The newly modified BMW Z4 GT3 has survived its baptism of fire in a series of intensive tests in recent weeks. The goal of the latest modifications was primarily to improve aerodynamic efficiency in order to ensure the car's competitiveness in the hard-fought GT3 classes. The BMW Z4 GT3, which was launched in March 2010, achieved its greatest success to date in January 2011. Claudia Hürtgen (DE), BMW works driver Augusto Farfus (BR), Tommy Milner (US) and Edward Sandström (SE) won the Dubai 24 Hours for Team Schubert. This was the first outright victory for the BMW Z4 GT3 in a marathon race of this scale, having already proven its potential with wins in its debut season in the FIA GT3 European Championship.
With its elongated hood, the driver’s compartment towards the rear of the car, long wheelbase and narrow wheel arches, the produciton version of the BMW Z4 boasts an unmistakable appearance. The two-seater provided BMW Motorsport engineers with a good basis for developing a competitive GT3 racing car.
One difference between the production and racing versions can be found under the hood: while the road car has a six-cylinder engine, the GT3 car is powered by a 4.4-liter V8.
BMW Motorsport engineers fine-tuned the aerodynamics for the 2011 season, improving the car's performance in this area. When it comes to electronics, the ECU408 takes over the engine management, while the Power400 electronic control unit is responsible for controlling all the actuators. The power is transmitted through a six-speed, sequential gearbox, now initiated using two paddles.
The steel body is reinforced with a safety cell made from rigid steel tubing welded to the body. However, the front and rear fenders, hood, roof, fenders and many other components are made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP).
The car is available now at a price of 315,000 Euros (about $455,500) from BMW Motorsport.
BMW Z4 GT3 technical specifications
Tank capacity: 100 liters
Chassis/body: Unitary construction steel body with welded safety cell made of steel tubing, safety fuel tank in CFRP sandwich tray, pneumatic four-stamp jack system
Aerodynamics: Front spoiler, rear apron, hood, roof, boot lid, rocker panel, doors, front fenders and flared rear wheel arches made from carbon fiber, rear wing made of aluminum compound
Transmission: Sintered clutch operated by hydraulic central slave cylinder; six-speed sequential racing transmission with straight-cut, unsynchronized gears; additional oil/air cooler; quick-shift system with ignition cut-out controlled by shifting force; mechanical differential lock and additional oil/air cooler
Front axle: Double-joint thrust bar axle, with increased wheel caster angle, enlarged track width and enhanced wheel camber; five-way adjustable shock absorbers; tubular stabilizer bar
Rear axle: Longitudinal link axle with two transverse control arms, with enlarged track width and enhanced wheel camber; five-way adjustable shock absorbers, tubular stabilizer bar
Front brake system: Six-piston aluminum brake calipers, inner-vented grey-cast iron brake discs 378mm in diameter
Rear brake system: Four-piston aluminum brake calipers, grey-cast iron brake discs, 332mm in diameter
Steering: Rack and pinion with electro-hydraulic power
Wheels: Aluminum rims, front axle 12x18 inches, rear axle 13x18 inches
Cockpit: programmable LCD Display with integrated shift indicators
Steering wheel: Quick-release multi-function steering wheel with integrated display unit; integrated shifting paddle
Energy management: Electric energy management and monitoring with BMW Motorsport POWER400 control unit, networking through two BUS systems
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration
Max engine speed: 8500rpm
Cylinder block: Aluminum cylinder block construction with bed-plate lower section
Pistons: Forged skirt pistons
Connecting rods: High-performance steel
Cylinder head: Aluminum DOHC; four valves per cylinder Valve train: Four overhead chain-driven camshafts, valve actuation via rocker arms
Intake system: Eight throttle valves
Exhaust system: High-performance header, muffler
Fuel system: Single cylinder multi-point injection
Lubrication: Dry sump lubrication
Cooling: Water/air cooler and oil/water heat exchanger
Engine management: BMW Motorsport ECU408 with two microprocessors; individual cylinder injection; pit speed-limiter; quick shift function; EML; integrated traction control; VANOS control; engine data memory system
Wiring harness: Weight-optimized Ignition coil: Eight high-performance pencil coils with integrated ignition drivers
Spark plugs: High-performance spark plugs