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by Jay Traugott
Is BMW preparing an M8, a direct successor to the famed M1, for its centennial in 2017?
Most of the attention regarding a high-performance BMW has, for the most part, been focused on the upcoming i8. Despite its plug-in hybrid technology, BMW has every intention of giving it supercar performance. While that's all fine and good, BMW and supercar purists have long been clamoring for something else, something better. Some fresh rumors have begun to gain traction over the past few days regarding BMW's plan to build a proper M1 successor, potentially to be dubbed the M8.
A report originally coming from the Italian Auto Blog is now claiming that the plan to build the M8 is alive and well and in progress. Earlier rumors suggested that if the M8 came to market, it would be built on a steel and aluminum chassis. However, word now is that BMW plans to adapt the carbon fiber chassis of the i8 instead. Power would likely come from the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that's in the M5 and M6 tuned to around 600 horsepower. Top speed could be in the neighborhood of 200 mph. As expected, BMW would be watching the M8's diet as it'd weigh around 2,800 lbs.
If such a car were to come to fruition, don't expect it before 2016 or 2017, the latter year just happens to be BMW's centennial. So could the M8 be a BMW birthday gift to itself and its wealthy fans?