In the most recent episode of The Carmudgeon Show, journalist/co-host Jason Cammisa talks about the new BMW M8 Competition Coupe with other co-host Derek Tam-Scott.
The conversation is sparked by Cammisa’s latest edition of Car and Driver Magazine, which features the BMW M8 on its cover. He isn’t particularly kind to the M8, calling it a “hideous green monstrosity”. He also pokes fun at its weight, which is absolutely warranted because it weighs 4,251 lbs, and says that anything that heavy shouldn’t have the word “Competition” in its name. Hard to argue that.
However, the conversation then turns to the car’s performance. The BMW M8 Competition Coupe was just given the typical Car and Driver instrumented test, in which they test and measure absolutely every aspect of the car. C&D also tested its 0-60 mph time and recorded a simply astonishing 2.5 second run to sixty. That’s mind-warping, that a car of its size and weight can accelerate that quickly.
As Cammisa also points out from the issue of C&D, that 0-60 mph time is faster than that of the Ferrari 488 Pista, a 700-plus horsepower mid-engine supercar. Admittedly, the M8 is all-wheel drive but it also weighs about 1,200 lbs more than the Pista, which likely mitigates its grip advantage. It’s It’s truly shocking, just how fast the M8 is.
In typical Carmudgeon fashion, though, Cammisa just finds that to be too fast. And he’s right. If you’ve ever driven a BMW M8 on both the road and the track, you’d understand what he means. On track, the M8 is a surprisingly fun car to drive, despite its heft. It’s monstrously powerful, shockingly agile and can actually be a bit of a hooligan. However, on the road, it’s just too powerful, composed, luxurious and refined for its own good. At speeds under 100 mph, the M8 is bored, which means the driver is, too.
Incredible performance is great but what’s more important than all of that speed is the sensation of speed. If it’s entirely masked by layers of refinement, brutal acceleration can actually get old rather quickly. This actually brings me back to my drive in the ’65 Mini Cooper S from my trip to Pebble Beach last year. That car had just about 100 horsepower, hit 60 mph in about ten minutes and probably topped out at less than 100 mph. Yet it’s still the most fun car I’ve driven because of how it made me feel while driving it.
Sure, the BMW M8 Competition Coupe is an objectively impressive car, one that makes engineer brains happy. However, it’s entirely devoid of fun, a sense of humor or any sort of engagement. And it’s too damn fast.