No, it's not a cop car.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, the all-new BMW M5 has now been optimized to become the next MotoGP motorcycle racing series safety car. Based on the all-new M5, the new safety car will debut at the MotoGP season finale in Valencia, Spain, next month. The biggest difference between this new M5 and its predecessors is, of course, its standard all-wheel drive system, a first for an M5.
Under the hood, the turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 produces the same 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque as the road-going version, and power is distributed to all four corners through the also new eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox. The conversion process from road to safety car includes the addition of numerous M Performance Parts, some of which customers can buy for their own M5s. BMW claims these parts emphasize the sporty appearance of the Safety Car and also meet all functional requirements for aerodynamics, cooling and lightweight construction. Examples include carbon fiber side sills, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, front kidney grille, door mirror caps and air breather slats.
Even the M Performance sport exhaust system is made from titanium and designed specifically for the race track. Other new Safety Car-only features include a prototype front splitter and hood latches taken directly from racing. The bucket seats come from the M4 GTS. The flat light bar on the roof uses modern LED technology and is controlled via a specially-developed cockpit panel. The signaling system, something quite important for a Safety Car, consists of flashing blue LED lamps in the front grills and flashing corona rings for the headlamps. The exterior livery is even inspired by the new M8 GTE race car that's heading to Le Mans.
"A MotoGP Safety Car faces enormous challenges. It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes safely through all sorts of conditions," said Frank van Meel, President of BMW M GmbH. "Innovative motorsport technology is an essential part of this. The new BMW M5 forms the perfect basis for a safety car, as its technical features ensure perfect handling, even at the limits of driving dynamics - on the road and on the racetrack."