The ever-evolving world of GT3 racing will have new competition in 2016, as BMW has officially announced the M6 GT3. Their plans are to make the car available for purchase for private buyers, unlike many of their factory-only racing cars.
GT3 class racing started small, but in the past several years has exploded into the scene. Now, GT3 regulations have made their way into sports and endurance racing across the globe, including a few American series, with more on the way.
BMW has already started the development process for the M6 GT3, which will replace the Z4 GT3. Track testing for the new platform will begin early next year, followed by the customer order process, and by 2016 the M6 will be on racetracks across the world.
Under the hood of the M6 GT3 will be a 4.4 liter, turbocharged V8. Loosely based on the engine from the production M6, this powerplant will be modified specifically for racing. A racing gearbox will handle the power and rigorous stress of racing, providing quick and reliable shifts. Racing electronic calibration and ABS will complete the M6's racing build, but the car will still share much in common with the roadgoing version.
"This car's properties make it predestined to succeed the BMW Z4 GT3. The BMW Z4 GT3 has enjoyed success around the world in recent years, and is very popular among our customers," said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. "We obviously want to follow on from this success with the BMW M6 GT3. After all, the target we have set ourselves is to provide our customers with the best possible material. We also want to demonstrate the high product substance of BMW M cars in motorsport with the BMW M6 GT3. We are all very excited to see it in action at the initial tests. One thing is certain from the first design sketches: this car is going to have the wow factor. It goes without saying that we will continue to offer BMW Z4 GT3 customers our full support, just as they have come to expect from us."
By the time the car hits racetracks in 2016, many privateer teams will have ordered the vehicle. In keeping with the priorities of GT3 racing, BMW has reassured buyers that the M6 GT3 will remain cost conscious, yet competitive.