A brand-new support vehicle from the Bavarians

BMW M GmbH has been the partner of MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports for nearly two decades now, and is recognized as the “Official Car of MotoGP.” That means every time the top-rung motorcycle racing series needs something four-wheeled to help out on tack, Bimmer is there to provide the ride. Now, BMW has revealed a new safety car for the series, pulling the sheets at the 2017 MotorGP finale at Valencia. Based on the brand-new F90-generation M5, which was revealed earlier in 2017 at the gamescom trade fair in Germany, this spiced-up four-door is destined for duty in the 2018 MotoGP series scheduled to kick off March 19th. Rocking the same 4.4-liter V-8 as the road-going variants, this is also the first BMW Safety Car to run the M xDrive AWD drivetrain, and it’s got a good deal of M-branded Performance Parts to go with it. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car.

  • 2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600
  • Torque @ RPM:
    553
  • Displacement:
    4.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What Makes The BMW MotoGP Safety Car Special

2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 741350
The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car. Carbon was added for the roof, side sills, rear diffuser, and more. In front is a prototype diffuser.

Taking up the responsibility for prepping the M5 for life as a safety car was BMW M Manufaktur in Garching. The engineers started with the standard street car, then proceeded to add a variety of M Performance Parts, which, as BMW points out, “are available as retrofit parts for the BMW M5 production model.” The group also upgraded the styling, aero, cooling, and safety systems, while simultaneously cutting out a weight where possible.

The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car, a competition-spec vehicle destined for the harrowing 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018. In terms of weight reduction, the M team added loads of composite material, such as with carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the roof panel, as well as carbon components for the side sills, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, grille, side view mirror housings, and air breather slats. It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.

2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car Exterior
- image 741375
It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.

Take a peek behind that weave-laden kidney grille intake, and you’ll find the M5 Safety Car is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, which just saw an increase in power to 600 ponies total with the latest F90 generation changeover in August. Torque is rated at 750 Nm (553 pound-feet). The output numbers match those of the road car, as do the acceleration figures, with the 0-to-62 mph sprint completed in 3.4 seconds. Swapping the cogs is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission equipped with Drivelogic, once again mirroring what you get in the road car.

BMW also saw fit to throw on a fresh BMW M Performance sport exhaust, a nice upgrade that’s made from titanium and tipped with carbon fiber end pieces. Up front, there’s a prototype front splitter, which you unfortunately can’t buy from the dealership. There are also new hood latches for the sake of safety, and up top, there’s a new light bar with LEDs, plus front-facing blue LED flashing lights and flashing corona rings in the headlights.

2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 741353
One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track.

One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track. Handling is helped thanks to the inclusion of M-tuned suspension pieces, while inside, there are new buckets seats plucked from the BMW M4 GTS.

“A MotoGP Safety Car faces enormous challenges,” said BMW M GmbH President, Frank Van Meel. “It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes through all sorts of conditions. Innovative motorsport technology is an essential part of this. The new BMW M5 forms the perfect basis for a safety car, as its technical features ensure perfect handling, even at the limits of driving dynamics – on the road and on the racetrack.”

References

BMW M5

2018 BMW M5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 727588

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

BMW M4

2016 BMW M4 GTS High Resolution Exterior
- image 649558

Read our full review on the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.

Press release

Innovative high-performance cars for safety at the highest level of motorcycle racing: the BMW M GmbH has remained true to this principle throughout nearly 20 years of partnership with the MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports, and as the “Official Car of MotoGP”. That is especially true of the new BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car, which the company from Munich is presenting as the next highlight in the Safety Car fleet. The new course car is based on the high-performance sedan BMW M5 (combined consumption: 10.5 l/100 km*; combined CO2 emissions: 241 g/km*), which was showcased to the global public for the first time in August. The new BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car will debut at the MotoGP season finale in Valencia, Spain (10th to 12th November) and will speerhead the Safety Car fleet in the 2018 season.

“A MotoGP Safety Car faces enormous challenges. It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes safely through all sorts of conditions,” said Frank van Meel, President of BMW M GmbH. “Innovative motorsport technology is an essential part of this. The new BMW M5 forms the perfect basis for a safety car, as its technical features ensure perfect handling, even at the limits of driving dynamics - on the road and on the racetrack. Development never stands still in MotoGP, which is always pushing its limits further and further. The same is true for the BMW M GmbH - and the new M5 MotoGP Safety Car is an outstanding example of our pursuit of innovation and maximum levels of performance.”

The features in question include the newly-developed M-specific all-wheel drive M xDrive, which is being used in the BMW M5 for the first time. With precise handling and perfect traction, this guarantees optimised driving dynamics in all manner of situations. The heart of the BMW M5, the 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, has been completely overhauled by the M engineers. It represents another significant increase in performance compared to previous models, with 441 kW/600 HP and maximum torque of 750 Nm in the production M5. The new BMW M5 only needs 3.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. Transmission is provided by the new eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox with Drivelogic. The chassis contains M-specific kinematics and elastokinematics elements that contribute to optimised driving dynamics. The weight also plays an important role in performance. This has been reduced further through features such as the lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof.

Painstaking manual work at the BMW M Manufaktur in Garching converted the high-performance base car into the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car, preparing it to appear as the course car in the world’s fastest motorcycle racing series. This process included the addition of numerous BMW M Performance Parts, many of which are available as retrofit parts for the BMW M5 production model. These emphasise the sporty appearance of the Safety Car and meet all the functional requirements for aerodynamics, cooling and lightweight construction. These include various carbon components such as side sills, rear diffusor, rear spoiler, front kidney grille, door mirror caps and air breather slats. The BMW M Performance sport exhaust system is made of titanium, with carbon exhaust tips, and has been designed specially for use on the racetrack.

The transformation of the BMW M5 to a MotoGP Safety Car was completed by the inclusion of special racing features and the necessary safety equipment. The front splitter is a prototype developed specifically for the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car. The bonnet latches are taken directly from racing. The bucket seats from the BMW M4 GTS guarantee a combination of comfort and maximum security for their occupants when being in action on the racetrack. The flat light bar on the roof uses modern LED technology. It is controlled via a specially-developed cockpit panel. Another important signalling system is provided by the flashing front lights, consisting of blue LED lamps in the front grills and flashing corona rings for the headlamps.

The design of the new BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Cars also makes a clear racing statement: it is inspired by the design of the new BMW M8 GTE race car, which will compete for BMW at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. Series developers from BMW M and the BMW Motorsport department worked hand in hand on development of the BMW M8 GTE. The design reflects this close cooperation.

The partnership between the BMW M GmbH and Dorna Sports dates back to 1999. The provision of the BMW M fleet is the core of the involvement as “Official Car of MotoGP”. There are also a host of other activities. The BMW M Award for the best MotoGP qualifier has been presented at the end of every season since 2003. The BMW M MotoGP Experience gives visitors the chance to experience the MotoGP at first hand. The BMW M MotoGP experts give them exclusive insights. On selected Grand Prix weekends, the BMW M GmbH presents its newest models and products in on-site actions.

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