BMW launched a new generation of its M4 for 2021, and now the luxury sport coupe has spawned a GT3-spec race car for customer race teams.
BMW's motorsport division completed the first rollout test of the M4 GT3 in Dingolfing, Germany, last summer and since then the engineers have been putting the car through its paces at various racetracks across Europe.
And on Wednesday BMW finally started accepting orders, with the price set at 415,000 euros (approximately $505,765). The figure is 4,000 euros less than the price of the car's predecessor, the M6 GT3.
BMW is also offering a Competition Package that adds features handy for endurance racing. Ticking this option will also net buyers an exclusive training day in BMW's M4 GT3 simulator.
There's still some final testing of the car, including in actual races, before the start of deliveries in time for the 2022 motorsport season—when new regulations are due to be introduced for GT3 competition.
One of the new rules deals with vehicle platforms for homologation. It allows for race cars derived from vehicles that use platforms originally developed for cars with more than two doors, as is the case for the platform found in the latest 4-Series family. Under the old rules, a race car based on the M4 wasn't allowed, hence BMW's decision to use the bigger M6 as the basis for its GT3 customer race car.
2022 BMW M4 GT3 race car
According to BMW, the M4 GT3 has already shown improvements in maintenance effort, drivability (particularly in the wet), and ease of use compared to the M6 GT3. One of the real benefits is the ability to change most of the electronic settings in the car without the need to hook up a laptop. For instance, changes to control systems or sensors can be made on the track using controls on the steering wheel.
Peak power of 590 hp in the M4 GT3 comes from a version of the S58 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 fitted to the latest M3 and M4, as well as the X3 M and X4 M performance crossovers. The transmission is a sequential unit. In the M4 road car (and the M3), buyers are able to choose between a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic.
The M4 GT3 will now embark on a series of test races, the first of which will be a round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on June 26.