BMW has confirmed that its new M4 GT3 race car will make its competition debut in the four-hour fourth round of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie later this month.
As reported by Sportscar365 in March, the latest GT3 racing product from Munich is set to compete in the SP-X category for non-homologated vehicles prior to its full customer rollout next year. Its drivers for the NLS race on June 26 have yet to be declared.
BMW confirmed the M4 GT3’s debut race plans alongside a reveal of the car’s factory livery, ahead of this weekend’s Nürburgring 24 which marks the last for the outgoing M6.
The new car, which is powered by a straight-six turbocharged engine, has been developed by BMW M Motorsport in parallel with the new M4 Competition road product.
“The development work on the BMW M4 GT3 is now on the finishing straight, and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is the perfect stage on which to present the car in its BMW M Motorsport design and thus to herald the final phase leading up to the first race outings,” said BMW M CEO Markus Flasch.
“The new BMW M4 Competition provides the perfect basis for the BMW M4 GT3, whose engine was designed from the outset for use at the racetrack.
“This underlines how road car and race car development always go hand in hand at BMW M GmbH.
“The new car offers state-of-the-art technology, thanks to our technology partners.
“They are among the best in their respective fields, and we are delighted to have them supporting us on the development of the BMW M4 GT3 with their specific know-how and areas of expertise. That is the perfect basis for a successful new race car.”
BMW’s head of race and test engineering Mike Krack told Sportscar365 in March of plans to field an M4 GT3 in a round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup, however only the NLS outing has been confirmed so far.
Nonetheless, the manufacturer has said that it plans to conduct “more tests and race outings” with development partner Team RMG before its global rollout with customer teams.
The machine was rolled out for the first time in July 2020 and since then has completed more than 14,000 km over approximately 70 hours, according to BMW.
Tests have taken place at Miramas, Vallelunga, Most, Slovakiaring, Lausitzring, Monteblanco, Almeria and the Nürburgring Nordschleife. BMW visited the latter circuit in April with Augusto Farfus and Jens Klingmann taking turns behind the wheel.
“My initial feedback is that the BMW M4 GT3 has retained the strengths of its predecessor on the Nordschleife, while eradicating its weaknesses,” said Klingmann after that test.
“Of course, it’s not possible to transfer that 1:1 to other circuits from such a special track, but as a driver you feel right at home from the word go in the BMW M4 GT3. It is not unpredictable, but it’s fast nonetheless. It was really great fun.”
BMW has also released a price tag of €415,000 for the M4 GT3. This lines up with €399,000 for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo (revealed in 2019), €398,000 for the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo (2018) and €459,000 for the Porsche 911 GT3 R (2018).
Teams can also purchase an optional ‘Competition Package’ for endurance races involving extra features and dedicated simulator sessions at a BMW facility.