BMW Z4 GT3 (2010) first official pictures | CAR Magazine

BMW Z4 GT3 (2010) first official pictures

Published: 08 March 2010 Updated: 26 January 2015

Z4 M fans look away now – this is an officially sanctioned BMW Z-car with the 4.0-litre V8 engine from an M3. This is the BMW Z4 GT3.

I thought BMW wasn’t going to build a V8 version of its new Z4?

It isn’t, at least not for the road – the Bavarian company maintains that its sDrive 35iS Z4 with a 335bhp twin-turbo straight is as far as it’ll go. But racers are treated differently – BMW’s Motorsport division has built a V8-engined Z4 and will sell it to customers to race in competitions like the FIA GT3 championship.

And it’s the V8 from the BMW M3?

Yes – squeezed under that long bonnet is the same 4.0-litre V8 you’ll find in BMW’s finest M-car. And with the same ECU and control units that have proven themselves on the GT2-spec M3, plus a racing exhaust, power is up from 414bhp to around 480bhp, and there’s 339lb ft too (up from 295lb ft).

The rest is typical race race: a six-speed sequential ‘box sends power to the rear wheels, adjustable dampers sort the suspension, massively blistered bodywork to accommodate the wider track, new rims and slick tyres, and a front splitter, big rear wing and huge diffuser take care of the aerodynamics. A strict diet that’s seen the addition of a fixed roof and bidden goodbye to all the luxuries has helped cut the kerbweight from the 35iS’ 1525kg to 1200kg. Sales start this summer, and you’ll need £315,000 for the pleasure.

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By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large