also uncomfortable there. Don’t be surprised if you end up with painful knees and ankles, especially if you’re driving this.


The main reason you’d want to buy this thing is that it’s powerful—almost absurdly so. Put it in Sport mode with an aggressive setting for the transmission, and it’s like you’ve released the Kraken. The slightest tap on the gas pedal will quickly add another 40 mph to your speed in a flash.

At least the Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires hold on to the road, and the ceramic brakes do their job admirably. When you’re able to get to 170 mph in just 22 seconds, you’ll need those brakes a lot. Still, when you’re on the open highway with this monster, it’s easy to think that life is good.

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