The fleet of BMW M’s production cars has been shaken up over the past year, with new generations of established models entering the fold, and the extension of M branding to BMW Motorrad in the form of the M 1000 RR sport bike. BMW, which has boasted the title of the Official Car of MotoGP since 1999, has a tradition of using some of its most special and highest-performing cars as safety cars for global MotoGP competition which stretches back more than twenty years, and for 2021, the brand has offered up an array of its latest and greatest.
The new MotoGP safety car fleet is scheduled to make its first appearance on March 28 at the Grand Prix of Qatar in Losail. There, the G80 M3, G82 M4, F90 M5 CS safety cars, and the BMW M 1000 RR safety bike will make their performance debut. On April 18 in Portimau, Portugal, the rest of the new safety vehicles will join the fleet, including the M8 Competition coupe, M8 Competition Gran Coupé, and the X5 M Medical Car, along with an additional M 1000 RR Safety Bike. The M8 Competition coupe replaces the M8 MotoGP safety car announced back in 2019, while the M5 CS replaces the M5 which was added to the lineup in 2018.
As opposed to using classic motorsport white as the paint finish, the new cars feature exclusive colors from the M lineup, like Sao Paulo Yellow on the M4 Competition, Frozen Grey Dark Metallic for the M3 Competition, and Frozen Deep Green Metallic on the M5 CS. The safety car livery design has also been revamped to show off more of the underlying vehicle’s design while still serving its purpose. Prominent use of the Bib, the Michelin Man, is visible on the new safety cars.
“The safety car fleet is the focal point of our involvement in the MotoGP and we are very proud to be starting the season with four new vehicles for the first time in our twenty-year history as ‘Official Car of MotoGP’,” explained Markus Flasch, CEO BMW M GmbH. “Our three new safety cars are based on production models, which deliver outstanding performance and driving dynamics that make them ideally suited to appear in the MotoGP. They will be joined by the new BMW M 1000 RR as the safety bike. The first M model on two wheels has been developed in motorsport and will meet the most exacting requirements on the racetrack. We are looking forward to the season-opener in Qatar and seeing our new fleet in action.”
The new M3, M4, and M5 CS, along with the X5 M, M8, and M 1000 RR join an illustrious group of BMWs which have served as MotoGP safety cars over the last twenty years. These include the likes of the 1 Series M Coupe, M2, and Z4 M coupe among others, but it’s hard to top the BMW Z8, which is the only non-M model to ever see action.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]