Come the 2016 motorsport season, BMW customer teams competing in GT racing will be able to field a new M6-based race car. The car is being shown for the first time at this week’s Frankfurt Auto Show and confirmed to start at 379,000 euros (approximately $423,570) in Europe. Pricing for the United States will be announced at a later date.
The car has been designed to meet the FIA’s latest GT3 specifications and will need to fill some pretty big shoes: its Z4-based predecessor remains as competitive as ever, having managed to win overall during the recent Spa 24 Hours and come second overall during May’s Nürburgring 24 Hours. That shouldn’t be a problem for the new M6 GT3, though, as the car boasts a raft of improvements over its predecessor, particularly in the areas of drivability and economy.
2016 BMW M6 GT3 race car
One example is the use of the same twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 fitted to the M6 road car and several other M-badged machines, with BMW confirming that the engine has only been slightly modified for its outings on the track. The dry-sumped unit is paired with a six-speed sequential transmission mounted at the rear axle for better weight balance and produces as much as 585 horsepower along with “high” torque to help it exit corners quickly.
And compared to the Z4 GT3, the longer wheelbase of the M6 GT3 should ensure better handling. The new structure, which has been optimized in the wind tunnel, is made from composite materials to help get weight down. The entire car, including its self-supporting steel chassis, welded FIA-approved safety cell, and carbon fiber crash structures, weighs less than 2,866 pounds.
BMW says there have also been improvements in reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance, something crucial for endurance racing. This has led to lower running costs, which BMW says will be considerably lower than those of the Z4 GT3.
2016 BMW M6 GT3 race car
Safety remains paramount, however, and accordingly BMW has developed an FIA-approved safety cell in accordance with the very latest safety standards. The M6 GT3 also boasts numerous other features, the sole purpose of which is to protect the driver. These include the roof hatch specified in the regulations, through which the driver’s helmet can be removed if necessary, as well as the safety seat, which bolts firmly to the chassis.
Following its debut in Frankfurt, the M6 GT3 will undergo a final round of fine-tuning prior to delivery late this year.
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