Besides keeping MotoGP riders at bay during races, the BMW safety car has remained true to the principle of innovation throughout nearly 20 years of partnership with organizers of MotoGP. In the 2018 season, MotoGP’s safety car will be the BMW M5 with optimized driving dynamic, spurred by the innovative M xDrive technology.
The BMW M5 safety car is scheduled to make an appearance at the season finale in Valencia in a couple of weeks time. A newly-developed M-specific all-wheel drive M xDrive is being used in the M5 for the first time to ensure recise handling and perfect traction. This guarantees optimized driving dynamics in all manner of situations.
The heart of the BMW M5, the 4.4-liter V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, has been completely overhauled by the M division. It represents another significant increase in performance compared to previous models, with 441 kW/600 HP and maximum torque of 750 Nm in the production M5. The new BMW M5 only needs 3.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. Transmission is provided by the new eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox with Drivelogic.
Converting the base car to a high-performance safety car was accomplished by the folks at BMW M Manufaktur. The conversion process included the addition of numerous M Performance Parts, many of which are available as retrofit parts for the production model. These emphasise the sporty appearance of the safety car and meet all the functional requirements for aerodynamics, cooling and lightweight construction.
Highlights include various carbon components such as side sills, rear diffusor, rear spoiler, front kidney grille, door mirror caps and air breather slats, as well as an M Performance sport exhaust system, made of titanium, with carbon exhaust tips. Transformation of the M5 to a safety car was completed by the inclusion of special racing features and the necessary safety equipment like the front splitter, bonnet latches, bucket seats from the BNW M4 GTS, flat light bar on the roof and complete signalling system.
The safety car’s chassis contains M-specific kinematics and elastokinematics elements that contribute to optimized driving dynamics. The weight also plays an important role in performance. This has been reduced further through features such as the lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof.
Last but not least, the design of the new BMW M5 Motogp safety car is inspired by the design of the new BMW M8 GTE race car. The M8 GTE will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.