BMW Reveals M6 GT3 Race Car, Replaces Z4 GT3 for 2016 Season

By Bradley Iger

October 08, 2014

The BMW Z4 GT3 has enjoyed a fairly successful racing career since its debut in 2010, but it appears that BMW Motorsport is not content to rest on its laurels. Accordingly, the Z4 GT3 will bow out after the 2015 season to make way for the new M6 GT3, which will use a race spec version of the road-going M6’s 560 horsepower, 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8, and will be available for customer teams to order next year.
 
Some might be left wondering why BMW has chosen to put the Z4 GT3 out to pasture, especially with the Turner Motorsport Z4 GT3 having recently taken the GTD class win in the Tudor Championship.
 
Turner Motorsport Z4 GT3
 
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt explains:
 
“For me, as BMW Motorsport Director, there are few things more exciting than the development of a completely new car like the BMW M6 GT3. This car’s properties make it predestined to succeed the BMW Z4 GT3. The BMW Z4 GT3 has enjoyed success around the world in recent years, and is very popular among our customers. We obviously want to follow on from this success with the BMW M6 GT3. After all, the target we have set ourselves is to provide our customers with the best possible material. We also want to demonstrate the high product substance of BMW M cars in motorsport with the BMW M6 GT3. We are all very excited to see it in action at the initial tests. One thing is certain from the first design sketches: this car is going to have the wow factor. It goes without saying that we will continue to offer BMW Z4 GT3 customers our full support, just as they have come to expect from us.”
 
Clearly BMW sees the recent influx of new GT3 cars like the Bentley Continental GT3 as reason enough to toss old product in favor of something newer, but what Marquardt doesn’t explain is why BMW chose to give the GT3 treatment to the M6 rather than the perhaps more obvious and newly released M4.
 
While BMW isn’t being forthright with their reasoning as this point, logic dictates that the decision is probably based on the engine found in each vehicle, and the fact that series rules require the race engines to stay largely similar to the motors found in the road-going versions of the car the GT3 entry is based on. The M4’s twin turbocharged inline six cylinder makes a fair amount of grunt, but with the M6’s V8 already making 575 horsepower in street form with the Competition Package, getting the car and engine into a competitive race specification will likely take a lot less effort.
 
 
The M6 GT3’s chassis is being optimized by hand for the specific demands of the racetrack, while a racing gearbox, racing ABS and racing electronics will of course be along for the ride. Safety, reliability and affordable running costs are said to be top priorities in order ensure customers can run the M6 GT3 successfully without an insurmountable financial burden.
 
Development of the M6 GT3 is currently ongoing and BMW expects to be able to take the first orders for the car in the upcoming year, with a race debut at the BMW Sports Trophy in 2016. Interested parties can shoot an email to BMW Motorsport for updates on the car when they’re available. Take a look at the press release below for additional details on the M6 GT3. 
 
A new figurehead for GT racing: BMW Motorsport developing the BMW M6 GT3 for the 2016 season.

Munich (DE), 7th October 2014. BMW Motorsport will add a new chapter to its success story in GT racing in 2016. The BMW M6 GT3 will replace the BMW Z4 GT3, which has been in action since 2010. Development work on the new car is already in full swing. The first tests with the car, which is based in the BMW M6 Coupé, are planned for the first quarter of 2015. Customers will be able to purchase the BMW M6 GT3 from the end of 2015, allowing them to compete in the 2016 BMW Sports Trophy with the new car. Orders will be accepted over the course of 2015. The exact date, from which orders can be placed, will be announced at a later date.

“For me, as BMW Motorsport Director, there are few things more exciting than the development of a completely new car like the BMW M6 GT3,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “This car’s properties make it predestined to succeed the BMW Z4 GT3. The BMW Z4 GT3 has enjoyed success around the world in recent years, and is very popular among our customers. We obviously want to follow on from this success with the BMW M6 GT3. After all, the target we have set ourselves is to provide our customers with the best possible material. We also want to demonstrate the high product substance of BMW M cars in motorsport with the BMW M6 GT3. We are all very excited to see it in action at the initial tests. One thing is certain from the first design sketches: this car is going to have the wow factor. It goes without saying that we will continue to offer BMW Z4 GT3 customers our full support, just as they have come to expect from us.”

The heart of the BMW M6 GT3 is the BMW M Twin Power Turbo 8-cylinder petrol engine, which features a capacity of 4.4 litres. The engine is familiar from the production model and has been modified specifically for racing. The chassis is being optimised by hand for the specific demands of the racetrack in the BMW Motorsport workshop in Munich (DE). With regard to technology, the focus is on the use of extras that meet the very highest and latest standards in motorsport development, such as racing gearbox, racing ABS and racing electronics. Even now, BMW Motorsport is focussing on safety, reliability and affordable running costs, to ensure that our customers can enjoy successful motorsport at the highest level with the BMW M6 GT3, without the financial burden being too great.

Anyone interested in purchasing a BMW M6 GT3 can send an E-mail to M6GT3@BMW-Motorsport.com. They will then be registered and be the first to hear any new information about the car.