BMW’s new figurehead for the GT racing scene has been given its first run. Set to phase out the Z4-based race car at the end of this year and replace it in 2016, the new BMW M6 GT3 will likely be developed for the similar-spec GTE and GTD categories of the respective World Endurance Championship and United SportsCar Championship.
Rolling onto the test track on the premises of the BMW factory in Dingolfing (DE), the car left the garage for the first time at precisely 14:00 with Jörg Müller (DE) at the wheel. Müller, who has competed for BMW in competitions like the American Le Mans Series as well as the World Touring Car Championship and even the 24 Hours of Le Mans states: “It is a fantastic moment when you walk into the garage and see this stunningly beautiful car. I am very proud to have taken it out for its first few kilometers. A roll-out is obviously just an initial performance test but, on the whole, everything was very good and we had no problems. The engine really impressed me. It is powerful and has good torque, which is important for a car like this. I am confident that BMW Motorsport will provide its customers with a fantastic racing car, in the BMW M6 GT3.”
Powered by a customized twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 M, borrowed from the M6 road car and several other M-badged machines, but transformed to muscle this lightweight machine at over 500hp. The extensive modifications for its use on the racetrack include the transaxle drive concept, a six-speed sequential racing transmission, and powerful motorsport electronics. The motor, which has been restricted to meet GT Specs, will still ensure break-neck speeds due to the decreased total car weight of less than 1,300 kilograms. Finally, the chassis’ aerodynamic properties were optimized in the BMW wind tunnel, highlighted with a massive rear spoiler. This coupled with the significantly wider track guarantees an increase in the aerodynamic downforce.
“This is a big moment for everyone who has worked so intensely and passionately on the development of the BMW M6 GT3 in recent months,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “This car incorporates all the experience we have gained in recent years on the endurance and GT racing circuits. We are well on schedule with the development, and are confident we will be able to take to the track in 2016 with a package that is competitive from the outset.” Development of the car started at the end of last season, and while BMW hasn’t said when the car will be ready, customers interested can presently register their details with BMW Motorsport.