BMW M8 Prototype

Have you ever heard about the BMW M8? No? The following footage shows the M version of the 8-series from 1990 that never went into production. BMW’s M-division revealed the vehicle last Friday and our friends at have a video showing the test mule in one of the company’s garages.

The vehicle is powered by a V12 engine from the McLaren F1 based around two six-cylinder engines from the M3 at the time producing around 550bhp. In the end it proved to be instantly reliable in tests of the 8-series. Although the M8 and its V12 engine were fully developed, the production was signed off in test vehicles, the car was never signed off by BMW management, despite M’s insistence.

Eventually the engine was used as the basis for the McLaren F1 road car,d Le Mans winner and BMW’s own sports prototype Le Mans winner in 1999. They also wanted to place it in the outgoing M5 to celebrate 25 years of the M5 but it proved to be too big for the engine bay. However, it was used in the first generation X5 with over 700bhp, a six-speed manual box and a 300km/h top speed, but also this SUV never saw production.

What an epic machines and great to hear these kind of stories from within the German manufacturer from Munich.

BMW X5 V12 Prototype

[Pictures via Autocar]

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  1. why BMW why? Imagine what the world would have been like if the M8 was produced, it would have been a trend setter for BMW

  2. Im going to have to call bulls*** kris. I dont think anyone has ever put the Mclaren f1 v12 in an M3. Lets see you come up with a link.

  3. It doesn’t say it was put in a M3. It says its based on TWO 6-cyl engines that were sourced from an M3.

    That said, its not hard to imagine M had trouble getting approval for a souped up BMW 850 because the cars didn’t exactly sell like hotcakes. They were like 928s, people bought them, but only special people that had an interest in the unusual. Now days they would do exceedingly well (yes I know we have a BMW 6-series, but I don’t consider them anything more than cousins. lol)

  4. McLaren F1’s engine is BMW S70 and it is based on BMW’s M70 from 750i and 850i. Now to put S70 is a bit too expensive so the people usually use M70. They have the same overal size the difference is that the M70 has single camshaft heads and wet supm. S70 is wit double cams and dry sump, and individual throttle bodies I’m not sure but maybe it is slightly higher. However here are some links of E30s with M70 V12 engine some of them are wit twin turbochargers and intercoolers (in E30’s engine bay). Friend of mine have E30 with M70 engine, but I don’t have pics.

    Some pics
    If you want more jus search E30 V12 in Google

    And some YouTube videos

    Again, if M70 fits in E30’s engine bay it can without a doubt fit in M5’s one.


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