BMW is set to join the growing list of automakers offering FIA GT4-spec race cars straight from the factory.

The German automaker on Thursday announced plans to launch an M4 GT4 race car in time for the 2018 motorsport season.

The car will be the successor to the M3 GT4 offered late last decade and judging from this single teaser shot will closely resemble the M4 GTS road car launched in 2015.

To keep costs and reliability in check, the M4 GT4 will be closely aligned with the standard M4. The entire drivetrain, including electronics, will be taken from the road car, meaning a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 delivering 425 horsepower to the rear wheels.

2016 BMW M4 GTS

2016 BMW M4 GTS

There will be some additions for racing, though, such as carbon fiber body panels, a more aggressive front splitter and rear wing, a high-flow exhaust system, uprated brakes, and a stripped-out interior.

According to BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt, the decision to build a GT4 race car was an easy one. Reasons he gave for launching the car include capitalizing on the current boom in GT4 competition as well as providing up-and-coming racers with an affordable alternative to the GT4 race cars from rivals such as Aston Martin, KTM, Lotus, McLaren and Porsche.

Testing of the M4 GT4 will commence later this year with a view to have the car ready in time for the 24 Hours of Dubai in January 2018. BMW says the car has been designed to meet regulations for various GT4 competitions held in Asia, Europe and North America.

The M4 GT4 will be offered alongside the M235i Racing and M6 GT3 in BMW’s customer racing portfolio.