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First look: BMW goes racing with Z4 Coupe

Racer: The ingeniously named Z4 M Coupe Motorsport Version.

BMW's ready-to-race Z4 Coupe aims directly at Nurburgring nuts with a 300kW six-pack

23 Mar 2006

THIS month marked nine decades since the company that became BMW Group was founded and, to celebrate, BMW has revealed a ready-to-race version of its forthcoming Z4 Coupe.

Revealed at the Geneva motor show exactly 90 years after the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW, which was later acquired by the Bayerische Motoren Werke) was founded on March 7, 1916, the motorsport version of the hard-topped Z4 is aimed at racing enthusiasts globally.

While the Z4 M Coupe production car and a 182kW racing version of the 120d turbo-diesel hatch – to be made available through BMW’s Racing Part Sales division – made their debuts in Geneva, it was the ingeniously named BMW Z4 M Coupe Motorsport Version that wowed crowds in the Swiss show’s closing days.

The hardcore Z4 Coupe is an uncompromised two-seater aimed at "enthusiast customers who ache to post a competitive time at the famed Nordschleife as much as for professional touring and production car race teams around the world".

The first two-seater offered to customer teams by BMW Motorsport, it is powered by a 300kW version of the same 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder that powers the M3, Z4 M Roadster and Z4 M Coupe.

Featuring an abundance of adjustable components, such as suspension based on that of the BMW M3 GTR project, the Z4 racer is eligible to be raced by private BMW customer teams in the German Endurance Championship and in the Nürburgring 24-Hour race.

Transforming the Z4 Coupe production car into a Nürburgring scorcher is an 8400rpm redline, 12.5:1 compression ratio, a forged steel crankshaft, forged slipper skirt pistons, steel conrods, six individual throttle valves, carbon- fibre airbox, a multiple-pipe exhaust manifold and high-performance ignition coils and sparkplugs.

Finally, a BMW Motorsport ECU406 engine management system offers cylinder-selective optimised injection and ignition a pitlane speed-limiter, quick-shift gear selection, engine logbook, electronic throttle control, VANOS control, race ABS and traction control.

14 center imageThe result is about 300kW at 8200rpm and 400Nm at 5750rpm, fed through a sequential six-speed transmission with sintered metal clutch.

BMW Motorsport suspension and Michelin 18-inch rubber reduce ground clearance to 80mm up front and 90mm at the rear, while brakes comprise 380mm front rotors with six-piston fixed callipers up front and 320mm rotors with four-piston fixed callipers at rear.

Fuel capacity is upped to 120 litres and the race-ready kerb weight is 1200kg, while programmable LCD instruments with shift lights and a quick-release, multi-function steering wheel complete the picture.

The Z4 racer will be available from May, priced at €250,000 (about $A420,000).

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