BMW M4 GT3 completed its first kilometres at the roll-out at the BMW Group plant in Dingolfing. In February 2021, the 590-hp P58 engine hit the test bench. From the middle of the year, the first tests were performed in the BMW Group wind tunnel, using a 60-percent scale model of the car. The first test chassis for the BMW M4 GT3 was produced at the start of 2020 at the BMW Group plant in Regensburg. After this, the test car, which was used for the roll-out, was assembled within about six weeks in the BMW Motorsport workshop. This was followed in 2020 and 2021 by many test sessions, during which the car was constantly optimised on its way to being race-ready. The new car already has over 14,000 test kilometres under its belt – meaning greater driveability and reliability. The moment when BMW works driver Augusto Farfus left the garage for the first time was a very emotional one for everyone involved at BMW M Motorsport. At the same time, it also represented a milestone and, at that time, highlight of a development process that began in early 2019 with CFD computer simulations.
From series production to the race track – and back: BMW M GmbH offers insights into the development of the new BMW M4 GT3 racing car and identifies some fascinating similarities between the new flagship model in the BMW M Motorsport line-up and the BMW M4 Competition production model.All BMW M cars have a polarising effect, which means they do not automatically appeal to everyone. Their impact on people is both physical and emotional. The kidney grille retains the production car’s perimeter geometry, while their interior surfaces have been opened-up and celebrate the care and feeding of the race engine’s enhanced cooling requirements for the M4 GT3″, explained Scully. At the front of the BMW M4 GT3, he points out more special details, with which his team was directly oriented towards the production model. The roof, with its two longitudinal fins, and the heavily raked rear window are also identical in form on both the BMW M4 Competition and BMW M4 GT3. These elements enable an ideal flow of air to the racing car’s rear wing.
During the digital BMW SIM Live Event in December 2020, BMW SIM Racing presented a spectacular world first, which takes the transfer of technology between real and virtual motor racing to a totally new level: the steering wheel for the BMW M4 GT3, which was developed jointly by BMW M Motorsport and sim hardware producer FANATEC. It is the first steering wheel of its kind that works in both a real car and a simulator. Made of carbon, it is a motorsport design with illuminated buttons and magnetic dual-action shift paddles, also made of carbon. Compared to the steering wheel in the BMW M6 GT3, for example, the new wheel has extremely good ergonomics. It is very comfortable to hold. While the steering wheel is in use at all the tests with the real BMW M4 GT3 race car, and is permanently being optimised, it will go on sale to sim racers in the second quarter of 2021. Parallel to FANATEC commencing sales, a documentary film on the development of the hybrid steering wheel, which combines the worlds of real and digital motor racing, will be released on the Amazon Prime streaming platform.
The six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which was conceived from the outset for both the BMW M4 Competition and the BMW M4 GT3. 510 hp, 650 Newton metres (479 lb-ft) – this is the most powerful straight-six engine we’ve ever fitted in a production car. 590 hp, 700 Newton metres (516 lb-ft) – this is the most powerful straight-six engine BMW has installed in a racing car since the days of the BMW M1 Group 5. The two engineers go on to describe how incredibly similar the engine in the BMW M4 Competition is to its counterpart at the core of the new flagship model in the BMW M Motorsport line-up. With components of the power unit in the production M model – including the crankcase, cylinder head, crankshaft drive, crankshaft and connecting rod – also designed to deliver maximum performance on the track, the perfect groundwork for the race-spec unit is already in place. Engelke and Schulz explore in detail how the engine is positioned and installed in the different cars, and underline their points with easy-to-understand sketches on a flipchart. This paints a clear picture of where the specific demands on the production/racing car engine lie and how BMW M GmbH has risen to the task of meeting those challenges.
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