Testing for BMW’s second generation M4 GT4 continues at the Circuito de Almería ahead of its launch in 2023.
BMW’s brand-new M4 GT4 is currently undergoing its first tests at the Circuito de Almería in southern Spain as part of an extensive program to “continue the impressive success story of its predecessor.”
Launched in 2017 and based on the ‘F82’ generation M4 roadcar, the current M4 GT4 debuted at that year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours ahead of its first full campaign in 2018. Heading into 2020, the M4 GT4 had already taken more than 30 wins and 100 podium finishes. The current generation BMW M4 GT4 has also secured the two most recent Overall GT Teams’ championships in the 24H SERIES with Team Avia Sorg Rennsport (2020, Continents), and ST Racing (2021).
Now, the new M4 GT4, first teased with a rendering last month, looks to “feature the strengths of the current car” while simultaneously reducing maintenance and operational costs. Step one is the testing in Almería, which so far has focused on overall drivability ahead of the new model’s first full motorsport campaign in 2023.
“With the new BMW M4 GT4, we are writing the next chapter in a major success story,” explains BMW’s Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Thomas Felbermair. “The current model has shaken up the booming GT4 class in recent years, and has celebrated many titles and victories all over the world.
“When developing the new BMW M4 GT4, we wanted to retain the strengths of its predecessor and even improve them in some areas. We are confident that BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers will have a huge amount of fun with this model. The hunt for more trophies in the GT4 segment starts in 2023.”
Following initial computer simulations in September 2020, the new M4 GT4 has been in development since the start of 2021, with the first test vehicles assembled last summer ahead of its full test in October. A second car is set to join the test program in early 2022.
Based on the second generation ‘G82’ M4, the new GT4 adopts the roadcar’s 2,979cc M TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder, seven-speed dual clutch, transmission, and electronics, plus BMW M’s stability control. Components like the carbon fibre ‘CFC’ roof and the rear wing meanwhile have been borrowed from the new GT3-spec M4. Cooling is also said to be a priority during the GT4’s test program, given the rigours of the category on-track.
“Although we are still in a very early phase of testing, there are already areas, in which we have achieved progress compared to the current BMW M4 GT4,” explains 2007 Formula BMW champion Jens Klingmann, who conducted the tests at Almeria alongside fellow BMW factory driver, Erik Johansson.
“This applies in particular to the seat ergonomics, ease of operation and many additional functions that the predecessor did not have. As far as driveability is concerned, the new BMW M4 GT4 feels very secure from the word go. It has a large top range, in which you can push the car to the limit. We still have a full year to optimise the car to be used by private teams and drivers, but it is already a lot of fun to drive.”
Following homologation, and upon completion of its test program, the BMW M4 GT4 will be eligible for 24H SERIES competition from 2023 onwards.
- Images – BMW Motorsport