This Is Your First Look At The BMW M4 GT4 Ahead Of Its 2018 Race Debut

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BMW is getting to race with the M4 GT4 shown off for the first time at an event in Munich.

From the Porsche Cayman GT4 to the intimidating Mercedes-AMG GT4, customer race cars are becoming increasingly common. Since they don't require much modification to be eligible, more manufacturers are tweaking its flagship roadcars to enter the series. One such manufacturer entering the GT4 race is BMW when it revealed it's building a race-spec GT4 version of the flagship M4 a few months back. It isn't scheduled to make its race debut until 2018 and is expected to finish development next year.

Imagine our surprise, then, to find that a work-in-progress version of the M4 GT4 has been spotted at BMW Motorsport's end of year Season Review event in Munich. Development is still on-going, which explains why the M4 GT4 was kept under wraps at the show. The M4 GT4 will be replacing the M3 GT4 (if that wasn't obvious), and will close the gap between the M6 GT3 and M235i Racing where it will continue BMW Motorsport's racing heritage. The M4 GT4 will be largely based on the road-going M4 GTS which produces 493 hp. While the GT4 variant will retain the twin-turbocharged straight-six engine from the GTS, its power output will probably be reduced to meet racing regulations, which might put it more in-line with the 431 hp of the stock M4 coupe.

Elsewhere, the M4 GT4 borrows the carbon fiber hood and doors from the GTS, but has been fitted with a raft of racing modifications such as an FIA-standard roll cage, racing suspension and a new exhaust to give it extra bite and help distinguish it from the standard road car. According to Autocar, a road model based on the M4 GT4 might be possible later down the line, but sources believe that the GTS will remain the range-topper for quite some time. Once testing is complete, privateer teams will be eligible to enter a variety of racing series, including the GT4 European Series, Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT Championship.

Testing of the M4 GT4 is currently underway and is expected to be delivered to customers in the second half of 2017. Its first possible race appearance will be at the 24 Hours of Dubai in early 2018.

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