BMW's M4 GT3 race car is for (wealthy) gearheads

BMW M4 GT3

When people say "money doesn't buy happiness," are they really sure?

BMW Motorsport has unveiled the M4 GT3 customer race car that's based on the M4 Competition Coupe. Powering the race car is a P58 three-liter straight-six, and with two turbochargers, power is wound up to 590hp.

The M4 GT3 will retail for US$530,000 (around P25 million) in the US. The Competition Package adds US$55,000 (P2.6 million), which includes additional headlights, backlit door numbers, spring and brake pedal travel measurement systems, Bosch rearview camera radar system, and an additional set of rims,

The Package also includes one day of training on the BMW M Motorsport M4 GT3 simulator, BMW USA said. 

In North America, the M4 GT3 will come with eligibility in the race series. These competitions include the GT Daytona and GT Daytona Pro classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the GT class of the SRO Fanatec GT World Challenge America. 

BMW M4 GT3

“We have little doubt that this car will be as successful as its predecessor, the BMW M6 GT3 (which is) most recently the IMSA GTD winner at Mid-Ohio with Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and our friends at Turner Motorsport,” BMW North America Motorsport Manager Victor Leleu said. 

The first international race outing for the new M4 GT3 will be on June 26, Round Four of this season’s Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) in Germany.

BMW said the M TwinPower turbo engine in the M4 GT3 is some 30 kilograms lighter than the eight-cylinder engine found in the M6 GT3. This leads to better weight distribution.

The M4 GT3’s engine receives additional modifications in its oily bits including a change in the engine’s mounting angle, engine-mounted oil tanks with integrated oil and water exchanger, and GT3-spec engine mounts and rear torsional vibration dampers.

With the aforementioned 590hp and 700Nm of torque, "this is the most powerful straight-six engine BMW has installed in a racing car since the days of the BMW M1," declared BMW Motorsport Head of Drivetrain Design Ulrich Schulz. 

BMW M4 GT3

The S58 found in the production M4 is designed to "deliver maximum performance on the track and thus serve as the perfect platform for the race unit," BMW said. Components from the production M4 include the crankcase, cylinder head, crankshaft drive, crankshaft, and connecting rods.

The transaxle design in the new M4 GT3 is a sequential, straight-tooth six-speed gearbox, a development of the gearbox found in the M8 GTE with improvements made in run time, cost efficiency, and performance.

Inside, the cockpit of the M4 GT3 features an M safety seat and new air-conditioning with cockpit air circulation to keep the wealthy racer cool and safe. The air-conditioning in the race car is easy to maintain and is twice as powerful as the system found in the M6 GT3, the German marque added.

Interestingly, the steering wheel in the race was developed by BMW Motorsport with help from simulator hardware producer Fanatec. That means the tiller is "the first of its kind that works both in a real car and on a simulator."

BMW M4 GT3

The hybrid steering can activate a virtual car's traction control, radio, ABS, engine mapping, and windshield wipers. All of which combine the "worlds of real and digital motor racing."

Surely, the game wheel won't cost as much as the race car, but it will cost a pretty penny still. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it lets one play pretend race car driver. 

Photos from BMW 

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