M4 GOES RAC­ING

BMW is set to join the grow­ing set of man­u­fac­tur­ers serv­ing up FIA Gt4-spec race­cars

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -

THE Bavar­ian firm has an­nounced that it will launch a BMW M4 GT4 race­car in time for the 2018 mo­tor­sport sea­son. Go­ing on this of­fi­cial ren­der­ing that was re­leased at the start of Au­gust, it looks as though the GT4 will bor­row a num­ber of cues from the M4 GTS road car that was launched last year. In fact, the en­tire driv­e­train, in­clud­ing the elec­tron­ics, will be lifted from that ve­hi­cle.

BMW has not of­fi­cially dis­closed the GT4’S power fig­ures, but to put things into per­spec­tive, the 368 kw and 600 N.m pro­duced by the GTS’ tur­bocharged 3,0-litre in­line-six en­gine will be pro­pel­ling a con­sid­er­ably lighter car, cour­tesy of car­bon-fi­bre body pan­els and a stripped-out in­te­rior.

A more ag­gres­sive-look­ing front split­ter, a size­able rear wing and sports ex­haust sys­tem round out what BMW sees as a cred­i­ble com­peti­tor against ri­vals from the likes of As­ton Martin, Porsche and Mclaren.

Test­ing of the M4 GT4 will com­mence later this year, with a view to have the car ready in time for the 24 Hours of Dubai in Jan­uary 2018. The Mazda3 hatch and Sedan have just un­der­gone a se­ries of sub­tle changes for the 2017 model year that in­clude some smart driv­e­train tech­nol­ogy churn­ing away un­der the largely un­changed sheet me­tal. The most no­table ad­di­tion is the firm’s G-vec­tor­ing Con­trol (GVC) sys­tem. Form­ing part of the new Sky­ac­tiv-ve­hi­cle Dy­nam­ics suite, which over­sees en­gine, chas­sis and trans­mis­sion set­tings, GVC is a torque-dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem that gath­ers the ver­ti­cal load act­ing on each wheel to im­prove cor­ner­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Other ad­di­tions in­clude a new mul­ti­func­tion steer­ing wheel, more driv­ing in­for­ma­tion on the head-up dis­play (in­clud­ing traf­fic-sign recog­ni­tion), adap­tive LED head­lamps and au­ton­o­mous brak­ing. The 1,6-litre (77 kw/ 144 N.m) and 2,0-litre (121 kw/210 N.m) petrol units re­main un­changed.

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