It's rumored to have 640 to 670 horsepower, thanks to an upgraded version of the M5's direct-injected 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. It can go 0-62 in about 3 seconds, is made from materials such as carbon fiber and titanium -- which could give it the best power-to-weight ratio of any BMW street car -- and is the first supercar from the blue-spinner crew since 1981.
What is it? It's BMW's (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF ) M8 -- the possible next step in BMW's pursuit of the "ultimate driving machine." And it could be making its debut in 2016.
Still just a concept
In 2016, BMW turns 100 years old, and what would be better than to mark the occasion with a supercar capable of competing with Volkswagen's (NASDAQOTH: VLKAY ) Audi's R8, and Daimler's (NASDAQOTH: DDAIF ) Mercedes Benz SLS AMG? Not much, I'd argue. However, as of right now, the M8 is still just a concept. But here's what we might see if it does make it to production.
The platform of the M8 is BMW's i8 eco sports car. Further, the structure could be made of lightweight material so that the M8 will achieve the 2,760-pound target weight and have a top speed around 200 mph. However, unlike the i8, the M8 will probably be powered by gas.
More importantly, as carsales.com.au said: "The M8 would add much-needed fire to a brand slightly sagging under the weight of luxury demands. A tyre-shredding, carbon-fibre, sleekly styled Ferrari basher with 0-100km/h times in the low-three-second bracket and a 300km/h-plus top speed is just what M car dreams are made of."
Not for the masses
If the M8 makes it to production, it's highly likely that it'll be extremely limited. Further, Car and Driver estimates that the M8 will be priced around $330,000, although other estimates place the price closer to $500,000. Consequently, it's unlikely that the M8 will have a significant impact on BMW's bottom line. But that's not really the point of a supercar like this: The M8 is more about bragging rights. And if the production car is like the concept, the M8 could have bragging rights in spades. Clearly, that'd be great news for BMW's brand image -- and good news for BMW's investors.
Still, even if the M8 never becomes reality, BMW has a lot going for it. In October, BMW reported that for the fist 10 months of 2013, BMW had record sales. Global demand was also continuing to trend positively, and when it comes to luxury brand sales, BMW is second only to Mercedes.
Further, according to The Wall Street Journal, BMW sales in China have grown 20% -- that's in comparison with the estimated 10% growth. Considering China is one of the fastest-growing luxury markets, this is especially good news.
The supercar of the future?
BMW claims that it designs the "ultimate driving machine," and the M8 could very well live up to that claim. But even if BMW never builds the M8, it could still make a solid addition to your investing portfolio. Plus, if BMW does build the M8, it could grab some serious bragging rights. That's always a good thing when it comes to luxury brands.
The Audi R8 isn't the only thing going for Volkswagen
U.S. automakers boomed after World War II, but the coming boom in the Chinese auto market will put that surge to shame! As Chinese consumers grow richer, savvy investors can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the help from this brand-new Motley Fool report that identifies two automakers to buy for a surging Chinese market. It's completely free -- just click here to gain access.