BMW M8 confirmed with adjustable brake tech

BMW has confirmed that its upcoming M8 super-coupe and convertible models will use all-new adjustable brake technology that will offer more feel. The introduction of a vacuum-free brake booster that uses an electronic actuator is said to drastically boost left pedal response, while also allowing two braking modes to be created for the first time.

Comfort mode reduces the amount of pressure required from the driver to slow the car, while Sport increases the required input to unlock more feedback through the pedal, as you might expect. The new hardware, which also saves two kilograms over alternatives, is said to offer unimpeded feel even under heavy braking on wet surfaces and during high lateral loads because it can constantly adjust its parameters.

More interestingly, BMW claims that the actuator-tech can counter any loss of feedback provided by hot brakes, which begs the question of whether it will also mask the sort of information passed through a pedal that warns of impending overheating. Surely BMW’s M division boffins will have an answer for that – but rest assured it’s something we’ll be investigating once the M8 is revealed this September.

Also new for the 4.4-litre V8-powered M8 models will be a Track mode, accessible when the M button is pressed and held for a few seconds. Do this and the 600hp two-door will turn off all of its comfort and driver assist features, the radio will turn off and the infotainment system will display track-specific data. Alternatively, click the M button quickly and the car will be switched to Sport mode, adjusting the damping, steering and powertrain responses as per usual.

Along with the part-time rear-wheel drive capabilities of the M8’s xDrive hardware, it all points to a super-coupe that’s being honed to offer some pretty serious track performance. This is understandable, of course, what with the M8 ranking as BMW’s performance halo – and suggests we’ll have quite the test on our hands when the car reaches roads before the close of 2019. There’ll be more after that, of course, with a 625hp Competition variant due and a four-door Gran Coupe to follow in 2020.

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Comments (53) Join the discussion on the forum

  • mrclav 09 May 2019

    Interesting. Has this tech been used on anything before (to my knowledge no)? Maybe someone more learned can chime in...?

  • RacerMike 09 May 2019

    Clever bit of marketing this. They're using the Bosch IPB (Integrated Power Brake) like most of the industry in the coming years which replaces the ABS, Brake Booster and Master Cylinder with a 'one box' solution. Main drivers are a focus on efficiency and switch to hybridisation (the IPB allows easy integration of regen braking) and the addition of Level 2+ ADAS features that need full brake control.

    BMWs involvement in this will extend along the lines of deciding the brake pedal map (the pedal isn't directly connected to anything other than a pedal feel simulator during normal braking) and the stability control calibration. You get the ability to add selectable maps for free effectively as it's 'just' a pedal travel/force curve.

    Alfa already have the Continental equivalent on the Gulia and Stelvio, and the majority of the other OEMs will be using this or similar in the coming Model Year.

    An interesting by-product of the tech is the removal of feedback through the pedal. So you get no vibration during ABS activation, and, as mentioned, no sense that the brakes are fading. Whether you see this as good or bad is entirely personal. For me....I quite like the feedback that you're close to the limit of braking when the ABS starts to control the wheels (although having driven quite a bit with an IPB recently, you can still sense its activation through the steering and the noise of the brake modulation) but the idea that you have no idea when there's fade is a little un-nerving. First thing you'd know about it would be the car failing to stop. I assume BMW have implemented some warning or powertrain de-rate to counter this though.

    Edited by RacerMike on Thursday 9th May 12:58

  • belleair302 09 May 2019

    How heavy will this car be. The current one isn't light.

  • scarble 09 May 2019

    Not sure if anyone has it on the market yet, but sure a few are planning to in the near future though, it's probably the Bosch system:

    I wonder if has that delightfully artificial delayed weight feeling of early epas systems.

    eta: ok Mike beat me to it, both on time and level of detail frown
    But! I think the Bosch system actually connects directly to the back of the pedal and the big assistance motor sits directly on the other side of the firewall with a short linkage.

  • RacerMike 09 May 2019

    scarble said:
    Not sure if anyone has it on the market yet, but sure a few are planning to in the near future though, it's probably the Bosch system:

    I wonder if has that delightfully artificial delayed weight feeling of early epas systems.
    iBooster is actually now 'old' tech! You're not totally disconnected from the brakes with that.

    Tesla Model S/X/3, Porsche 918 and the Jaguar I Pace all use it, along with quite a few others.

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