The stars at the 2012 Legends of Autobahn were the all-new BMW Zagato Roadster and the one-off M8. The two vehicles appeared side-by-side at the German cars centric event which returned for its fourth year. What used to be a BMW-focused event, it turned into a German car show with Mercedes-Benz and Porsche joining the one-day gathering.
Encouraged by the positive reaction to the Coupe, Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, and Andrea Zagato agreed to take their partnership a step further.
A very special highlight of the BMW Zagato Roadster is its paintwork. The exclusive exterior paint finish, a brilliant grey with impressive depth, appears to wrap the car’s body in a cloak of liquid metal. Depending on how the light hits the body, the color spectrum ranges from dark grey to a light silver, bringing the surfaces and forms of the BMW Zagato Roadster to life.
The second star of the show, BMW M8 needs no introduction, yet we will spend the time to share some of our findings. After years of speculations and uncertainty around the M supercar, BMW decided to showcase the M version of the 8 Series two years ago at a private event in Munich. Under the hood, the M8 carries a big V12 (likely larger than 5.0L of the 850/850CSi) The engine has 12 individual throttle bodies connected to the driver’s right foot via direct cable making the M8 Prototype the only non-drive-by-wire 8 Series in existence. Interestingly, one of the biggest misconceptions of the M8 is that it shares an engine with the record shattering McLaren F1 as it was around the same time as the development of the M8 that McLaren commissioned BMW to build a very power V12 to power their supercar – after being denied by Honda.
The McLaren V12 (a modified S70) and the M8′s V12 were likely constructed by many of the same engineers hence a similar design and output but differed in areas such as overall length due to the horizontal intakes for a front engine layout if the 8 compared to the vertical intakes of a mid-engined car.
The 500+ horsepower are sent to the rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox.
Here is a photo gallery of the exceptional vehicles.