RUMOUR HAS IT...
the final corner en route to series production. BMW is putting an early prototype of its upcoming flagship through its paces at the Estoril grand prix racing circuit in Portugal.
The high-performance version of the recentlylaunched 8 series will do justice to the M badge with its minimised weight, low centre of gravity, even weight distribution and wide track, while the high-revving TwinPower Turbo 4.4l V8 engine will fire 441kW and 750Nm to the wheels via an M xDrive all-wheel drive system. Like the latest M5, the drivetrain will have a rear-wheel bias and a two-wheel drive mode, ensuring a mode for all levels of driving skill.
The market launch of the BMW M8 Coupe will be in 2019, to be later followed by the M8 Convertible and M8 Gran Coupe.
The new 8 Series is expected to arrive in SA in the first quarter of 2019 in an M850i xDrive model priced at R1,887,827.
VW SPEEDS UP ELECTRIC PROGRAMME
Volkswagen is accelerating its electric-car programme with a possible tie-up with rival Ford.
VW plans to launch its MEB entry electric car for a price of about €20,000 (R320,000) in Europe, and is expected to discuss far-reaching alliances with Ford, according to Automotive News Europe.
A November 16 strategy meeting will discuss VW’s transformation plan to shift from being Europe’s largest maker of combustion engine vehicles into a mass producer of electric cars, a source familiar with deliberations said.
VW’s strategy shift comes as cities start to ban diesel engine vehicles, forcing car makers to think of new ways to safeguard 600,000 German industrial jobs. An electric van, the ID Buzz, is also to be built.
VW and other car makers are struggling to adapt quickly enough to stringent rules introduced after the company was found to have cheated diesel-emissions tests, with its CEO Herbert Diess warning last month that Germany’s auto industry faces extinction.
VW and Ford are in exploratory talks about an alliance to develop self-driving and electric vehicles and to complement each other’s global production and sales footprints, Reuters reported last month.
The companies are considering co-operation deals in the areas of commercial, electric and autonomous vehicles, although a final agreement will unlikely be announced at the November 16 strategy meeting, the second source said.
The details of a cooperation deal with Ford may take until the end of the year to be finalised.
The jury is out on whether the next-gen Nissan GT-R will look like this Italdesign GT-R50 concept.
The BMW M8 will have all-wheel drive and 441kW.