It’s not often that a shiny new car stops people dead in their tracks for a second glance – regardless of whether they’re a car person or not.
The all-new BMW M8 Competition does just that. It’s the most powerful BMW series production car ever built, and has the most Australian name you could ever stick on a car. Pronounced with an Australian accent it reads Maaate Competition.
It partly turns heads because it makes lots of noise, but the frozen colours you can select – such as the Frozen Marina Bay Blue on our test car – make it stand out even more.
It’s damn quick and it turns heads, but does it live up to its lofty price tag? We hit the road to find out.
How much does the BMW M8 Competition cost?
Make sure you’re sitting down. The asking price for the 2020 BMW M8 Competition is $352,900 before on-road costs.
There are 20 colours to choose from, including seven frozen colours (the matte finish you see on our test car), plus a high-end Pure Metal Silver colour. The frozen colours will set you back an additional $2600, while the Pure Metal Silver colour requires a $10,400 investment.
Outside of that, the only two notable options are the Carbon Package ($10,300) and carbon ceramic brakes ($16,500), both of which were fitted to our test car. The Carbon Package adds a carbon fibre spoiler and carbon inlays in the front splitter and side panels.
What do you get?
As you can imagine, BMW has thrown everything at the M8 Competition, so the specification level is quite high.
On the outside you’ll find 20-inch alloy wheels, BMW Laserlight headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, soft-close doors, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic boot closer, and night vision camera.
Inside you’ll find leather seats, a leather-lined dashboard, suede roof lining, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and armrest, 16-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system, head-up display, proximity entry and start, radar cruise control with self-steering function, dual-zone climate control, BMW iDrive OS7.0, and a 360 degree camera.
A note on the laser headlights. They’re seriously good. Visible lighting distance increases to 600m thanks to the use of lasers and mirrors within the headlight cluster that project light through yellow phosphorus and then out through the main lens.
They are coupled with a matrix LED function to help project a high beam around other vehicles.
Is the BMW M8 Competition safe?
The 8 Series hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP or ANCAP, but it does come with low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
It also has a night vision camera capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists for added protection.
There’s a number of standard safety features, such as lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, along with safety tech that prevents merging into other vehicles and mitigates the potential for other vehicles merging into you.
What is the BMW M8 Competition like on the inside?
This is the definition of luxury. Merino leather as far as the eye can see and seats that grab you like a warm hug. There’s a lot to like about the M8 Competition’s interior.
Piano black surrounds the centre button console with carbon fibre used in spades around the rest. The glitzy gear shifter from the M850i is replaced with an M gear shifter that includes M-coloured stitching and controls for the shift intensity built in.
Atop the dashboard is BMW iDrive OS7.0 in the form of a 10.25-inch display operated as a touchscreen, or through the rotary controller on the centre tunnel. Ahead of the driver is another 10.25-inch display for critical functions and a massive head-up display that operates in two sizes – one larger format and a condensed format.