This is it – the basically finished, race-ready BMW M4 GT3. In development since late 2019 – and set to run for the first time at the Nürburgring 24 Hours later this month – BMW Motorsport claims the new car is a big improvement over the old M6 GT3 in every regard, but especially in terms of “driveability, cost efficiency and operation”. Sounds like a press’n’go bargain.
It says the M3’s handling characteristics and cabin make it “more comfortable for amateur drivers”, that it’s easier on its tyres, that its transmission and engine don’t need servicing quite as often and that operating the car is simpler because you don’t have to hook-up a laptop to access a load of basic settings.
Privateer teams (and wealthy track-day enthusiasts) can buy these things for €415,000 (RM2.1m) net, making the M3 GT3 a little cheaper than the M6 GT3 it replaces, for delivery in 2022. Before then BMW will clock up a few more development kilometres – up to 20,000 by the end of 2021 – and enter the M4 GT3 in a handful of other races to make sure it’s good and ready for a full season’s racing in ‘22.
The “Competition Package”, which includes kit specially tailored to endurance racing, is optional. It gives you additional headlights, spring travel sensors, a radar/camera system, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring plus a day in BMW’s own GT3 simulator to learn how it all works.
The M4 GT3 uses essentially the same 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six as the M3 and M4 road cars, albeit extensively modified to better suit competition. It’s 40kg lighter than the M6 GT3’s V8, makes up to 582bhp and drives the rear wheels through a sequential six-speed Xtrac gearbox with an electro-hydraulic clutch.
The steering wheel was co-developed with Fanatec and can also be used in sims, and elsewhere in the cockpit there’s much better air-con and all the FIA-mandated safety equipment you’d expect.
It does resemble a normal M4, but the racer is 75mm wider on each side and has that colossal rear-wing. Not exactly subtle… but will it spawn as many memes as the Big M8?