The upcoming BMW 8 Series, previewed by the Concept 8 Series that wowed us last week, will get a range-topping M8 model, Munich has confirmed. There will also be a race-spec BMW M8 GTE that will “spearhead the return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans,” the firm says.

BMW says that alongside the ongoing development of the standard 8 Series, the engineers at its M division are also “working flat out” on the M8. Compared to the regular sleek coupe body, classical M features like larger air intakes, modified brakes and a sports exhaust with four tailpipes feature on this camouflaged early prototype.

“The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel. The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements,” explains Frank van Meel, BMW M Division’s president.

He elaborated to Autocar. “We have been involved with the wider 8 Series project from the very beginning. Our challenge as engineers was actually to ensure that the standard car wasn’t too sporty for its customers, because we wanted the M8 to feel like a proper step up. Also, because not all 8 Series customers want an M car,” van Meel rightly noted.

Also under development is the BMW M8 GTE race car. “The BMW M8 GTE development programme for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing. Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular,” said BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt.

The M8 GTE is set to make its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018. The production road-going 8 Series will also surface next year.

GALLERY: BMW M8 prototype

GALLERY: BMW Concept 8 Series