BMW’s new M4 coupe has spawned a racing version destined to compete in the popular German touring car series DTM. All BMW teams currently competing in DTM will switch to the new bodystyle for the 2014 season, with the current M3 Coupe-based car being retired.

Unlike the road-going M4, the new M4 DTM race car sticks with a naturally aspirated V-8. It’s a 4.0-liter, 90-degree unit with four valves per cylinder and peak output of 480 horsepower. This output is limited due to regulations by way of air restrictors. Peak torque is 368 pound-feet.

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Drive goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, operated via pneumatic shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. A four-plate carbon fiber clutch is used, along with a adjustable multi-disc limited-slip differential.

The chassis is a carbon fiber monocoque featuring an integrated fuel tank and steel roll cage. Carbon fiber crash structures can be found at the sides and front and rear of the car. The suspension consists of double wishbones with pushrods and adjustable shock absorbers. The wheels, meanwhile, are 18-inch forged aluminum pieces housing light-alloy brake calipers and ventilated steel discs.

It was only in 2012 that BMW returned to DTM racing after a 20-year hiatus, and it turned out the time away had no effect as the automaker's top driver and factory team managed to win the season. Canadian driver Bruno Spengler won the drivers’ title, BMW Team Schnitzer finished in top spot in the team standings, and BMW claimed the manufacturers’ honors.

Clearly, the new M4 DTM race car has some big shoes to fill, but BMW is confident its new M4 DTM will match the performance of its previous M3 Coupe-based car.

"We are all really looking forward to the new BMW M4 DTM," BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt said in a statement. “Like its production counterpart, it looks fantastic and it also made a positive first impression at our tests.”

Official testing for DTM’s 2014 season gets underway in Budapest, Hungary at the end of March with the first race scheduled to take place in Hockenheim, Germany on May 4.


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