Brothers in arms: BMW Z4 GTLM and BMW Z4 GT3.

Even the production version of the BMW Z4 boasts all the qualities required, on which to base the development of a competitive racing car. Two motorsport versions will again be in action in 2014.

The BMW Z4 GTLM for the United SportsCar Championship

Image %{cur} of %{total}

After four successful years with the BMW M3 GT, BMW has been setting course for the future, and lined up with a new challenger in the 2013 American Le Mans Series season: the BMW Z4 GTE that will be named BMW Z4 GTLM in 2014 according to the USCC class it starts in.

In July 2012, BMW Motorsport engineers in Munich began work on developing a version of the BMW Z4, which would comply with ACO regulations. The BMW Z4 GT3, which has enjoyed great success in top-level GT racing series around the world for several years, formed the basis for the development.

The BMW Z4 GTLM is considerably more compact than its successful predecessor, the BMW M3 GT. All the dimensions of the BMW Z4 GTLM have been modified to comply with ACO regulations. The necessary new developments regarding aerodynamics – such as the undercarriage and rear wing – proved to be a real challenge for the BMW engineers in Munich, particularly given the tight time frame.

The new car finally completed its first test out on the racetrack in late January 2013. BMW Team RLL was integrated in all the workflows throughout the entire development period. The engineers from the US travelled to Germany in December 2012 to assist with the assembly of the BMW Z4 GTLM. From the start of 2013 up to the first test they worked hand in hand with their colleagues in Munich. This allowed them to bundle the experience they gained in the ALMS since 2009 and incorporate it in the BMW Z4 GTLM.

The car triumphed in two races in its debut season, and helped BMW, BMW Team RLL and Dirk Müller to second place in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver’s Championships.

Technical specifications BMW Z4 GTLM
Length: 4,395mm (excl. rear wing)
Width: 2,010mm
Height: 1,205mm (depending on set-up)
Weight: 1,230kg (according to IMSA classification)
Tank capacity: 110 litres (according to IMSA classification)
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration, four valves per cylinder
Capacity: 4,400cc
Max. output: approx. 480bhp (with mandatory air restrictor)
Max. torque: approx. 480Nm
Cylinder block: Aluminum cylinder block construction

Two brothers, one DNA

Der BMW Z4 GT3 for the BMW Sports Trophy

Image %{cur} of %{total}

The strong base of the BMW Z4 GT3 has not changed compared to previous years, in which it successfully won races and titles in many racing series around the world. It was still equipped with a 4.4-litre V8 engine in 2013. The engine block is produced by the BMW Foundry in Landshut. The BMW plant in Dingolfing contributes the rear-axle transmission, among other things. The front and rear aprons, bonnet, roof, mudguards, rear wing, and many other parts are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic.

The steel chassis of the BMW Z4 GT3, into which a safety cell made of high-tensile precision steel tubes is welded, is manufactured by the BMW plant in Regensburg. As such, the racing car’s chassis comes off the same production line as that of the road version of the BMW Z4. Only at the end of the production process does the racing chassis veer away from the standard production one, in order to be finished by hand. In total, it takes about 700 man hours to completely assemble a BMW Z4 GT3.

2013 was another successful year for the BMW Z4 GT3, which won numerous races in GT series around the world. It also claimed its first podium at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, where it finished runner-up.

Technical specifications BMW Z4 GT3
Length: 4.387 mm
Width: 2.012 mm
Height: 1.210 mm
Wheel base: 2.509 mm
Tank capacity: 115 litres
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration
Capacity: 4,361ccm
Max output: approx. 535bhp (depending on air restrictor regulations)
Bore x stroke: 92 x 82mm
Max. engine speed: 8750 rpm