A sneak glimpse of the BMW 8 Series testing

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BMW engineers are busy defining and refining the dynamic qualities of the 8 Series Coupe ahead of its launch later this year, and have shared some details from the test program. A camouflaged prototype car, described by BMW as being “close to ready” for series production, is currently undergoing intensive testing at Bridgestone’s European Proving Ground in Aprilia, Italy, close to Rome.

The current stage of the test program sees the dynamics team optimizing the vehicle’s driving dynamics at the facility’s 4km (2.5-mile)-long oval circuit, which includes steep bends, and suitable conditions for high-speed and high-friction coefficient tests.

You can watch the 8 Series being put through its paces in our Videos section.

Meanwhile the braking, steering and acceleration behavior of the car are being analyzed on the various circuits, slalom courses and road surfaces available at the proving grounds, with the aim of what BMW calls “targeted harmonization” of all drive and suspension systems.

“The test drives under the most severe conditions show that we are right on target with our concept for the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. The vehicle dynamics values already achieved are absolutely impressive. Our customers and fans can look forward to a genuine sports car,” stated Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of the BMW AG, development and research, who is overseeing the dynamics test program in Italy.

The vehicle dynamics of the 8 Series will also be influenced by the parallel development programs for the high-performance M8 model and the M8 GTE racing car. 27/28 January will see the M8 GTE make its racing debut at the Daytona 24-hour race, and then go on to participate in the 24-hour race at Le Mans in June. The knowledge at those races and at other racing events in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) in North America will, according to BMW, directly benefit series development of the 8 Series Coupe.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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