And it looks fire.
It isn't every day that you see a new BMW race car hit the track, so the reveal of the all-new BMW M4 GT3 customer race car is big news. Based on the recently launched 2021 M4 Competition Coupe, the new race car is eligible for 2022 IMSA WeatherTech GTD and SRO GT classes and starts from $530,000. Powered by the tried and tested P58 3.0-liter inline-6 M TwinPower turbo engine, the new M4 GT3 produces up to 590 horsepower and will make its first on-track appearance on June 26 at round four of the Nurburgring Endurance Series (NLS).
Back in August, we got confirmation that the M4 GT3 would sport the controversial grille that has since grown on us, and we have to admit: this thing looks awesome. The exterior of the GT3 shares the production car's grille size. The roof also features two longitudinal fins like its road-going sibling. The most notable difference however is the rear end.
"The racing car is 3 inches wider on each side, but we have carried over the rear lights from the production car and the rear contour of the trunk lid is also the same," said Anne Forschner, Exterior Designer BMW M4 Competition.
The front end also sports a massive aero splitter, and the side profile is dominated by wide rear wheel arches and massive air ducts. The car rolls on 12.5 x 18-inch front, and 13 x 18-inch rear wheels.
The standard M4 shares a lot of DNA with its race version, especially in one key area: the engine bay. The P58 M TwinPower Turbo engine in the M4 GT3 is based on the S58 found in the new M4 Competition Coupe but receives modifications such as a different mounting angle, a performance intake system with two throttle valves, a dry-sump oil system, a performance exhaust system with charge cycle split, stiffer engine mounts, and rear torsional vibration dampers. The GT3 car shares its cylinder head, crankcase, connecting rods, and crankshaft with the road-going car. Sending power to the rear wheels is a sequential, straight-tooth 6-speed gearbox mated to an electro-hydraulic clutch with steering-wheel-mounted paddles
"503 hp and 479 lb-ft - this is the most powerful straight-six engine we've ever fitted in a production car (M4 Competition)," said Marcus Engelke, Project Manager Drivetrain. "590 hp and 516 lb-ft - this is the most powerful straight-six engine BMW has installed in a racing car since the days of the BMW M1 Group 5," added Ulrich Schulz, Head of Drivetrain Design, BMW Motorsport.
The interior of the M4 GT3 has been stripped of all its luxuries, and now features an FIA BMW M safety seat and a specialized air conditioning system for race use. The cockpit also features dimmable illumination and adjustable floor pedals and an adjustable steering wheel The digital display projects info and options such as charging pressure, selection of fuel type, and adjustment of pit speed. The steering wheel in the GT3 is the first of its kind in the sense that it works on both a real car and a simulator, and one can adjust traction control, engine mapping, radio, the drink system, and more by pressing a few easy-to-reach buttons.
Development of the M4 GT3 has been strenuous, to say the least. It all started on CAD and CFD simulations and was followed by countless hours in simulations and on the racetrack. Currently, the test car has over 8,000 hours of testing under its belt. Engineers and builders claim it will be easier to drive and cheaper to maintain than its predecessor, the BMW M6 GT3.
"BMW of North America is preparing to welcome the BMW M4 GT3 for the 2022 racing season and support our BMW Customer Racing family behind the latest offering from BMW M Motorsport," said Victor Leleu, BMW NA Motorsport Manager. "We have little doubt that this car will be as successful as its predecessor, the BMW M6 GT3 - most recently the IMSA GTD winner at Mid-Ohio with Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley, and our friends at Turner Motorsport."
The M4 GT3 is selling for $530,000 excluding shipping and is offered with a Competition Package for $55,000 that adds features such as TPMS with 8 sensors, additional headlights, spring, and brake pedal travel measurement systems, backlit door numbers, a BOSCH CAS-M rear-view camera radar system, an additional set of rims, and one day of training on the BMW M Motorsport M4 GT3 simulator.