Me and My Car: Competition BMW M8 comes First
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Richie Richards is CEO of Tech Group of Companies. He drives a very special BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe.
What exactly are you driving?
BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe First Edition.
What makes it special?
There are only 400 of these First Editions worldwide, and this is the only one in Australasia. The First Edition comes with several special features, including this unique Aurora Diamond Green metallic paint, gold accents, special wheels and 625hp with 750Nm of torque. This can be both a casual everyday drive with very comfortable seating for five people, or a very quick corner carver!
Why did you buy this particular car?
I currently have a BMW M6 Gran Coupe which has been brilliant to drive and is a great car for day-to-day and driving to work.
When I heard about the BMW M8 First Edition, it was a no-brainer for me - it is effectively a limited edition, supercharged version of the M6 so I am very lucky to get my hands on one.
So you’re a BMW fan. What others have you owned?
I have been with the BMW marque since the 1980s. I really enjoy the brand and the way they build their vehicles with precision and new technology. Over the years, I have owned a couple of 7 Series, a 3 Series rag top, three X5s, a couple of X3s, a V10 M5, an X6M and the M6.
The M8 First Edition could become a classic. But what other classic would you like to own right now?
A really good question. I do like cars that are not so much run of the mill. Of the BMWs, a 1938 328 Roadster would be a desirable classic and throw in an original M1 for good luck.
What’s the best/most interesting feature in your BMW M8 First Edition?
The next step up in technology. This car provides a truckload of smarts that you just keep on discovering. The remote 3D view of the car from your phone app showing all the surroundings has proven to be really good. I also love the range of safety features, the ability to change from 4WD to rear wheel drive at the flick of a switch and the dedicated track mode – the list goes on and on.
Is this your everyday driver?
Not at present. I have kept the BMW M6 Gran Coupe for carrying on for everyday use and occasionally take the M5 out for a run.
Do you prefer to cruise or do you enjoy the corners?
A bit of both. Track days are a lot of fun, but the majority of the time is spent cruising in a bit of luxury with plenty of oomph if you want to get past that truck in front of you.
Who else drives it? No one.
This baby is still under wraps.
What do you always have in your car?
There are several items that I always have in the cars – a fuel card, a couple of essential tools, torch, and a radar detector - haha.
What are your dream cars?
LaFerrari, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Aston Martin One-77 and a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ would be on a dream list.
The M8 has a petrol V8. What are your thoughts on electric cars?
I’m in the electrical game. But at the moment, I’m not considering having an electric car due to the current lack of adequate fast charge locations in NZ. Combine that with still-high prices and reasonably limited range of a lot of straight electric cars, and it’s a no-no.
What about driverless cars?
Yes, the technology is almost ready. There are a number of vehicles including the BMW M8 First Edition that provide semi-autonomous driving that seem to work really well. It’s an exciting space to watch.