BMW is “very more likely to go within the space” of the M4 for its subsequent GT3 race automobile, in line with its motorsport director Jens Marquardt.
Sportscar365 reported again in February that BMW is engaged on a successor to the two-time Complete 24 Hours of Spa-winning M6 GT3, however Marquardt wouldn’t specify which mannequin was being thought of.
The German producer now seems to have narrowed its choices, with the upcoming refresh of the M4 rising as the popular alternative.
“In the mean time, we’ve got the primary draft of the rules, which is clearly what is required,” Marquardt instructed Sportscar365.
“It is going to be in place from 2022 onwards, so we’re learning. The 6 Collection is now not obtainable and I believe the M8 is just too large a automobile, so I might suppose that we might go smaller.
“The ultimate resolution will not be but there, however I believe it might most likely, very probably, go into the world of the brand new M4.”
BMW has been pushing for the subsequent set of GT3 rules to permit manufacturing platforms providing a four-door mannequin, which might make the M4 and related automobiles eligible.
The brand new four Collection vary might be primarily based on BMW’s CLAR platform, presently the underpinnings for a number of of its fashions together with the three, 5, 7 and eight Collection, the brand new Z4 and Toyota Supra, and most of its X-range SUVs.
With the producer finally aiming to base all of its automobiles on certainly one of two platforms, constructing a GT3 automobile that doesn’t share a platform with a four-door mannequin is close to not possible.
Marquardt mentioned that the principles change has been included on the draft rules that are being moulded by FIA-held technical working group conferences in Geneva.
“ is once we intention to have the automobile obtainable to our prospects,” he mentioned.
“We’re within the late levels of the idea part now, discussing with the FIA all our ideas to make it possible for we don’t encounter issues that we encountered prior to now with different fashions that we’ve got developed.
“With the rules, as they had been performed for now, we might not have been capable of homologate our automobile as a result of all our automobiles are primarily based on platforms which are shared between varied ranges.
“You principally have to make use of [common] platform and toolbox programs. I believe you must discover a option to make these automobiles eligible, or you’ll solely have small numbers of [GT3] automobiles [on the grid].”
Marquardt mentioned that BMW is “very far-off” from beginning an on-track check schedule for its subsequent GT3 contender.
“We’re actually extra into the technical research,” he confirmed.
“From our expertise with the M8, you’re higher off getting the whole lot agreed preliminarily and mentioned overtly with the FIA, in that respect.
“We [need to] get the whole lot sorted out in a conceptual state earlier than we truly go into any hardware.
“The top of this 12 months, starting of subsequent 12 months, might be once we need to have one thing rolling on 4 wheels.”
BMW Not Pursuing An identical GT3, GT4 Automobiles
Marquardt harassed that BMW plans to proceed growing separate GT3 and GT4 platforms, going in opposition to latest enterprise fashions employed by different OEMs similar to Audi, Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG.
Whereas the M4 serves because the producer’s present GT4 product, it’s going to have been changed by a brand new mannequin by the point BMW’s subsequent GT3 racer arrives.
When requested about having a convertible GT3/GT4 bundle, Marquardt mentioned: “I don’t see how they need to be linked collectively.
“I do know some have performed it like that, however you must be actually cautious that you simply’re not making a GT4 as a GT3-like automobile, which might be very costly,” he defined.
“Everyone knows that GT3 automobiles have turn out to be pretty costly. I believe GT4 must be rather more inexpensive, and subsequently I wouldn’t actually tie them collectively.
“We must see what would then make sense for a GT4 successor. That may very well be primarily based on the M4, nevertheless it is also primarily based on the M2. Powertrain-wise, they’re very related.
“I believe we’ve got to debate with our colleagues from M, as a result of these automobiles are very a lot supporting the sporty model, and clearly we need to showcase that mannequin vary.”