Although the LMP1 category of the WEC is thinning out a bit, the GTE class is still going strong thanks to manufacturer involvement from Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Ford.
In 2018 BMW will make it five manufacturers when it enters with this, the BMW M8 GTE, which was unveiled recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The all-new machine is based on the upcoming 8-series road car and will mark the firm’s first factory entry at Le Mans since 2011.
It’s full of all the usual extreme aero bits we’ve come to expect from modern GT cars, and will even generate downforce through the wheels (somehow) with something BMW is calling “innovative aero rims”.
The M8 GTE is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which if Aston Martin’s new car turns out as expected will mean that the 911 RSR is the only non-turbocharged car in the GTE class – a far cry from where GT racing was just a few years ago.
As well the WEC and Le Mans, the M8 GTE will also go racing stateside in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, and that’s where the car will make its race debut when it tackles the Daytona 24 Hours in January.
We think it looks pretty great in that classic BMW M-Sport livery, but the company has a history of running interesting and eye-catching ‘art cars’ at Le Mans. Will we see something unique and spectacular adorning the car in the French Classic next year? Only time will tell!