Drive a BMW M8 and you’ll quickly realize that a sports car it is not. Despite all of the brand marketing that’s gone into the M8, calling it a proper performance machine, the actual drive contradicts such claims. It’s no bad car by any means. Far from it. It’s just not a sports car. Instead, it’s a high-powered, uber-muscular GT car designed to cross continents in a single bound. However, can it actually compete with the other high-powered GT cars it seemingly tries to hang with?

In this new test from Auto Express, the BMW M8 Convertible is tasked with taking on the all-new Bentley Continental GT Convertible. Not as easy task, as the new Conti is a brilliant grand touring car. However, the BMW M8 does have a massive price advantage, ringing in at almost £40,000 ($49,395) less than the Bentley. So the M8 just needs to be about as good as the Conti GT, for a lot less money, to win.

The BMW M8 is the faster of the two, using its 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8, with 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, to rocket to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Whereas it takes the Bentley 4.0 seconds flat, using its 4.0 liter twin-turbo, 542 horsepower V8. There is a W12-powered version of the Conti GT but the V8 is probably the one to get, thanks to its lower weight, more interesting noise and similar performance.

Having said that, straight-line performance is about all the M8 is better at. The Bentley rides far, far better than the Bimmer, which is to be expected if we’re honest, and it actually gets close enough, dynamically, that you’d have to really push the cars hard to notice where the lighter Bimmer is sharper. Where the Bentley really shines is in its specialness, though.

BMW fanboys will complain that the Bentley uses a Volkswagen Group engine and it does (it’s shared with Audi and Porsche) but none of that matters. What does matter is how gorgeously trimmed and well-made the interior is, its magic pillow-like ride and he way it drives more gracefully than the BMW M8.

The BMW M8 Convertible is a very good car but it seems as if BMW M needs to make up its mind. On one hand, it’s extremely fast, surprisingly agile and comes pack with tech. However, it’s just not up for too spirited of driving, as it would much rather prefer to cruise at blistering speeds for as long as possible. Yet, despite being a GT car at heart, it’s not as comfortable as you’d expect it to be. So it’s too much of a GT to be a proper sports car but too sporty to be the best GT car. BMW M needs to pick a lane and stay in it if it wants to compete with the big dogs.

[Source: Auto Express]