2021 BMW M4 GT3 testing continues ahead of race debut
BMW’s new GT3 racer has already covered over 7000 miles during testing, preparing it for a full-season assault in 2022
Following its launch in September last year, the new BMW M4 GT3 has been undergoing tests on various European circuits before it makes it race debut in 2022. The model will replace the current M6 GT3 that first hit the track in 2016, and has since achieved a number of impressive results.
Having already covered 7500 miles during its development, the racer has recently hit Monteblanco and Almeria in Spain, allowing BMW's motorsport boffins to hone both drivability and reliability. Cost and maintenance reduction is also a high priority for the M4 GT3, making it more attractive for both professional and amateur teams.
Following recent test sessions, German racing driver Jens Klingmann said: 'It is very easy and consistent to drive, which has a positive effect on tyre wear and we made progress with the development of lots of systems. Naturally, there are still lots of things to sort out, but the question marks are consistently being replaced with exclamation marks.'
This new racer has been developed in parallel with the road-going M4 Coupe, a car of which not only donates its basic chassis and platform, but also the S58 turbocharged straight-six engine. Although final outputs have yet to be confirmed, they will need to adhere to the appropriate GT3 engine regulations, likely matching the road car’s 503bhp power figure.
Though still hidden under a thin layer of disguise, the latest images reveal the use of the same controversial grille as its road-going counterpart, only sporting a more free-flowing design for optimised cooling.
While the underlying construction of the M4 GT3 will share plenty with the road car, the competition car is significantly wider and lower, with a full FIA-approved crash structure built within the sleek new coupe body, not to mention the usual mix of race-specific components around the drivetrain, transmission and differential.
BMW won’t race the new M4 GT3 in a full year’s competition in 2021 either, instead using selected races as a rolling test bed before factory and customer teams launch with a full assault on GT3 classes around the world in 2022.
While it’s important for manufacturers to be seen to be investing in new-tech-style racing series such as Formula E or the new hybrid-entry WRC, the continued participation in traditional racing classes – especially for cars such as these with such a close connection to their road-going stablemates – is as crucial as ever for performance brands such as BMW M GmbH as they continue to diversify in the constant hunt for lucrative market share.