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PostHeaderIcon BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

BMW M GmbH has been the partner of MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports for nearly two decades now, and is recognized as the “Official Car of MotoGP.” That means every time the top-rung motorcycle racing series needs something four-wheeled to help out on tack, Bimmer is there to provide the ride. Now, BMW has revealed a new safety car for the series, pulling the sheets at the 2017 MotorGP finale at Valencia. Based on the brand-new F90-generation M5, which was revealed earlier in 2017 at the gamescom trade fair in Germany, this spiced-up four-door is destined for duty in the 2018 MotoGP series scheduled to kick off March 19th. Rocking the same 4.4-liter V-8 as the road-going variants, this is also the first BMW Safety Car to run the M xDrive AWD drivetrain, and it’s got a good deal of M-branded Performance Parts to go with it. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car.

What Makes The BMW MotoGP Safety Car Special


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741350
“The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car. Carbon was added for the roof, side sills, rear diffuser, and more. In front is a prototype diffuser.”

Taking up the responsibility for prepping the M5 for life as a safety car was BMW M Manufaktur in Garching. The engineers started with the standard street car, then proceeded to add a variety of M Performance Parts, which, as BMW points out, “are available as retrofit parts for the BMW M5 production model.” The group also upgraded the styling, aero, cooling, and safety systems, while simultaneously cutting out a weight where possible.

The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car, a competition-spec vehicle destined for the harrowing 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018. In terms of weight reduction, the M team added loads of composite material, such as with carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the roof panel, as well as carbon components for the side sills, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, grille, side view mirror housings, and air breather slats. It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741375
“It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.”

Take a peek behind that weave-laden kidney grille intake, and you’ll find the M5 Safety Car is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, which just saw an increase in power to 600 ponies total with the latest F90 generation changeover in August. Torque is rated at 750 Nm (553 pound-feet). The output numbers match those of the road car, as do the acceleration figures, with the 0-to-62 mph sprint completed in 3.4 seconds. Swapping the cogs is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission equipped with Drivelogic, once again mirroring what you get in the road car.

BMW also saw fit to throw on a fresh BMW M Performance sport exhaust, a nice upgrade that’s made from titanium and tipped with carbon fiber end pieces. Up front, there’s a prototype front splitter, which you unfortunately can’t buy from the dealership. There are also new hood latches for the sake of safety, and up top, there’s a new light bar with LEDs, plus front-facing blue LED flashing lights and flashing corona rings in the headlights.


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741353
“One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track.”

One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track. Handling is helped thanks to the inclusion of M-tuned suspension pieces, while inside, there are new buckets seats plucked from the BMW M4 GTS.

“A MotoGP Safety Car faces enormous challenges,” said BMW M GmbH President, Frank Van Meel. “It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes through all sorts of conditions. Innovative motorsport technology is an essential part of this. The new BMW M5 forms the perfect basis for a safety car, as its technical features ensure perfect handling, even at the limits of driving dynamics – on the road and on the racetrack.”

References

BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

BMW M4


2016 BMW M4 GTS - image 649558

Read our full review on the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.

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