BMW Motorsport has released pictures of its upgraded Z4 GT3 race car. The 2011 car has completed testing and is available for customer teams.
BMW Z4 GT3: the lowdown
The Z4 GT3 may look like a regular Z4 that's been attacked by a boy-racer with a carbonfibre and tea-tray rear wing fetish. But under the skin the Z4 GT3 ditches straight-six power for a 4.4-litre motorsport-tuned V8 engine, hooked up to a six-speed racing transmission
BMW Motorsport takes a regular Z4 coupe-cabriolet body shell, and removes the retractable hardtop, bonnet, bootlid, front and rear wings and the bumpers. In goes an FIA-approved rollcage, modified front structure for that V8 engine and suitably uprated suspension and steering hardware.
A 100-litre fuel tank takes care of the V8's thirst, which is monitored along with the other performance parameters by a digital instrument panel. Lightweight carbonfibre panels cover up the racing tech. For 2011 BMW has particularly focused on honing the Z4 GT3's aerodynamics, says the team.
BMW Z4 GT3: the rivals
FIA GT3 class racing does not have a world championship, but the Z4 GT3 is eligible to compete in endurance or GT race series with a GT3 class such as the British GT Series or the FIA GT3 European Championship.
The Z4 GT3 will face stern competition, with GT3 versions of the Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, Audi R8, Mercedes SLS, Lamborghini Gallardo, Alpina B6, Ferrari 458, Ford GT... BMW will hope that the 2011 car improves on third place in the 2010 GT3 European Championship for the Schubert Motorsport team. Schubert also won the Dubai 24hr race in January 2011.
I like the sound of a V8 Z4, when can I buy one?
If you fancy campaigning one in the GT3 class of your local racing series, BMW Motorsport would be happy to sell you a Z4 GT3. That will be £278,000 for the car, sir. Spare parts, accessories and racing team sold separately.