Eight years after BMW became the first manufacturer to win an international race with a diesel powered sports car, gentlemen racers can now purchase two specially prepared vehicles by BMW Motorsport - a 120d and a Z4 M Coupé.
Although diesel racing cars have recently become fashionable it was back in 1998 that a BMW 320d driven by Briton Steve Soper, among others, achieved a landmark victory in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. This is generally accepted as the first victory for a diesel car in a top line international event. Now customers wanting to emulate this success can buy a 120d car with a racing package. BMW Motorsport is extending the range of models available for customer sport with its latest offer of a race version of the BMW 120d. The racing kit is expected to cost 95,000 euros when it goes on sale in March 2006 and is available from BMW Racing Parts.
The 245 bhp racing model was developed by BMW Motorsport and is suited to both rally racing and endurance events across the globe. Like its production counterpart, the turbocharged four-cylinder inline diesel engine driving the 120d race version is also coming from BMW Motoren GmbH Steyr in Austria.
BMW is thus perpetuating its customer racing tradition in the year 2006. After the BMW 320i E46 took both the Manufacturers’ and the Drivers’ title in the 2005 World Touring Car Championship, next year will see numerous private teams lining up alongside the BMW national teams to contest the FIA WTCC with its successor model, the BMW 320si. To date, 114 kits of the E46 series forerunner have been sold around the world by BMW Racing Parts.
In extending its product range with the new BMW 120d, BMW is driving forward its successful concept of offering 200-plus customer teams around the globe a wide range of opportunities to gather racing experience and successes. In addition to the recently unveiled version - with its flared wings modelled on the 320si built for the WTCC - the 120d will also be available with slightly modified bodywork to meet the FIA regulations for Group N.
The BMW 120d marks its racing debut on 12th/13th January at the Dubai 24-Hour Race, where Team Schubert Motors will be fielding the car privately to test its endurance under race conditions. Taking it in turns at the wheel will be Johannes Stuck, Claudia Hürtgen, Bernhard Laber and Roland Hertner.