No, That Wasn’t A Mid-Engined BMW Prototype After All

BMW enthusiasts have dreamed of a mid-engined car ever since their favorite brand unveiled the M1 Homage concept in 2008 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic M1. In June 2019, the Bavarians revisited the idea of ​​a supercar with the engine behind the seats with the unveiling of the Vision M Next concept.

Fast forward to the start of this week, an interesting M8 prototype was spotted at the Nürburgring apparently resembling a mid-engined car. In place of the rear side windows, BMW installed blackened facings with vents and it also threw some camouflage on the rear window to hide anything it was testing that day.

For good reason, many have jumped to the conclusion that the M8 Coupe was, in fact, a test mule for a mid-engined vehicle. In fact, unfortunately this is not the case. German magazine Auto Motor und Sport contacted BMW to find out more about the mysterious prototype. In short – it had no mid-engine. The company said it was testing a variety of new components and using the M8 as a carrier.

BMW didn’t go into details about these new elements, but whatever they were, a mid-mounted combustion engine was not one of them. If we were to speculate, the M8 might have had a hybrid powertrain with the proven inline-six running on the electric motor. The latter could have been placed at the rear, presumably powering the rear wheels while the ICE propelled the front axle.

BMW M has previously expressed interest in embracing electrification with the aforementioned Vision M Next powered by a 600-horsepower electrified four-cylinder. There are already rumors of an X8 M45e plug-in hybrid and even a fully electric M5 with four-figure horsepower, so the electrified Ms are only a matter of time.

While electrified powertrains are on their way, some of the company’s existing engines are on the way out. We’re talking about the overly complicated quad-turbodiesel six-cylinder that is due to retire with the X5 M50d and X7 M50d Final Edition models. The small 1.5-liter three-cylinder and the V12 power plant are also on the way out.

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