BMW has been supplying safety cars to MotoGP for 20 years now, and its latest is this M8 Competition. It debuted at the weekend’s race in Austria – where Andrea Dovizioso recorded a vital win to keep in touch with Marc Marquez in the rider standings – thus starting its role in the job partway through a season.
It’s perhaps fitting that MotoGP has employed M Division’s most powerful car yet to work on a grid of 200mph bikes, with the 616bhp M8 Comp capable of 0-62mph in 3.2secs and a 186mph top speed.
While the standard car comes with a wealth of tech, including Drift Mode-equipped four-wheel drive and almost all the electronics under the sun, BMW has understandably given it a small makeover for circuit duty.
There’s a carbon-tipped titanium exhaust system to ensure the M8 sounds nearly as good as the bikes around it. A roll cage, fire extinguisher and race-spec Recaro seats. Cup tyres and motorsport-spec bonnet catches. A ginormous wing nicked from the BMW M8 GTE racecar. And last but certainly not least, lots of MotoGP stickers and a whopping great light bar on the roof. Safety’s never looked so aggressive.
The M8 replaces a 592bhp BMW M5 on MotoGP marshalling duties, while Formula E now uses a fairly unique BMW i8 Speedster.