Watching One BMW M1 ProCar Do Gurngel Hillclimb is a Treat, Three is Heaven On Earth
BMW may be famous nowadays for its premium sedans, sports coupes, and grand tourers, but at some point, it built a really awesome mid-engined sports car. Yes, I’m talking about the short-lived M1, which was built from 1978 to 1981 in only 453 units. Developed and built by BMW’s racing division, the M1 was a homologation special for sports car racing. The initial intent was to field it against Porsche in Group 5 racing, but delays in production and changes in Group 5 forced BMW to compete in Group 4.
Take a Ride Onboard This BMW 320i D2 Superturismo
The BMW 3 Series is now one of the most iconic compact cars out there and much of its fame came from the early generations and their involvement into motorsport. The first-generation E21 model spawned a cool Group 5 race car that replacement the 3.0 CSL, while the second-gen E30 model kickstarted BMW’s successful campaign in touring car racing.
The E30 M3 had a very successful career in this field and the third-gen E36 arrived in 1990 to take it further. If you’re too young to have seen the E36 touring cars in action back in the 1990s, the folks over at TNT Video just released an onboard video with Marco Iacoangeli behind the steering wheel. And it’s a feast for the eyes and ears.
This Alpina Green BMW M1 Procar Looks Absolutely Fabulous
The mid-engined BMW M1 has had a tumultuous career but it remains one of BMW’s most recognizable cars to date. Throw in some of that awesome-looking Alpina Green metallic paint and a custom body kit and you’re in for an automotive delight.
There’s one drawback, though, to all this. This car doesn’t exist in the real world as it came out on the world wide web from the creative mind of Khyzyl Saleem. But who’s to say a crafty tuner with a lot of courage won’t turn in into a kit some day?
Wallpaper of the Day: 2020 BMW M2 CS Racing
AS BMW Motorsport continues to expand its reach into providing more affordable ways to enter the world of racing, BMW has introduced the 2020 M2 CS Racing. Replacing the M4 GT4 as the entry-level racecar in the lineup, you’ll have to pony up about $105,000 to get one (€95,000) plus tax, of course. Under the hood sits BMW’s S55 2.9-liter inline-six that can be tuned to deliver anywhere between 280 and 365 horsepower depending on the Balance of Performance classification needed. Maximum torque is rated at 405 pound feet (550 Newton-meters) and is transferred to the wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a mechanical limited-slip differential. This is the same transmission found in the road-going M2 CS, but with different software tuning for quicker and crispier shifts.
Driver aids include ABS and stability control, but they can be disabled if you determine them unnecessary. Delivery of the M2 CS Racing should begin sometime in mid-2020 but it’s already been thoroughly tested at Miramas in France and Portimao in Portugal. With all of this in mind, we thought the M2 CS Racing would make a great wallpaper candidate, so we’ve added a few desktop wallpapers for you to choose from down below.
The Gruppe5 BMW 2002 Is An 800 Horsepower Blast From The Past with a $1 Million Price Tag
When you bring together one the best BMW engine builders and tuners with one of the best chassis and body designers of the last few decades, you’re bound to get an amazing product. Take it a step further, and task them with re-imagining BMW’s diminutive two-door hit of the late ’60s and early ’70s, the 2002, into a bona fide racer with a Group 5-inspired body kit and as much power as a McLaren 650S. You’ll end up with something like the Gruppe5 2002, a $1 million, flared pocket rocket that you didn’t know you wanted.
Actually; a carbon fiber body with boxy arches and an enormous rear wing that acts as a cage for a 744 horsepower V-10. That’s what you get, plus a lot more, if you wire $875,000 to Gruppe5’s account. Add $100,000 more, and you’ll get 803 horsepower from a bigger version of that same V-10. The catch is that Gruppe5 only plans to build 300 of these bonkers 2002s, 200 with the 744 horsepower engine and 100 with the 803 horsepower unit installed in front of the cabin. When will the renders you see turn into a running and driving car? Pretty soon since Bill and Bob Riley, two of the co-founders of the project as well as the driving power behind Riley Automotive will get cracking after Bob returns from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Now, if the name Riley rings any bells, I bet you now understand why this thing will cost as much as two Ferrari 812 Superfasts brimming with options. Oh, and that engine guy is none other than Steve Dinan, the founder of Dinan Cars and reputable Daytona Prototype-era engine builder.
On the 41st Anniversary Of The 1978 BMW M1, Here’s The History of Harald Ertl and the Fastest M1 Ever Built
The BMW M1 remains the only true supercar built by BMW and, thanks to the Procar Series that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it enjoys an aura quite like no other supercar. Harald Ertl, the mustachioed Austrian journalist who split his time between writing and racing, decided he liked the sound of "Harald Ertl the Land Speed Record holder" and prepared for the job of creating the most insane M1 seen outside of the racing circuits.
Ertl. Does this name ring any bells in your head? If you are, by chance, or at least used to be a model car aficionado, you might remember the venerable Ertl plastic and die-cast kits. Well, this Ertl has nothing to do with the American toy company because Harald Ertl was Austrian, born on the last day of Summer in 1948 in Zell Am See, a picturesque town in the state of Salzburg. By trade, he was an automotive journalist but, as time wore on, he became more and more involved in racing cars rather than merely testing and writing about them - a bit like Frenchman Paul Frere. Ertl established himself throughout the ’70s as an easily adaptable semi-professional driver who could tame anything from an F2 single-seater to the menacing Zakspeed-built Ford Capri III.
In 1981, he took a sabbatical away from racing and, instead, focused on getting his name carved in the history books as a land speed record holder. His weapon of choice? A twin-turbocharged BMW M1 with a bespoke widebody and about 400 ponies at the crank. Due to the lightness of the thing, the same output you’d find hiding under the body of a Genesis G80 propelled Ertl to a top speed of 187.3 mph. The trick up Ertl’s sleeve was to be found in the tank of the M1. You see, the car was made to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), also known as Autogas. No one before Ertl had gone that fast in an LPG-powered car and, in a way, it’s fitting that the current fastest LPG-powered car is also a BMW, only one that tops at almost 207 mph.
BMW M8 GTE Looks Good In Rainy Prep for Daytona 24-Hour
Former CART and, more recently, Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi completed his first test aboard BMW’s M8 GTE Le Mans race car at the Miramas circuit in France ahead of the Italian’s debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January of next year.
Zanardi is known for his inspiring return to racing after a vicious crash during the 2001 CART race at the Lausitzring, in Germany, in which he lost both of his legs. Since then, the Italian achieved success in the World Touring Car Championship, the Blancpain Sprint Series, and has guest-starred in the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours race and also competed in the DTM earlier this year.
The man who put down "The Pass" on Bryan Herta at Laguna Seca in 1996 has also become a Paralympics hero winning gold on his para cycle in both the 2012 London Paralympic Games and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games as well as capturing numerous victories in World Championship para-cycling events since 2011.
BMW is Keeping the Trademark Office Busy with new Designations for Future M Models
Any BMW that wears the “CSL” badge is very much sought-after. In fact, some of the earlier versions of CSL-badged Bimmers have turned into prized collectibles. That list includes the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, 2004 BMW M3 CSL, and most recently, the BMW M2 CSL. The M2 CSL, in particular, hasn’t even been released yet. Only 1,000 units of the model are expected to be built with orders scheduled to start in January 2018 and deliveries beginning in May 2018. But, even before the M2 CSL arrives, there is major news regarding the badge and what its future is with BMW.
As it turns out, BMW is serious about protecting the CSL designation to the point that it has registered the trademarks for a whole range of CSL models with the World Intellectual Property Organization, beginning with the M1 CSL and extending all the way to the M8 CSL. There is a caveat to the trademarks as only the M2 CSL, M4 CSL, and M8 CSL have been registered internationally whereas all of the trademarks are registered in Germany. It’s anybody’s guess what this could all mean, but we can at least be sure that BMW is going to be using the CSL moniker a lot more now that it has effectively replaced the GTS badge as the company’s go-to, top-of-the-line track machine.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2018 BMW M8 GTE
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.
BMW’s M8 GTE Le Mans Competitor Previews Production M8 Model
The Bavarians are heading back to Circuit de La Sarthe, and they’re bringing a new race car. Say hello to the M8 GTE, which just debuted this week at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Set to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the M8 GTE clearly has its sights set on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That’ll make it the first BMW to run the world-famous endurance event since 2011, following in the footsteps of such machines as the V12 LMR that took outright victory in 1999. The new racer’s first competitive event will be the 24 Hours of Daytona next year, with further races in the North American IMSA series on the docket as well. That’s all well and good, but for those of us chomping at the bit to see the new 8 Series, the M8 GTE offers some tantalizing insights into what to expect.
For those unaware, the upcoming M8 is framed as Bimmer’s end-all-be-all range-topping luxury two-door, a flagship coupe sporting large-and-in-charge dimensions, plenty of power, and high-end interior extravagance. It’s essentially BMW’s answer to competitors like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe, previewed with the BMW 8 Series Concept Coupe revealed in Italy at the Villa d’Este event earlier this year. However, with the racing version now out and under the lights, we’re taking a closer look to see what we can learn before the 8 Series drops at the Los Angeles Auto Show in a few months’ time.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 GTE and upcoming 8 Series.
BMW Confirms FIA Formula E Championship Entry
The Bavarians are once again stepping up for a little wheel-to-wheel racing action, but this time around, internal combustion need not apply. Rather, it’s all about the electricity as BMW prepares a bid in the Formula E Championship. BMW just announced its intentions to make a full-fledged factory effort for Season 5 of the battery-powered sport, partnering with the Andretti Formula E works team for battle in 2018 and 2019. BMW will provide the team with an in-house developed powertrain produced under the banner of the newly created i Motorsport division, BMW’s latest racing skunk works, which will work alongside BMW’s M Division to advance its go-faster know-how. BMW says it’ll use the opportunity to advance its all-electric technology, which will eventually trickle down to street cars like the i3 and i8, as well as future models like the iNext electric crossover.
“The borders between production and motor racing development are more blurred at BMW i Motorsport than in any other project,” says Klaus Frohlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development. BMW’s timing coincides with recent rule changes that made Formula E participation more appealing to the automaker, including “omission of the car changeover” seen in previous seasons. Meanwhile, the Andretti team provides a natural fit for BMW, given the past collaboration between the two organizations. “I couldn’t pick a more prestigious or historic manufacturer to work with in Formula E,” says Michael Andretti.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 BMW M4 GT4
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.
2017 BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane by G-Power
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a prevailing theme among forgettable cars in the auto industry. But every so often, a car captivates the business to no end that people have a hard time keeping them away from their memory palaces. The previous-generation BMW M3 counts as one of those vehicles. At one point, Automobile even described it in reverence on the level of how a four-year-old treats Santa Claus. It’s safe to say that the E92 BMW M3 will remain relevant for a long time and we can all look to the aftermarket tuning scene as a big contributor in keeping the last of the M3 coupes’ spirit alive. G-Power counts itself in this group and it even has a new tuning kit for the “old” M3 that pops the coupe’s power all the way up to a staggering 709 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
Officially, the German tuner calls its creation the M3 GT2 S Hurricane. It’s a nod to the old Hurricane programs that the E92 M3 was treated to when it was making hay as one of the best performance coupes in the world. It’s good to know then that even if the M3 coupe has been out of commission for three years now, owners of the model still have the opportunity to turn their prized M3s into certified rockets on four wheels. That’s exactly what this new Hurricane program is all about. It may not be for everybody, but for M3 owners who prefer to tap into the coupe’s full potential (with the aid of an engine swap), the GT2 S Hurricane program from G-Power is a good key that can help unlock it and more.
Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane.
BMW Announces Return to Le Mans and Endurance Racing
BMW has just revealed plans to expand its presence in the global motorsport scene by joining a new racing series by the end of the decade. The German automaker also confirmed its partnership with Andretti Autosport for Formula E, but more importantly, it said it will built a GT-spec car for the FIA World Endurance and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championships, which means a return to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
The decision comes seven years after BMW’s withdrawal from Formula One and four years afters its successful return to the DTM. By joining the new series, the German automaker will basically race in every important competition running in Europe and the United States, except Formula One. Munich also stated that it plans to further build on its presence in DTM and Dakar Rally, as well as continue to run its customer racing program in the GT3 and GT4 categories.
As for the new GT car that will mark the company’s first return at Le Mans since 2011, when BMW Motorsport raced the M3 GT2 in the LM-GTE Pro class, the German carmaker said it will arrive just in time for the 2018 season. Details are scant, but chances are BMW isn’t planning to develop a hybrid prototype, but a LM GTE racer that would go against the Ford GT, Ferrari 488 GTE, and Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
"Starting with the 2018 season, we want to further expand our activities in GT racing and compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This obviously also includes our return to Le Mans, which we are particularly looking forward to. The way the WEC has developed so well makes us confident that there is a big future for GT racing," said BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt.
Continue reading for the full story.
BMW Teams Up With Andretti To Join Formula E
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
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.
Continue reading for the full story.
BMW And Nissan Plan To Enter Formula E
Nissan and BMW are reportedly preparing to join the all-electric Formula E series. According to Autosport, the two manufacturers are in talks with existing teams to join the series as early as next season, which is scheduled to commence on October 9, 2016, in Hong Kong.
Nissan, which axed its LMP1 program in 2015, would need approval from the
Nissan Alliance, which also oversees the Renault e.Dams team. BMW, on the other hand, would have to change its position on the series’ dependence on mid-race car swaps, the main reason it ruled out a Formula E program in the past.
The only certainty right now is that if Nissan or BMW commit to entering Formula E in 2016, neither would be allowed to develop its own drivetrain, meaning a tie-up is their only realistic chance of joining for season three.
If it joins the series, Nissan will become the first Japanese manufacturer to do so. On the other hand, BMW will be the second German maker as the European country is already represented by ABT Audi Sport.
The current grid for the 2016/2017 season includes 10 teams from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Monaco, and China. The latest brand to join Formula E is Jaguar. Next season’s calendar includes 14 venues in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Both Montreal and New York will host two races. The season is scheduled to begin on October 9, 2016, and come to a close on July 30, 2017.
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BMW M6 GT3 Getting Final Test Runs Ahead Of Racing Debut In Australia: Video
When BMW decided to retire the Z4 GT3 race car in 2015 after five years spent competing in races all over the world, the German automaker decided to switch things up a bit by replacing it with a GT3-spec version of the 2016 BMW M6. The racer, predictably dubbed the M6 GT3, made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its first season in motor sports.
Now that the 2016 racing calendar is scheduled to begin, the pressure on the M6 GT3 to live up to the success of its predecessor is becoming more and more palpable. That’s even the case in Australia where the car is scheduled to make its racing debut in the opening round of the GT Championship in Adelaide on March 5, 2016.
So as the days draw closer and the pressure mounts even higher, BMW Team SRM drivers Steve Richards and Max Twigg spent some time putting the race car through its paces on behalf of BMW Australia. Considering how much BMW has invested into the M6 GT3, anything less than wins and competitive finishes would be deemed a disappointment.
Remember, the Z4 GT3 scored 32 overall wins and 27 class victories during its time as BMW’s resident GT racer. That’s a really high bar for the M6 GT3 to reach, but if the car is as good as Richards and Twigg both say it is, then we could be looking at the next great GT race car.
2016 BMW M2 MotoGP Safety Car
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.
A bucket of firsts, twice-around-the-clock excitement in three of the four classes and some breakthrough performances are what have already transformed this year’s Rolex Daytona 24hrs into a classic and the perfect way to remember that, precisely half a century ago, Daytona hosted its first 24-hour race.
It was no coincidence, then, that Ford decided to bring their new GT racing car to Daytona for its international debut, although few expected the going to be as rough as it proved to be for the two Ganassi-run GT-LM entries. At the complete other end of the spectrum, with a clean and trouble-free race, Scott Sharp’s Extreme Speed Motorsport has scored a historical first win for an LMP2 car at Daytona – the first win for an ACO prototype since 2002.
It’s also the Ligier’s most important international victory and, arguably, the biggest win in the team’s six-year history. And, all of it would not have been possible without the massive aid of Pipo Derani – the young Brazilian hot-shoe that proved instrumental in the Patron-liveried car crossing the line in P1.
While the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) cars were marred by issues across the board, the most important thing that needs to be put into perspective is the lack of overall pace displayed by these aging cars. The mere fact that the class winner was 20 laps behind the GT-LM Corvettes is one thing, but the fact that the ORECAs were also the slowest of all 54 starters is just as worrying.
Then there’s the GT-Daytona category that’s embraced the GT3 platform for 2016, and the 22-car strong grid proves IMSA right in its choice. Indeed, some pointed a finger toward Lamborghini’s massive top-end speed that is rumored to have been quicker than even the GT-LM cars but, at the end of the day, the Top 7 was comprised of seven different manufacturers. And, at least half of those could have won, given how tight it was at the end.
In a day and age where reliability is part of the status quo, to see two Corvettes battling it out for supremacy bumper-to-bumper after 24 hours of racing may not be that surprising. The fact that veterans Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin were given the green light to goose it out like they did is. Porsche was in close vicinity but the woes that sent out car #911 meant that only #912 was left standing and it was no match at the end for the two C7-Rs. Of the 100% brand-new cars, the Corvettes and Porsches being were new iterations based upon older designs, the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 came home fourth and BMW’s IMSA-only M6 GTLM scored fifth.
Continue reading for the full story.
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.
Months after Nissan competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race for the first time in 16 years, another automaker that has hinted on its own potential comeback might be a reality. BMW is making these waves, so says marketing boss Ian Robertson, who admitted to Autocar that the company’s return to the most iconic endurance race in the world “is on the agenda.”
News of BMW’s plan to return to Le Mans first surfaced back in July 2015. At that time, it was reported that the Bavarians were considering the possibility of using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell race car in 2018. The idea was to enter the race car in time for BMW to launch its own hydrogen-powered, fuel cell production vehicle in 2020.
So far, Robertson has been coy on elaborating details of the so-called “agenda”, opting only to say that the company is treading carefully on the steps it wants to take in the event it gets the nod from BMW execs to push forward. One prospective issue is the class of racing BMW would put its hydrogen race car in. The two likely scenarios would be to either enter it in an established class or in the ‘Garage 56’ category, a non-competitive category reserved mainly for experimental vehicles like the Nissan Deltawing and the ZEOD race cars. Robertson, however, seems to be apprehensive on putting the hydrogen race car in the latter category, saying that the company has to be conscious of recouping the investments it makes in this undertaking. On the flip side, BMW motorsport chief Jens Marquardt has also thrown in his two cents on the matter, lamenting the lack of competitiveness BMW would have if it dove straight into a category with established competitors.
Right now, it does appear that there are more questions than answers surrounding BMW’s plan to return to Le Mans. Even the company itself, at least from the comments made by its executives, doesn’t appear to be as sure as they should be. Either way, this will be talked about extensively in Bavaria before a decision is made.
Continue reading for the full story.