We talked about this on our soon to be released podcast (scheduled to go live tomorrow) but we finally got confirmation via the Motorsport site lastnight. BMW Motorsport will be building customer race-cars based on the current Z4 but with two huge additions. For one the car will have a fixed roof and a built-in rollcage. Secondly (and much more interesting) the car will feature the 480 bhp V8 taken straight from the GT4 M3 race-car. We ‘ll get to how this could translate into a road car in a second, but first, here ‘s the full release:
>As part of its customer racing programme, BMW Motorsport is offering private teams another attractive car from 2010: the BMW Z4 GT3. This sports car is an impressive addition to the BMW product range and offers drivers and teams the opportunity to compete in international and national championships in accordance with GT3 regulations – such as the FIA GT3 European Championship, International GT Open and the ADAC GT Masters – as well as in 24-hour endurance races.
>The BMW Z4 GT3 is powered by a four-litre, eight-cylinder engine producing approximately 480 bhp. When it comes to electronics, the private teams can look forward to innovative BMW solutions, which have proven themselves in the BMW M3 GT2: the engine is controlled by the modern ECU 408, while the Power400 control unit is responsible for operating all actuators. The transmission takes place via a sequential, six-speed gearbox. The scope of delivery also includes rims with locking and safety clips, as well as racing ABS and optional air conditioning.
>The BMW Z4 GT3 in its racing version is available from the second quarter of 2010 at an estimated price of 298,000 Euro (plus VAT). If interested, please send an email to Z4GT3@bmw-motorsport.com.
BF Analysis: So beyond the track, does this mean anything to BMW enthusiasts? Will we see a Z4 GTS for instance? It ‘s well known that the M3 GTS was brought about by the M3 GT4 race-car. The fact that BMW uses the same structure (roll-cage and all) made the development much easier to swallow in terms of cost. Based on that thought would seem that a Z4M GTS would be a possibility. Granted the price would be similar to the M3 GTS and at that point BMW may ask themselves if they really need another pricey track oriented road car.
What about a Z4M? If BMW is doing the engineering work to get the V8 in the engine bay of the Z4, couldn ‘t they finish the job and at least sell the car as the new Z4M? While that would seem like a slam dunk, reportedly the M Division is reluctant to produce the car with a folding metal top (never-mind that they make an M3 convertible with one or a 5,000 lbs SUV) and that they ‘d ideally want to create a coupe for the V8. But with looming MPG regulations coming, BMW might not be too interested in producing yet another thirsty V8 model of any kind.
As always we ‘ll keep up updated as we get more info from our sources.