Since 1999, BMW has been in charge of supplying MotoGP with its safety cars. Most recently that’s involved sending an M5 out to each round of the premier motorcycle racing series, but the super saloon now been ousted by this M8.
Like many of its predecessors, it’s best thought of as a rolling advertisement for M Performance parts. From the M Perf catalogue, it’s pinched tailpipe trims, an engine cover, rear diffuser, side gills and side skirts - all made from carbonfibre.
Also from the M Performance division, we have the ‘steering wheel pro’ (clad in yet more carbon), floor mats, decals, and a titanium exhaust system. It’s also fitted with a load of stuff you can’t buy from BMW, the most obvious being that giant rear wing. It’s pinched from the M8 GTE racing car.
There’s a big flashing LED light bar which Marc Marquez and chums should have no trouble seeing, supported by additional lighting on the front bumper. The bonnet isn’t standard M8-issue, as it’s fitted with motorsport-friendly locking pins.
Inside, the rear seats have been ditched, replaced with a roll cage. The front seats, meanwhile, have been switched out for Recaro bucket seats paired with Schroth harnesses.
Mechanically, it’s identical to the standard M8 Competition. Not that it really needs any help in the performance stakes - from the factory, its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 is good for 616bhp, making the M8 something of a supercar killer.
The M8 Competition MotoGP safety car made its debut at the Austrian Motorcycle Grand Prix last weekend. Your next chance to catch it in action will be during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone later this month.