By: Wesley Wren - Autoweek
Comparing the facts and figures of the BMW M6 and the new M8
The team at BMW finally showed off the road-going version of the M8, which finally rounds out the legendary M-line of cars. Naturally, we had to dig through the archives to see how the latest and greatest stacks up with what it’s replacing: the M6. Since these BMW bruisers are separated by a handful of technologically important years, we’re going to focus on the things that matter most: horsepower, torque and size.
Just on exterior dimensions, the M6 and the M8 are not too far apart. As far as total length, the 2020 M8 comes in at an impressive 191.61 inches. That might seem odd to those with photographic memories of BMW spec sheets, as the departed M6 Competition was actually longer at 193.00 inches. The Gran Coupe was longer still, at a solid 197.50 inches. As for width, the new M8 is wider than the M6 by a scant 0.27 inch. The folks at BMW did make the new M8 lower than the M6, with the M8 rising to 53.62 inches and the M6 reporting 54.10 inches.
Now that we have those shell numbers out of the way, how does the M6 Competition stack up with the current M8 under the hood? Well, pretty well actually. The 2020 M8 makes 600 hp out of its 4.4-liter turbocharged V8, with the M6 making 600 bhp out of the essentially the same engine. The M8 Competition pushes those figures further to 617 hp, tipping the scales in the new Bimmer’s favor.
The engine’s torque, on the other hand, gets a significant boost from technological advances. The new M8 makes 553 lb-ft of twist across the curve, with the M6 making only 516 lb-ft. All this power helps move about the same weight: The M8 hits the scales at 4,295 and the M6 reports in at 4,250. That weight penalty does include an all-wheel-drive system for the M8.
The transmission is another place where time appears to favor the M8. The 2020 model features an eight-speed automatic whereas the M6 stuffed only seven gears inside of its case. It should be noted that the M8 will feature a more traditional torque converter automatic behind its engine, with the M6 using a sportier double-clutch style automatic. The transmission switch and other engine technologies to make the 4.4-liter V8 more efficient also manages to squeeze more miles out of a gallon of fuel. If the wholly accurate online converter rings true, the M8 reportedly sips a gallon of fuel every 22 miles in combined use on the Euro cycle, with the M6 burning that same gallon in only 16 miles. Note, however, the M8 will likely receive slightly different figures for fuel economy once it’s finally certified by the fine folks at the EPA.
All this boils down to the M8 being the spiritual and literal successor of the M6. That means devotees of the large and in charge Bimmer won’t have much to complain about when they replace their six with an eight. The M8 might be only a few years removed from the M6, and the numbers kind of show that -- but the performance figures and fuel economy point toward the benefits of technology.