Frankfurt Motor Show - If there is one car at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show that should be displayed in a cage, this is it.

Looking like something out of a video game that will bite you if let your guard down, this is the endurance racing version of BMW’s upcoming 8 Series coupé - and even before the road car goes on sale, the M8 GTE will be competing in the World Endurance Championship, including a return for BMW Motorsport to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2011.

Turbocharged engines in GTE racing are restricted to a maximum of four litres, which has allowed the BMW M petrolheads to use the aluminium block and cylinder heads from the production engine, tweaked to rev to 700rpm and produce more than 370kW, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential racing gearbox paddle shift, a Sachs carbon-fibre clutch, a carbon-fibre propshaft and a limited-slip differential.

It’s based on a carbon-fibre tub with a tubular-steel roll cage and quick detachable carbon-fibre body panels. Suspension is by double wishbones all round with four-way adjustable dampers and quickly adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear.

It rolls on 18 inch BMW Aero forged-alloy rims shod with Michelin 335/30 front and 355/35 intermediate radial slicks.

The M8 GTE is 4980mm long on a 2880mm wheelbase and 2046mm wide; extensive use of carbon-fibre components has kept the car’s weight down to 1220kg, while it retains the same roofline, and front and rear light cluster design, as the road version.

IOL Motoring
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