When we finally got a look at the concept auto, it was an absolute jaw-dropper.
BMW has revealed its 2018 Le Mans racer at the Frankfurt Motor Show, providing us with a fresh look at the firm's next flagship coupe - the upcoming, 600bhp+ M8, which will rival the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe in the high-performance, luxury coupe market when it arrives next year.
Like the road going M8 the GTE vehicle is powered by the brand's 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. According to BMW Motorsport director, Jens Marquardt, the race vehicle will directly influence the development of the road auto.
Yep, the Bavarian marque is heading back to Le Mans and endurance racing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and North America's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with this, the M8 GTE.
And to do that, it'll need the M8 to be an incredible vehicle. Nor for the road-going BMW M8, either...
BMW is on a roll this year at their home auto show and after the unveil of several concepts (full 2017 IAA coverage here), it is now showing us their future racing vehicle.
The M8 GTE is 4980mm long without the rear wing, 2046mm wide without the specially designed wing mirrors, and 1212mm tall, while it wheelbase measures in at 2880mm.
A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine will power the M8 GTE, though its power will be restricted per regulations.
Weighing just 1220kg, thanks to the stripped out interior and lightweight materials used in construction, the M8 GTE is sure to take the fight to competitors such as the Ferrari 488 GTE, Ford GT GTE, Aston Martin Vantage GTE, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray GTE, and Porsche 911 RSR. We've also heard that there's already an M8 under development. Prior to both of these events, it will be making its race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January 2018. With the BMW M8 GTE, we are bringing cutting-edge technology to the top global class of GT racing, whilst at the same time tying in with our tradition at Le Mans.
Taking the baton from the M6 GT3, the M8 GTE is BMW's Motorsport's halo auto.