BMW has announced that it will produce an M4 GT3 as a successor to its current top-of-the-line customer race car, the M6 GT3. The new car will be based on the next-generation M4. BMW presently produces two race cars based on the current M4, the M4 DTM and the M4 GT4.
BMW says, “The production-model BMW M4, which forms the base for the BMW M4 GT3, is powered by a six-cylinder engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo Technology that achieves more than 500 hp. The engine and chassis of the road vehicle are the perfect basis for the development of the GT3 racing version. With this goal in mind, the BMW M engineers built an engine—the S58—that boasts impressive engine characteristics and explosive power delivery, the motorsport genes of which can also be experienced away from the racetrack at any time.”
At present, BMW has released a sketch of the car that does not reveal much. The top of the grille, visible in the sketch, appears to be similar to the one in the Concept 4, shown in Frankfurt and rumored to be like the grille in the next M4.
While development of the new car has begun, it will not reach the track until the second half of 2020. Testing in race conditions is slated for 2021, and participation in racing series will begin in 2022. Until then, customers running in GT3 series will continue with the M6 GT3, a car that has demonstrated its continued competitiveness in a number of series in 2019.
BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt says, “With our new GT3 project, we are emphasizing the significance of BMW M Customer Racing. It is a central pillar of our motorsport program. With the introduction of the new GT3 regulations for 2022, the BMW M4 is the perfect base. The core product from our colleagues at BMW M is yet again just great. Without wanting to give too much away, the BMW M4 GT3 will be a real highlight in terms of optics and technology. The term ‘icon’ is definitely appropriate here. We want to play a major role in international GT racing with the BMW M4 GT3, as its predecessor did at its victories at the 24-hour races in Spa Francorchamps, at Macau, and in many other race series around the world. Development is already at full speed. The rollout is planned for the second half of 2020.”
BMW’s announcement of the new car comes on the heels of the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s announcement of its 2022 regulations. The upcoming M4 shares its platform with a wide range of BMW production cars, among them a handful of four-door models. The old regulations did not allow development of a GT3 car based on a platform used in a four-door car; the 2022 regulations allow this, opening the door for the M4 GT3.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy Brian Morgan, BMW Motorsport.]