BMW M was already ahead of the game when it came to drive mode selection in the way two individual sets of parameters can be selected from a press of a wheel-mounted button; no need to separately select your throttle response, suspension and steering separately every time – just set it all once in a profile, press a button, and you’re off.
With the upcoming M8 Coupe and M8 Competition Coupe, the steps required to add a profile will also be reduced thanks to the addition of a Setup button on the centre console. Used to be, you had to spin and bump the iDrive controller to get to the different adjustments; now, just hit the button for direct access to the adjustment menus for all of these features. The electronic driver aids and even the HUD and gauge displays now get “M” profiles, although these are selected via a separate M button on the centre console. If you’re preparing for some more spirited driving, you may want your tach to be front and centre on your HUD. If all you’re doing is setting out on a leisurely road trip, then perhaps your navigation information is more pertinent. Pressing the M mode button allows you to switch between all of this.
In addition to all that, the way the brakes react in the new cars can now be tweaked, so that the amount of pedal pressure required to slow the car can be adjusted between two levels based on what the driver intends. This will come on cars equipped with either standard or ceramic brakes.
If you’re going to be on the track, for example, perhaps you want more responsive braking so you select Sport mode. When on the road and in traffic where too much brake response can lead to uncomfortable progress, the brakes can be set to Comfort so that more pedal pressure is required, lessening the chances of drivers coming to sudden stops when approaching an intersection. The entire braking module, meanwhile, is more compact, saving 2 kilograms of weight.
The final little nugget released today is that for the first time, Competition models are going to get a “track” mode, that deactivates all the electronic comfort and driver aid systems. Giddyup.
Review: 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe