All-new BMW Z4 GTE joins ALMS in 2013 (w/VIDEO)

After four years competing with the BMW M3 GT, the new Z4 GTE takes over the marque’s campaign in the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The new car was launched earlier this week at the Daytona International Speedway by BMW Team RLL.

BMW Motorsport engineers in Munich began developing a GTE version of the BMW Z4 GT3 in July 2012, making the necessary changes to comply with ACO regulations.

First of these changes was the removal of electronic driver aids such as ABS and DSC, which are not permitted on a GTE car. The dimensions of the BMW Z4 GTE have also been modified to comply with ACO regulations, resulting in a car which is considerably more compact than its M3 GT predecessor.

Tipping the scales at 1,245kg (in accordance with ACO regulations), the Z4 GTE is powered by a 480bhp/480Nm 4,400cc V8 engine constructed with a aluminium cylinder block. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential sport transmission, operated via shifting paddles mounted on the steering wheel.

BMW-Z4-GTE-Daytona_G2

Automotive content maker drivesTV.com filmed the new Z4 GTE at launch, while you’ll also catch a glimpse of the M3 GT and some of its predecessors who’ve represented the BMW marque in North American racing.

The Z4 GTE will contest its first season in 2013 with two cars. Car #55 will be driven by Bill Auberlen and ALMS rookie Maxime Martin, while Dirk Müller will contest all the races in the #56 car.

Joey Hand and John Edwards will alternate as the two-time ALMS GT champion’s driving partner. Edwards will stand in for Hand when he is unavailable due to his parallel commitment in DTM, while Jörg Müller (#55) and Uwe Alzen (#56) will bolster the squad at selected endurance races, including Sebring and Road Atlanta.