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Pebble Beach reveal for BMW racers

American dream: BMW has brought two concepts to Pebble Beach in California this year – the M4 GTS (left) and the 3.0 CSL Hommage R.

BMW waves the M flag at Pebble Beach with two racer concepts


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15 Aug 2015

BMW’S M division has celebrated the one-year anniversary of the M4 Coupe launch by rolling out a track-focused Concept M4 GTS at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, alongside an updated version of the 3.0 CSL Hommage.

The GTS looks to be production-ready and is the latest in a long line of harder-edged coupes from the M stable – Evolution, Sport, GT, CSL or GTS badges have all adorned previous incarnations of the M3 to great effect.

M3 models with more power, less weight, exclusivity and more purposeful road manners have always sold well when BMW has rolled them out.

It seems highly likely the M4 GTS will follow suit - phrases such as “destined to make their series production debut in a new model to be unveiled at a later date” and “it is still fully road-legal. This is racing technology for the road.” The GTS concept brings to the road a water injection system for the intake manifold to cool the incoming air and allow greater boost for higher outputs, as seen on the MotoGP safety car revealed in March this year.

It wears rear organic light-emitting diode tail-lights that produce a “full-surface” light and promises a signature style of lighting for the BMW brand.

The motorsport-inspired concept has a series of radiators for component cooling as well as the powerplant’s main radiator.

It is draped in a bodykit featuring a manually adjustable front splitter and rear wing (both unpainted carbon-fibre), a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic bonnet, wider air intakes, and 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels.

BMW M Division president Frank van Meel said while the BMW M4 Coupe embodies the ideal combination of motorsport genes and unrestricted everyday usability, the concept offers something more powerful.

“The BMW Concept M4 GTS previews an emotionally powerful and exclusive special model conceived with an eye for trailblazing technology and a keen focus on the race track,” he said.

“Despite its outstanding track ability, it is still fully road-legal - this is racing technology for the road in the truest sense.”

BMW Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher said the M4 GTS is still a concept but if it ever became available it would certainly be of interest to the Australian arm.

“Given Australia’s predilections for this sort of vehicle, were it to become available we would certainly love to have it here - we’re on record pace for M cars this year,” she said.

“Having vehicles like this is fantastic for the M range, it adds interest and keeps buyers and fans engaged.” The motorsport theme for the BMW display at Pebble Beach goes beyond the M4 GTS, with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R to sit alongside production-ready “concept.”

The racing version of the 3.0 CSL Hommage – unveiled in May and powered by a hybrid electric drivetrain with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine – looks something akin to a merger of a 3 Series coupe, the original M1 and BMW’s i8.

It has been built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BMW going on sale in North America – the first official BMW sales company outside of Europe – as well as the racing success of the original BMW 3.0 CSL.

BMW Group Design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk said motor racing is all about the joy of driving.

“And as such it represents the heartbeat of BMW … back in 1975, as today, winning races came down to how man and machine could work together,” he said.

“And with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we’re aiming to show how much closer the driver and car can grow in the future.”

Among the R’s highlights is a structure built largely from composites and carbon-fibre and matte-gold 21-inch alloy wheels, with wings and flared arches that the brand said are inspired by the 3.0 CSL “Batmobile” race car.

Lighting is supplied by laser and LED technology and it also takes the head-up display one step further – on the driver’s helmet visor – and room for little else in the purposeful cabin.

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