BMW has released a handful of photographs of its upcoming M8 coupé (still wearing camouflage, of course), while also confirming its flagship performance 8 Series range will debut a new “M Mode”.

The Munich-based firm has confirmed the M8 range – set to comprise standard and Competition versions of the coupé and convertible – will feature a new display and control system for the configuration of the powertrain, chassis and driver assistance systems. It will even offer the ability to configure the braking system as required.

BMW says the new M Mode, meanwhile, will allow the “displays and driver assistance systems to be tuned to the driver’s requirements”. Sited on the centre console, pressing the M Mode button will activate "road" and "sport" modes, while the Competition variants will also gain a "track" setting.

In the default road setting, all the standard and optional driver assistance systems will be fully activated. One press of the M Mode button will engage the sport setting, in which the active driver assistance systems (in the configuration set by the driver) now only transmit alerts on speed limits and overtaking restrictions. This mode also disables all interventions in the braking and steering systems, aside from those made by the collision warning with braking function and the evasion assistant.

An extended press of the M Mode button will engage track mode in Competition models, with the decision to activate this mode having to be confirmed using the iDrive controller. In this setting, all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems are deactivated. In addition, the audio system and control display are both switched off in order to "focus the driver’s attention even more intently on the road ahead".

A new “Setup” button also on the centre console provides direct access to all available setup options for five vehicle parameters. Pressing this button will bring up a special menu in the control display, which offers an overview of the vehicle settings currently engaged. The driver can then activate their desired mode for the engine, suspension, steering, brakes and M xDrive via the touchscreen or the iDrive controller.

The new system brings together the brake activation, brake booster and braking control functions within what BMW calls a “compact module”. The integrated braking system reduces weight by around 2 kg and employs a vacuum-free brake booster to “enhance the car’s overall efficiency”.

“The brake pressure required is triggered by an electric actuator, which allows it to be generated more dynamically and also ensures significantly faster and more precise interventions from the driving stability control system,” says BMW.

Two pedal feel settings will be offered in the new M8. Comfort and sport modes alter the amount of pressure on the brake pedal required to slow the car. This allows the driver to choose between a comfort-oriented perception of the braking process and a direct, instantaneous response to applications of the pedal...