BMW M8 GTE #82 – TSM

2018 BMW M8 GTE #82
Pilots: A. F. da Costa, A. Sims, A. Farfus
Team: BMW Team MTEK
Race: DNF (LMGTE-Pro class) at Le Mans in 2018
TSM - TSM430488 (resin)

Published 07/08/22

The M8 GTE was something quite different for BMW. Not that the Bavarian manufacturer was a stranger to developing racecars. Far from that. What was totally new for BMW, however, was developing a racecar before the passenger car. They released the M8 GTE ahead of the yet-to-be-revealed 8-Series coupe. The GTE was the first model BMW manufactured from the ground up as a LM GTE homologated vehicle. While the M8 GTE came out at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2017, the passenger M8 only debuted in 2022. The development of the GTE began in 2016, with the first chassis ready in June of 2017. Designed by Dominic Harlow and Michael Scully, the M8 GTE came to replace the M6 GTLM of 2015. 

BMW also entered the “swan neck era” of rear wing designs.

The chassis was a carbon-fiber monocoque with an integrated safety roll cage, covered by a lightweight carbon fiber body. It counts on a transaxle, integrating the transmission, driveshaft and axle assembly, which improves weight distribution. To power the M8 GTE BMW chose the P63/1 engine. This engine is a 3981 cm³ twin-turbocharged V8, that delivers up to 592 hp running on Ethanol E20. For GTE racing, however, power output is limited to 500 hp. To tame all those horses BMW used an XTrac 6-speed sequential semi-automatic paddle-shift transmission. The M8 GTE was BMW’s weapon for both the FIA WEC and IMSA championships.

Despite the awesome looks, race results were not so hot.

The M8 GTE officially debuted at the 24 Hours of Daytona of 2018. The two cars from the factory team finished in 18th and 35th, not exactly what you would call a great result. A few weeks later, at the 12 Hours of Sebring, things improved somewhat. One of the cars finished in second place in the GTLM class. And then came La Sarthe. For the 24 Heures du Mans of 2018, BMW took two M8 GTEs to the fray. Car #81 completed 332 laps and finished in 34th place overall. However, car #82 here suffered an accident on lap 223 and had to retire. The following year results didn’t improve much – 30th and 47th places. With the poor performance, BMW did not race the M8 in 2020 in the FIA WEC.

Though you can read Spark on the box, you see more TSM. Ergo, TSM it is.

My last contemporary Le Mans bimmer was the M3 GT2 from 2011, which I got in 2017. Made by Spark, that M3 is utterly gorgeous. Therefore, I was kind of  “needing” another good M car. Unfortunately though, the M8 from 2018 (by Spark and TSM) and 2019 (by TSM) are pretty hard to find. I think these models have low production runs, since with the far-from-stellar results, they can’t be a must-buy for the average collector. At least that is what I infer, because I can’t see why they’re so rare. And one last issue: who makes it, Spark or TSM 🤔? The model comes in regular Spark packaging, though you see “TSM Model” printed on the side, with more mention of TSM than Spark. Furthermore, there’s also that weird catalog number. I listed it as a TSM, yet maybe I should say it’s a joint venture.

Interesting to see how the M8 is a much bigger car than the M3.

Regardless of who actually makes it, it is hard to find. Consequently, I only got this one because I have a GREAT dealer (MVR) who scored one for me. In scale the car is terrific, and as you see, it looks great beside the M3. So if you fancy a modern Le Mans bimmer, and if you find one of these for a decent price, don’t hesitate.

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