BMW had much success with its M3-badged DTM race car, but since the M3 coupe is about to be replaced by the M4, it’s also time to replace that race-winning car.
DTM stands for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or German Touring Car Masters, and is among the most popular racing series in Germany. It features purpose-built cars that nominally look like production models. Think of it as a more high-tech version of NASCAR.
So while the 2014 BMW M4 coupe uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, the M4 DTM uses a 4.0-liter V8 that complies with the series’ regulations. Peak output will be around 480 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque.
That power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission that seems stout enough to control a doomsday device. Key features include pneumatic shift paddles on the steering wheel, and a four-plate carbon fiber clutch.
The chassis is carbon fiber as well. It’s a monocoque design that includes crash structures to protect the driver, although a more traditional steel roll cage is still included.
That all rides on 18-inch alloy wheels, which houses ventilated-steel disc brakes.
Needless to say, the M4 DTM has little in common with its stock counterpart. BMW essentially drapes an M4 costume over the bespoke chassis, so the switch from M3 to M4 is mostly cosmetic.
BMW only recently returned to DTM, having taken a 20-year hiatus. However, the Bavarian carmaker is still a force to be reckoned with. In 2012 – its first season back in competition – BMW won the constructor’s championship, while drive Bruno Spengler won the driver’s title.
BMW likely wants to retake the crown in 2014. Testing begins this month, with the first race scheduled for May 4 at Hockenheim.