By the time the first-generation M6 made its debut in 1983, BMW had already been racing the 6 Series for three years. The company’s vehicle of choice for the race course was the 635 CSi, which spent more than a decade on the track between 1980 and 1992. The coupe scored 26 overall wins and 7 class victories in more than 600 races that included many endurance events. Although the 6 Series nameplate returned for the 2006 model year with V-8 and V-10 engines, the new coupe didn’t follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and never made it onto the track on official terms. That will change in 2015, when BMW rolls out a GT3-spec version of the 2016 BMW M6 for GT Endurance and Sprint racing.

Based on the road-going model but equipped with an aerodynamic body kit and race-bred internals, the M6 GT3 comes in to replace the venerable 2010 BMW Z4 GT3. The latter has been serving BMW factory teams and privateers with great success since 2010, but Munich is ready to add a new chapter to its motorsport saga. Already shown to BMW Motorsport teams in Europe and the U.S., the M6 GT3 has made its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show wearing the brand’s iconic purple, blue, and red livery.

Updated 09/15/2015: The new BMW M6 GT3 made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M6 GT3.

  • 2016 BMW M6 GT3
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    € 379000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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The grand tourer received a brand-new body kit to enhance aerodynamics and provide the necessary downforce on the track.

Design-wise, the grand tourer received a brand-new body kit to enhance aerodynamics and provide the necessary downforce on the track. Up front, the headlamps and the kidney grille are the only stock features that remained untouched, with the bumper replaced by a more aggressive piece.

A huge air dam found its way into the new apron, with a massive splitter mounted down below. A vented hood and flared fenders are also included in the package. The rear fascia benefits from similar changes, including a new bumper and a race-spec diffuser. A large, fixed rear wing sits atop the trunk lid.

Viewed from the side, the M6 GT3 showcases a handful of GT3-spec features, including a fuel cap mounted into the quarter window and exhaust tips sticking out below the doors. A set of lightweight wheels wrapped in race-spec tires give the coupe the necessary grip.

The car’s aggressive appearance is complemented by a racing livery similar to the 3.0 CSL race car of the 1970s. Finished in white and adorned by the purple, blue, and red stripes of the BMW Motorsport division, the new racer should keep BMW gearheads happy.

Interior

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Interior
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BMW had nothing to say about the car’s interior, but the official photos show a cockpit devoid of any convenience features and packed with racing gear. Mandatory track equipment includes a race-spec steering wheel, a bolstered driver’s seat and a full roll cage. Although the standard dashboard and door panels are still in place, everything as has been removed in order to save as much weight as possible. A carbon-fiber center stack replaced the regular unit found on the road-going M6.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Drivetrain
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BMW had confirmed the M6 GT3 will borrow its engine from the production M6 Coupe since 2014, but no specs were released back then. This hasn’t changed with the arrival of the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s far from unusual, as most carmakers do not disclose the output of their GT3 cars. Naturally, the engine has been modified specifically for racing and will mate to a race-spec gearbox and work in conjunction with racing ABS and electronics.

The Twin Power V-8 mill displaces 4.4 liters and pumps 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque into the road-going M6, but these figures should be different for the race car. According to GT3 regulations, GT3 cars must tips the scales between 1,200 and 1,300 kg (2,646 to 2,866 pounds) with horsepower between 500 and 600. All cars have very similar power-to-weight ratios achieved either by high power and high weight or low power and low weight.

Given the M6 GT3 weighs in at 2,866 pounds, which makes it more than 1,200 pounds lighter than the road-legal coupe, output should sit at 600 horsepower.

Prices

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The new BMW M6 GT3 is priced at €379,000, which converts to about $427,000.

Competitors

2015 Audi R8 LMS Ultra

2015 Audi R8 LMS High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Audi R8 LMS is also fresh for the 2016 season, having received an array of updates and the road car’s redesigned styling cues in 2015. Sporting a more aggressive appearance with sharper body lines and curb weight of 2,700 pounds, which makes it 55 pounds lighter than the previous model, the new R8 LMS uses an updated 5.2-liter V-10 that generates 585 horsepower. Audi’s GT3 sports car is priced at €359,00 (plus VAT), which converts to around $404,520.

Read our full review here.

2015 McLaren 650S GT3

2015 McLaren 650S GT3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Unlike the M6 GT3, McLaren’s 650S GT3 is preparing for its second competitive season. Developed as a successor to the highly acclaimed 2013 McLaren 12C GT3, the 650S GT3 replaced its forerunner in the Blancplain Endurance and Sprint Series starting in 2015. Essentially an updated 12C GT3, the 650S GT3 showcases the manufacturer’s newly developed racing parts, which include a revised suspension system, a wider track, and new-generation tires.

Powered by McLaren’s award-winning, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter, V-8 engine, the 650S GT3 hits the track with 493 horsepower at its disposal. The oomph is guided to the wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission and kept in balance by an array of race-bred underpinnings and a high-performance braking system. Needless to say, the M6 GT3 has plenty of things to worry about.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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Though not as celebrated as the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL race car, the Z4 GT3 has quite a few achievement to brag about. During its six-year career, the coupe scored 32 overall wins and 27 class victories, making it one of the most successful race cars of the 2010s. The M6 GT3 has no choice but to win races in order to become a successful replacement to the Z4 GT3. Any other result will make the new race car a disappointment and BMW is more than aware of that. We won’t know how the M6 GT3 behaves on the track until the racing season begins, but knowing the reliability of BMW’s racing engines and the outstanding handling of Munich’s race cars (in this case enhanced by the M6’s longer wheelbase), the new GT3 seems quite promising.

  • Leave it
    • Tough competition from Audi, McLaren, and Porsche

Updated History

Updated 08/05/2015: BMW announced that the new M6 GT3 can be purchased starting 15th September 2015 for a net price of 379,000 Euro - or about $413,000 at the current exchange rates. On September 15 the model will be presented for the first time in a BMW Motorsport racing design, without camouflage livery, at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September. The price for North American customers will be announced at a later date.

Updated 03/18/20015: BMW dropped a series of new images for the upcoming M6 GT3 taken during an extensive testing program in Monteblanco (ES) and Portimão (PT). The car was tested by Lucas Luhr (DE), Jörg Müller (DE), Jens Klingmann (DE), Dominik Baumann (AT) and Maxime Martin (BE).

Updated 02/05/2015: BMW announced that the 2016 M6 GT3 was finally tested for the first time with Jörg Müller (DE) at the wheel. Apparently the car will be a real success and Müller was mostly impressed by the car’s engine and the amount of torque it delivers. The new M6 GT3 will be used in competition from 2016 onward. With the occasion, BMW also dropped the first real images of the race car, even if with tons of camouflage.

First images of the M6 GT3

2016 BMW M6 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 BMW M6 GT3 Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

BMW has set a course for the future in GT racing with the presentation of the newly developed BMW M6 GT3 at the 66th IAA Cars 2015 in Frankfurt am Main (DE). The racing version of the BMW M6 Coupe will be sent into action by numerous private teams from the 2016 season in a host of championships and renowned race events around the world as part of the BMW Sports Trophy.

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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BMW Motorsport has channelled its vast well of experience amassed since 2010 with the BMW M6 GT3’s successful predecessor, the BMW Z4 GT3, into the development of the new car. Indeed, the new GT3 racer boasts a raft of improvements, particularly in the areas of drivability and economy. One example is the use of a series-produced engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which develops higher output and an increase in torque. Moreover, with its centrally-positioned driver’s seat and long wheelbase, the BMW M6 GT3 offers a driving feeling unparalleled on the racing scene. The net price of the car is 379,000 Euros.

The BMW M6 GT3 weighs less than 1,300 kilograms, and the transaxle drive concept, sequential six-speed racing gearbox and body aerodynamics optimised in the BMW wind tunnel also highlight the imminent arrival of a full-blooded racer from BMW Motorsport in 2016. The reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance of the BMW M6 GT3 will likewise be tuned to master the demands of endurance racing, and its longer wheelbase promises to deliver significantly improved handling characteristics compared with the BMW Z4 GT3. As well as the car itself, BMW M6 GT3 customers will also benefit from the service laid on by BMW Motorsport support engineers and a trackside supply of parts.

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior
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In May 2015, ahead of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany, BMW Motorsport customers from around the world were treated to an exclusive first glimpse of the BMW M6 GT3 – not to mention a detailed presentation of the car by drivers and engineers – at a “closed room” event at the BMW M Testcenter Nürburg. The GT racing car was subsequently introduced to fans of “the most powerful letter in the world” at the traditional M Night event on the Friday before the classic endurance race in the “Green Hell”. Customer teams in North America were able to feast their eyes on the BMW M6 GT3 for the first time at the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in Watkins Glen (US), where the racing car was given its first public appearance on the other side of the Atlantic in late June. The BMW M6 GT3 was then revealed to teams, drivers and fans at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race in Belgium – the most important GT race in the world. And now, the car has appeared in BMW Motorsport racing livery for the first time at the IAA.

2016 BMW M6 GT3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The BMW M6 GT3 has undergone an extensive programme of testing on a variety of circuits over the course of 2015. This has allowed the experienced BMW works drivers to amass many valuable kilometres at the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 and to carry out important work on the baseline set-up of the new GT and endurance racing challenger. This new poster car for customer racing is now undergoing a final round of fine-tuning prior to its race debut in the coming year.

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