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BMW's new M8 Competition MotoGP Safety Car

There'll be no danger of bikes overtaking this safety car - look at the size of it!

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Did you know that BMW has provided the MotoGP Safety Car for 20 years now? Since 1999 there have been M5s, Z4s, even a Z8, and the fabulous M2 we had chance to drive a few years back. Now there's another to continue the lineage, the M8 Competition Safety Car.

Based on the 8 Series flagship that was first shown earlier in the summer, this Competition is a rolling advert for the M Performance Parts Catalogue, as well as featuring a few bits and bobs the road car can't have - see the M8 GTE rear wing, for example.

Those bits equipped on the safety car that can make it to the production M8 include the steering wheel, rear diffuser and side skirts; it's also been fitted with M Performance floor mats, carbon engine cover, and "carbon air breather side grill", though they seem of less importance. Frustratingly, what looks to be the most exciting bit of the safety car overhaul - the M Performance titanium exhaust - won't be offered in Europe.

Then there are those bits specially for this job: Recaro seats with Schroth harnesses, a chunky cage, a motorsport-style, clipped-down bonnet and a fire extinguisher. Of course a track special M8 looks very unlikely - note how every 'Competition' M car of recent times has thus far been 1,550kg and above - but there's something extremely enticing about a racy M8. And BMW makes much of how the road car and GTE racer were developed together, as Audi did with the R8. So maybe there could be something more...

Finally, it's worth noting the changes not yet mentioned, including the red foiled kidney grille (just in case more attention needed to be drawn to it), the black foiled side skirts, the BMW valve caps with M logo (yes, really), and the smorgasbord of lights: flashing corona headlights, then LEDs on the roof and in the front grilles. For getting people out of the way and making your M car centre of attention, perhaps the lights could find their way to the M Performance catalogue as well...

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