As the 2013 MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar this weekend, BMW has revealed the championship’s new safety car – a stickered up 552bhp M6 Gran Coupe. The car was unveiled at an exclusive pre-launch event by BMW M MotoGP Expert Loris Capirossi.
It’s the 15th season for BMW as the “Official Car of MotoGP”, which began with the Z8 before the role shifted to BMW M cars from 2006.
BMW: Safety Bike
BMW’s HP4 is the lightest supersports bike in the 4-cylinder 1000cc class, weighing 199 kg including Race ABS and the tank filled 90 percent (169 kg dry with Race ABS).
The engine produces 193bhp, making it a very quick road bike, but relatively pedestrian compared to a proper MotoGP bike. 1000cc MotoGP bikes have a minimum weight of 160 kg and produce around 255bhp.
In total, the fleet of official MotoGP cars for 2013 comprises five BMW M and M Performance models including M6 Gran Coupe, M6 Coupe and M5. An M3 Coupe will be provided to the MotoGP Safety Officer, while two BMW M550d xDrive Tourings will be used as medical cars.
BMW’s fleet of support vehicles also includes a few bikes, with two new BMW HP4s taking over from the S 1000 RR and HP2 Sport used previously.
The Safety Car version of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe has been specially modified for its use as a pace car, which includes a special racing chassis with adjustable traction control, racing exhaust and Recaro race seats with four-point harnesses.
Every season the BMW M Award has been awarded to the rider at the end of the MotoGP season with the best overall qualifying record. Recent winners include Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the award, the best qualifier this season can look forward to a special prize, however BMW are keeping the specific car quiet until the championship reaches the first European round at Jerez.
Could it be the (yet to be announced) all-new M3? We’ll have to wait until the 5th May to find out.
BMW M6 Gran Coupé Safety Car modifications.
– Bonnet with “motorsport lock”
– Front apron specially manufactured in the BMW M factory
– Akrapovic exhaust system
– Black, 20-inch rims
– Carbon-ceramic brakes
– Black side grills and radiator grill
– Black mirror covers
– Recaro motor-racing seats with Schroth harness
– LED lights on front apron
– LED lights on the roof