Since 1999, BMW has been the official car of the MotoGP motorcycle race series. This new year is more of the same for the automaker, but it's also more of the new. BMW has employed its M4 for safety car duty, and it's fitted the decked-out coupe with a unique injection system under the hood.

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One thing you typically don't want getting into your engine is water. That, however, is exactly what BMW is utilizing with its new water-injection system. What happens is that a fine mist is sprayed into the air that is heading towards the combustion chamber. As you'd imagine, this air is already quite hot before it enters the heart of your car. Adding the spritz of water helps cool it down and makes for more efficient combustion.

The addition of the water-injection system allows an engine to burn fuel more efficiently while reducing the potential for knocking. It also allows a vehicle to more effectively utilize lower octane fuel. BMW has to refill the water tank each time it refuels the safety car, but the automaker believes a consumer application would see water being topped off every five fuel stops.

This seems like the type of technology that could provide a decent fuel economy gain... while also adding weight and cost to a vehicle. Are folks eager to add a second task required of them during a fueling stop? What happens if they forget to add the water, will the engine just revert back as if there was no water injection system installed in the first place? Lots of questions, and they could be answered partially by this MotoGP safety car.

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Regardless, I'd say you can keep an eye out for this optional extra tech at your local BMW dealer in the not-too-distant future.


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