The pace/safety cars for the MotoGP series this year are again from BMW’s M division. It was in 1999 that this division first teamed up with MotoGP when it got a Z8 and put in some graphics and a light bar to be used as a MotoGP safety car. Since then, a variety of BMW M cars have been used to lead a group of motorcycles.
In 2009, the division unveiled the X6 M sports activity coupe to the public in MotoGP safety car form. In 2013, BMW M offered eight vehicles for the series. Its most major development is the addition of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, which was recently introduced at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Aside from the 560-horsepower four-door coupe, we will also see the M6 coupe (with two fewer doors), and an M5 sedan (with the same engine) as safety cars.
A BMW M3 that uses frozen gray paint is what the safety officer of the track will be using. Meanwhile, the medics will carried by two M550d xDrive wagons. Lastly, two HP4 models will be used as safety bikes. These two vehicles will be entering the track at the Qatar Grand Prix, located at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. “We are delighted that our cooperation with MotoGP is already entering its 15th season,” said Thomas Schemera, Director of Sales and Marketing at BMW M GmbH.
Looking closer at the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, it is offered with an array of M design elements that carefully take into account several performance aspects like its cooling air requirements, weight balance and aerodynamics, and chassis geometry. Its front end is marked by a model-exclusive M kidney grille flanked by Adaptive LED Headlights as well as large air intakes.
When viewed from the sides, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is distinguished from its BMW M6 Coupe sibling through its rear doors and 113-mm longer wheelbase. Its silhouette is defined by a low roofline smoothly flowing into the rear, side windows extending into the C-pillars as well as the swage line. The sides of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe feature a wide track made more appealing by the prominently flared wheel arches.
Further elements defining the exterior look of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe include distinctive M gills, BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line package and aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, as well as 20-inch double-spoke M light-alloy wheels twin exhaust tailpipes located on the outer edges of the rear apron, which is also home to a CFRP diffuser.
The roof’s construction also makes use of CRFP, with the visible carbon structure and the dynamic recess in the center of the roof providing a striking element. This recess is referenced inside the BMW M6 Gran Coupe through the anthracite-colored Alcantara roof liner featuring a leather central section.
The interior of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe -- just like the exterior – appropriately conveys the dynamism and elegance of the vehicle by blending sports car styling, generous cabin room and a luxurious environment. Front occupants are treated to M sports seats fitted with integral belt guides. These seats are wrapped in Merino leather upholstery.
The rear cabin, meanwhile, could be specified with two or three seats with a 40:60 split that allows its boot capacity to expand from 460 liters to up to 1,265 liters. Power for the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is provided by a 4,395 cc V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology.
Featuring a horde of innovations like a cross-bank exhaust manifold, a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, Double-Vanos continuously variable camshaft control and High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, this V8 engine could deliver up to 560 hp (412 kW) of output available between 6,000 and 7,000 rpm, and up to 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm.
With this amount of power, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe could accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.2 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h/155 mph. This top speed jumps to 305 km/h/189 mph once the optional M Driver's Package is installed. Under the EU test cycle, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe consumes – on average -- 9.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (28.5 mpg imp) and emits 232 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.