Entered for the event under the ‘BMW M Motorsport’ banner, the latest evolution BMW M4 GT4 has been in development since September 2020.
Words – James Gent
Images – BMW Group
A pre-production version of BMW’s latest evolution M4 GT4 is set to make its endurance race debut at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO.
The second generation M4 GT4 made its competitive debut, with camouflage livery, in a four-hour event at the Nürburgring in April before production begins in October. Under the BMW M Motorsport banner, the #482 ‘M4 GT4 Concept’ is set to compete as a non-homologated model in the GTX class alongside championship contenders Leipert Motorsport, RD Signs – Siauliai racing team, and Vortex V8.
Development focus on the new M4 GT4, which began back in September 2020, surrounds four key pillars, specifically ‘performance,’ ‘reliability,’ ‘cost efficiency’ and ‘maintainability.’ Unsurprisingly, like its predecessor, the new M4 GT4 has been “developed to win races and titles.”
“We took on the challenge to develop a successor to the highly successful first-generation BMW M4 GT4”, BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel explained in an official statement. “Using a wide range of customer feedback, our experienced development team and the new sixth-generation BMW M4-based production car has led to a faster, even more reliable and very emotional all-new BMW M4 GT4.”
The 3-litre M TwinPower Turbo straight-six is carried over into the new model, albeit with peak power now raised from 431 hp in the first generation model “up to 405 kW / 550 hp”, with peak torque similarly raised to 650 Nm (dependent on balance of performance regulations). Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Sitting on a 2,857 mm wheelbase (45mm longer than the old model), the new GT4 is also longer and wider than the car it replaces, hinting at the new car’s heightened maneuverability and increased traction.
Alongside “latest key technologies from the production model” – BMW stops short of specifying them – ergonomic and electronic highlights designed to improve driver comfort include a fixed RECARO seat, the FANATEC-developed GT4 steering wheel, five-way adjustable anti-roll bars and purpose-built KW shock absorbers. Several additions drawn from the sister GT3 counterpart, which made its endurance racing debut at last year’s Hankook 24H SEBRING, has also been incorporated. Alongside the GT3-derived adjustable rear wing and the lightweight, carbon-mix roof, the new M Track Cockpit allows engineers and mechanics to make setup changes and checks directly via the onboard system, thus “minimising the more time-consuming connection to a laptop.”
The new GT4, which is set to be delivered to teams ahead of its first full season in 2023, replaces the first-generation model that made its debut at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2017. Starting prices have been confirmed at €187,000 (around $196,000 USD).
Length (incl. splitter and rear wing):
Width (incl. mirrors):
Six-cylinder in-line, M TwinPower turbo
“Up to 405 kW / 550 hp”
650 Nm torque (depending on regulations)
Seven-speed automatic gearbox by ZF / DREXLER limited slip differential
1,368 mm (variable)