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2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

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.

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2018 BMW M8 GTE

2018 BMW M8 GTE

Bimmer returns to Le Mans with the first M8 ever made!

The official confirmation that BMW is planning to revive the 8 Series and build the first M8 ever is arguably the best BMW-related news we received this year. And while both cars are still a few months from going public, the German firm offered us a sneak preview by launching the M8-based race car first. Unveiled at the2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s called the M8 GTE and will mark the brand’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans after seven years. The new race car will make its debut in early 2018, at the 24 Hours of Daytona.

BMW also confirmed that the M8 GTE will race before the 8 Series goes on sale, so don’t expect the flagship coupe to arrive earlier than January 2018. But the good news is that the race car gives a good look at what the upcoming M8 will bring to the table in terms of design and even performance. Of course, the production model won’t be as aggressive as the GTE-spec vehicle, but many of these styling features will make it on the coupe that you’ll be able to find in dealerships. Let’s have a closer at the M8 GTE and BMW’s upcoming campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 GTE.

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2017 BMW M4 GT4

2017 BMW M4 GT4

The M4 goes racing beyond DTM with a GT4-spec version

The BMW M4 came to be in 2013, when the German company unveiled its brand-new performance coupe in concept form. The introduction of the M4 marked the end of the road for the M3 Coupe, with all two-door versions of the 3 Series being moved under the new 4 Series denomination. On top of the new styling and nomenclature, the M4 also gained a new engine. The previous naturally aspirated V-8 was replaced with turbocharged inline-six with enhanced performance and fuel economy. Much like its predecessors, the M4 was also engineered for track use, spawning a successful DTM race car. However, unlike previous M3 Coupes, the M4 never made in other racing series. But things are set to change in 2018, when BMW will unleash a GT4-spec version of the two door coupe to replace the M3 GT4.

The new race car will compete in existing GT4 classes, which are included in various series in Europe, North America, and Asia. The car will be open to customer teams around the world, but will also be used to bring talented young drivers closer to the GT3 class as part of the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme. The newly developed GT sports car has already completed its first tests at the end of 2016 and customers will be able to purchase it in 2017, just in time for the start of the 2018 racing season.

Continue reading for our full review.

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BMW Teams Up With Andretti To Join Formula E

BMW Teams Up With Andretti To Join Formula E

The Germans will make their debut in the series in the 2016-2017 season

Nearly two weeks ago it was reported that BMW and Nissan were planning to join the all-electric Formula E series as early as next season, which is scheduled to commence in October 2016. Today it was confirmed that the German automaker is indeed looking to join the series.

The news comes from BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt, who told Motorsport.com that the team is already working alongside an existing Formula E team. Although he wouldn’t say which squad BMW teamed up with, it’s believed that the Bavarian brand is working with the Andretti team. The American squad joined the series from the very beginning and finished the first two seasons in sixth and seventh, respectively. Although it failed to win races, Andretti scored five podiums and several top 10 finishes.

The report adds that Andretti is expected to announce BMW factory driver Antonio Felix da Costa as the team’s new driver. Da Costa will join Robin Frijns, who raced a full season for the American stable last season.

“We are working closely on the engineering side with one of the teams. So, we have a good insight, but we have always made it clear there are a few things that have to really strengthen and develop. I think it is going in the right direction,” said Marquardt.

While BMW won’t have much say as a manufacturer for now, this will change in the future. However, the Germans will be waiting for Formula E to adopt an

F1

style, one-car-per-driver strategy, which is projected to happen starting 2018.

“For sure, the change of car that is still in place is, from our point of view, with regards to the range of electric vehicles is not ideal. But, there is a path to season five to get this into a better solution and we keep monitoring the situation," he added.

The upcoming Formula E season includes 14 venues in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Both Montreal and New York will host two races. The current grid for the 2016/2017 season includes 10 teams. The season is scheduled to begin on October 9, 2016, and will come to a close on July 30, 2017.

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2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car

The rarest and most expensive safety car in DTM history

Remember how BMW tested the M4 GTS camouflaged as a MotoGP Safety Car before unveiling it in 2015? Well, it turns out that the Germans were just trying to be sneaky. They were working on an actual pace car based on the limited-edition M4. The safety car in question will be used in the 2016 DTM season and was revealed with only a week ahead of the competitions’ debut at the Hockenheimring on May 7.

The specially equipped M4 GTS will pace the DTM field during the entire 2016 season, which includes nine events in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia, and Hungary. The GTS replaces the standard BMW M4 Coupe used in 2014 and 2015. The new safety car will be driven by Jurgen Kastenholz, the official DTM pace car driver since 2010.

"The BMW M4 excels through neutral handling, fantastic response and enormous power delivery starting at low engine speeds for optimum acceleration out of tight corners," said the 48-year old. "The new BMW M4 GTS will be even better. So I will have complete trust in the car from the word go – and this is absolutely essential to be able to lead a pack of 24 DTM racing cars quickly around the circuit during the caution periods."

The M4 GTS will lead a pack consisting of race cars based on the Mercedes-AMG C63, Audi RS5, and BMW M4.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M4 GTS Safety Car.

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2016 BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car

2016 BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car

BMW announces its newest M2-based MotoGP safety car, and details everything that goes into making it ready for duty

It’s not very often that a partnership between and automaker and a race organizer lives and excessively long life, but it does happen. Take a look at the partnership between Dorna Sports – the organizer for MotoGP – and BMW. A deal was signed between the two back in 1999 to have BMW cars and bikes as the official safety and medical vehicles for MotoGP racing. In 2006, BMW’s M division took the role of “Official car of MotoGP,” and since then, BMW M cars have been at each MotoGP event.

Such a long and successful partnership is quite rare, but something tells me that success has something to do with BMW’s heritage and the fact that it puts a lot of time and effort into the safety and medical fleet for the MotoGP. Just take the 2016 BMW M2 MotoGP Safety car that you see in the image above. You might not realize it, but the car is transformed from a basic production car – one that is still wearing some camo at that – and is transformed by hand into the car it is today. The car is designed to be a safety car, but BMW goes a lot farther than that. Essentially, the M2 gets a long list of add-ons that makes it suitable for full-out racing.

So with that said, it’s pretty clear that the M2 MotoGP Safety car is one special Bimmer. Let’s take a look at what goes into making the M2 safety car, and all the equipment that makes it ready for race day.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car.

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2016 BMW M6 GTLM

2016 BMW M6 GTLM

There is some sort of racing for just about everything that has a motor. And while there might be a limited number of governing bodies for riding lawnmower racing, car racing has a dizzying number of organizations, each with its own set of rules. And that means that even though BMW has already built a version of the M6 to conform to the FIA’s GT3 regulations, a new car will have to be built in order to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This is a fairly new Championship, with its inaugural season having just happened in 2014. The Championship is actually just the result of the merging of the American Le Man Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series.

Since the series has its roots in the American Le Mans Series, the “LM” that you see in the name of the car stands for “Le Mans,” and the whole GTLM class is really just a copy of ACO’s GTE class for Le Mans and Le Mans series racing. The M6 GTLM is based heavily on the M6 GT3, but it is not as similar as the old Z4 GT3 was to the Z4 GTLM.

Updated 01/282016: BMW Team RLL today revealed two commemorative 100th anniversary liveries for the new M6 GTLM race cars. The new livery pays tribute to the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL which claimed the first victory at Daytona.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW M6 GTLM.

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2016 BMW M6 GT3

2016 BMW M6 GT3

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.

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2015 BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car

2015 BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car

Full disclosure: This article on BMW’s stunning, new M4 MotoGP Safety Car (or "Pace Car," if you’re American) contain references to the German WWII Focke-Wulf 190 fighter. You know, I love BMW as much as anyone, and generally avoid bringing up certain historical associations because of that... But with the Bavarians set to once again bomb around Europe on the power of water injection, there’s kind of no ignoring this snarling Wulf in the room. Read our full review of the 2015 M4 here.

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1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti

1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti

The BMW 2002 was a bit of an oddball when it came to American shores. The compact, boxy two-door clashed with the sizable American iron that prowled the roadways, and it’s low-displacement inline-four had a hard time keeping up with the big V-8 engines. However, what it lacked in power, the 2002 more than made up for in the corners. Its low weight and dynamic handling characteristics made the 2002 ideal for just about any motoring event involving turns.

One such event was SCCA Trans Am racing. The first few years of the 70s are typically referred to as the latter half of the “golden years” for SCCA Trans Am, with classes that featured production cars you could actually walk into a showroom and buy.

This particular 2002ti was built to compete in that series with the help of legendary BMW performance specialist company Alpina. The car features several Alpina upgrades, including a Weber side-draft carburetor setup and three-piece alloy wheels. The fenders are stuffed with extra rubber, and the engine has been tinkered with to give the Bimmer a little more speed down the straights.

The car ran in the ’71 and ’72 seasons before reaching retirement. It was then put into storage for nearly a quarter century before BMW resurrected it with new livery for the 1996 Monterey Historic Races.

In August 2014, the Bimmer was back at Laguna Seca, this time with Road&Track Executive Editor Sam Smith at the wheel and its original Alpina orange-and-black paint on the sheet metal. It’s a real treat seeing this old-school racer on full attack, slipping around its competitors and charging the corkscrew. You can check out the video of Smith in action here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1970 BMW Alpina 2002ti.

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2015 BMW i8 Safety Car

2015 BMW i8 Safety Car

The Formula E Championship kicked off in spectacular style over the weekend, featuring a last-lap crash between the race leaders Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld that gift-wrapped the historic win to Lucas di Grassi. That’s what everybody’s talking about and rightfully so. But the inaugural Formula E race also saw the BMW i8 take center stage as the series’ official safety car.

Isn’t it fitting that a championship among electric-powered race cars would have a low-emission, hybrid sports car like the i8 serving as its safety car?

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car, as it’s officially known, was joined by its little brother, the BMW i3, which also performed duties as the series’ official medical car and extraction car. Might as well keep it in the family!

True to form, the i8 Safety Car ended up taking part in a busy and action-packed race, none more dramatic than the hellacious crash in the last lap of the race. While jockeying for the lead, Prost’s Renault made contact with Heidfeld’s Venturi, sending the latter into the barricades in one of the most spectacular crashes we’ve seen this year. Fortunately, both Prost and Venturi escaped the accident in relatively unscathed.

At the very least, it gave us a good preview of how exciting the new FIA Formula E Championship can be. The BMW i8 Safety Car already knows that after only one race manning the track.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Safety Car.

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1975 BMW 3.0 CSL

1975 BMW 3.0 CSL

Before it had introduced the 6 Series, built from 1976 to 1989 and then reintroduced in 2003, BMW had the New Six (E9) to fill the coupe gap in its lineup. Launched in 1968, the E9 survived for eight years, in which several versions were created with engines ranging from the twin-carb, 2.5-liter to the fuel-injected 3.2-liter. Stunningly beautiful in standard guise, the E9 spawned a downright aggressive, yet still gorgeous, race car toward the end of its life. Known either as the 3.0 CSL or the 3.5 CSL and often dubbed "Batmobile," this beefed-up monster marked the beginning of a very special era for BMW. One that would cement the automaker’s image as a race car manufacturer.

That’s because the race-prepped E9 went on to win more than 100 races throughout its career, which included several different categories. Making the E9 that more special is that it turned out to be one of the very few Bimmers to score important victories on U.S. soil by defeating Porsche at Sebring, Daytona and Talladega.

The Germans have just restored one of these IMSA-spec cars and snatched the class win at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The vehicle will return at Laguna Seca race track during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion starting August 14th, 2014 and we just couldn’t pass the opportunity of adding the 3.0 CSL to our catalog of reviews.

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official presentation at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL.

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2014 BMW M235i Racing Nurburgring 24 Hours Edition

2014 BMW M235i Racing Nurburgring 24 Hours Edition

Brought to the market as a replacement for the 1 Series Coupe, the 2 Series inherited everything that made the former a great, back-to-the-roots Bimmer. Introduced in 2013, the 2 Series lineup grew larger in a flash by incorporating the mandatory M235i and the future M2 guises. But unlike most BMWs, the 2 Series also gained a racing version under the M235i Racing moniker.

Why did BMW choose the M235i and not the more nimble and powerful M2 for a race car project you may ask? That’s easy. The M235i Racing is supposed to be an entry-level race car that small privateers and amateur drivers can afford. It’s not a race car that can win a head-to-head battle with the Audi R8 LMS Ultra, but it does provide the thrills of racing for less than $90,000. That may sound like a lot even for a BMW-badged vehicle, but it’s pretty cheap given today’s racing scene.

Introduced last year, the 2014 BMW M235i Racing is already doing what it knows best at the hands of private teams, but the Germans decided to step in and field an entry of their own at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours race.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Racing Nurburgring 24 Hours Edition.

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2014 BMW M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car

2014 BMW M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car

BMW has a rich history of building safety cars for some of the world’s biggest racing series. This year, the M4 Coupe has joined Beamer’s safety car family when it made its debut at the start of the 2014 DTM season.

The M4 Coupe joins the 1 Series M Coupe, the M3, the M5, and the M6 Gran Coupe in that list of BMWs that have been commissioned for safety car duties. That’s an impressive list, and to help celebrate the occasion, the M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car was given all the bells and whistles to successfully serve its purpose.

Obviously, the M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car is based on the road-going model. That being said, a lot of the usual components of the road version have been taken out in favor of installing the necessary safety equipment as required by FIA regulations.

It’s a comprehensive modification that clearly was done for a specific purpose, just like the past BMW models that have been lucky enough to see duty as safety cars at one time or another.

The development of the M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car was also a case of good timing for BMW. There’s no better way to usher in the era of the M4 Coupe DTM Race Car than having one of its own in front of the pack – one that’s responsible for a lot more than just winning races and making podiums.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Coupe DTM Safety Car

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2012 BMW X6 Trophy Truck by All German Motorsports

2012 BMW X6 Trophy Truck by All German Motorsports

Trophy trucks are pretty bad-ass and so is the BMW X6. So what would that leave any automotive nut to figure? Well, the folks at All German Motorsports let us know the answer, as they pieced together a trophy truck based on the styling of the X6. Nearly every single component on this AGM-built X6 dune truck was custom fabricated, as components to build an X6 Trophy Truck are just not readily available.

In the end, AGM ended up with a pretty sick creation, as this beast weighs a whopping 2,000 lbs less than the typical trophy truck, and even 300 lbs less than the lightest stock X6. Those weight savings are thanks to a Jimco Racing-built frame that is several hundreds of lbs lighter than the average trophy truck and a McGrath Fiberglass-built carbon fiber body, which saves a significant amount of weight over the average trophy truck.

After all of that body and frame work, a BMW V-8 engine was shipped off to Denzo for a complete build up. This custom-built V-8 produces a massive 725 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. All of this combined with a plethora of custom suspension and braking work netted the team one nasty, dune-ready X6.

In its inaugural running, the truck had an axle failure and had to retire early. The following day, this trophy truck clawed from its last place slot to finish in 10th place for the series, which isn’t bad considering it dropped out of the first race. There’s nothing like seeing a luxury SUV cruising through the desert at speeds well in excess of 100 mph and getting some serious airtime at the same time.

We will keep you updated on how this X6 Trophy Truck performs in future races, so stay tuned!

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2012 BMW M6 Coupe MotoGP Safety Car

2012 BMW M6 Coupe MotoGP Safety Car

In 2006, BMW’s M division formed a partnership to provide the official safety cars for the MotoGP championship. Last year, a BMW 1-Series M Coupe was the official safety car at the Indianapolis MotoGP, but this year this role will be reserved for the brand new BMW M6 Coupe.

The new BMW M6 Safety Car will make its first public debut during this weekend’s (May 19-20, 2012) Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race in Germany, a warm up for the upcoming M Festival’s M Corso event.

BMW hasn’t revealed any details on their brand new M6 Coupe Safety Car, but we believe it will get the same treatment as all the previous safety models. This treatment will include plenty of carbon fiber elements to make it lighter, an adjustable rear wing for improved downforce, a rollover cage, and new front racing bucket seats. There will also be a special exterior finish and lots of LED lights.

More details about the new M6 Coupe MotoGP Safety Car will be revealed during the weekend. Stay tuned!

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2012 BMW SA 335i Race Car by ADF Motorsport

2012 BMW SA 335i Race Car by ADF Motorsport

At its core, the language of motorsport racing knows no boundaries. Anywhere you go, it’s all predicated on the same premise of being faster than your competition.

But one thing that changes depending on the circumstances are the cars that compete in such races. Over in South Africa, there’s a series called the SA Production Car Championship. One of the teams competing in the series is ADF Motorsport and recently, they, together with partner BMW South Africa, unveiled the prized steed that will be racing under their banner for the 2012 season.

The car, an F30 BMW 335i, is making history of sorts as the very first F30 3-Series racing car in the world, making it noteworthy on a lot of levels.

Developed by ADF Motorsport in collaboration with BMW SA, the F30 335i was given plenty of modifications to adhere to series regulations. In order to keep the car in its intended weight of just over 1,360 kg, ADF opted to replace plenty of the built-in parts on the car with carbon fiber taken from BMW’s new M Performance aftermarket options. Likewise, a new Akrapovic exhaust system was also installed with the car also getting 370mm M Performance front disc brakes, a new set of 18" BBS rims, and an N55 TwinPower turbocharged engine.

As far as the powertrain is concerned, SA Production Car regulations prohibited ADF Motorsport from giving the car any performance enhancements. Nevertheless, the addition of a modified engine management system, a new turbocharger, and the new Akrapovic exhaust system gives the F30 335i enough power - 402 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque - to be competitive in the racing series.

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