BMW Motorsport has formally unveiled their new for 2018 BMW M8 GTE at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA).
Following on from the trend set by the Ford GT the race car version of the M8 will hit the track in competition before the BMW 8 Series Coupé road car goes on sale.
The plan to field a factory effort with MTEK in the 2018/19 FIA WEC is confirmed, as is the car’s debut at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, together with an IMSA series commitment.
Whilst the car has been seen pictured previously in ‘camo’ liveries the IAA display car was in full BMW M Motorsport livery, a variation on the highly traditional theme, designed especially for the occasion, “providing a visual taste of things to come in 2018”.
The BMW M8 GTE has already had a successful roll-out on 1 July 2017 at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, the plant where the production model of the new BMW 8 Series will be manufactured.
BMW make it clear that knowledge gained from race outings with the new car in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) will be directly incorporated in the development of the production model, which is running parallel to the motorsport project.
“The BMW M8 GTE is our new GT flagship and will go head to head with the strong opposition in this sector,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “For us, the presentation of the uncamouflaged car at the IAA is the next important step on the road to our first race outing, which we plan to be the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2018. The FIA WEC and the IMSA series in North America are a top competitive environment for our new challenger. With the BMW M8 GTE, we are bringing cutting-edge technology to the top international class of GT racing, whilst at the same time tying in with our tradition at Le Mans. The development of the BMW M8 GTE is on schedule, and we can hardly wait to see the car challenging for victories in 2018.”
The V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, which is restricted by regulations to a capacity of 4.0 litres, has a nominal base output of more than 500 hp, depending on the classification. The cylinder block and cylinder head are taken from the production engine and are produced in the light alloy foundry at the BMW Group plant in Landshut. The focus of the development work is on achieving the greatest possible efficiency and maximum durability. The powerful production engine provides the perfect basis. The power transmission in the BMW M8 GTE takes place via a sequential, six-speed racing gearbox.
Artificial intelligence gives engineers greater freedom.
“Virtual development” plays a central role in the development of the BMW M8 GTE. For example, the traction control is being developed with the assistance of an artificial intelligence system. Topology optimisation with 3D printing gives the engineers far greater freedom in their search for innovative and creative solutions for the design of the car. Rapid prototyping also allows them to take delivery of a new part, as a usable prototype, just 24 hours after the virtual development.
A significant weight reduction is achieved through the extensive use of ultra-light CFRP components. At a length of 4,980 mm and a width of 2,046 mm, the car weighs just 1,220 kilograms. The design of the BMW M8 GTE also reflects the close relationship to the BMW 8 Series and the BMW M8. This is particularly apparent in the same roof line and the design of the front and rear lights.
Work on the aerodynamics of a new race car is as time-consuming as it is indispensable. A new algorithm allows a significant increase in CFD calculations, thus making it possible to use greater computing power to clearly increase the number of possible simulations, before progressing to the wind tunnel. Here, BMW Motorsport benefits from the perfect test conditions in the BMW Group Aero Lab. One of the results of the aero development is innovative aero rims, presented as a concept at the IAA.
The same 3D measurement technology that was used on the BMW M4 DTM, which made its first race outing in 2017, is also used on the BMW M8 GTE.
The ultra-modern measurement system from the BMW production development department provides the perfect quality control once the race car has been assembled. With such a complex car as the BMW M8 GTE, which is built completely by hand, it is essential that all the dimensions are correctly adhered to and implemented.
BMW M8 GTE: Technical Details
- Length without rear wing: 4,980 mm
- Width without mirrors: 2,046 mm
- Width with mirrors: 2,224 mm
- Height: 1,212 mm (variable)
- Wheelbase: 2,880 mm
- Model: V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology
- Capacity: 3,981 cc
- Number of cylinders: 8
- V angle: 90°
- Bore: 89 mm
- Stroke: 80 mm
- Cylinder spacing: 98 mm
- Engine speed: approx. 7,000 rpm
- Composite body with carbon core and DMSB-approved safety roll cage
- CFRP outer shell with quick-change concept
- Double wishbones on front and rear axle
- Four-way adjustable shock absorbers at front and rear
- Anti-roll bars with quick adjustment
- Six-speed sequential motorsport gearbox
- Electric paddle shift system
- Limited slip differential
- CFRP drive shaft
- Sachs carbon-fibre clutch
- BMW Motorsport in-house developed software functions for engine, gearbox and
- Steering wheel with 16 buttons and seven dials
- Rear-view camera system with object recognition
- High-performance headlights with OSRAM LED elements
- Live telemetry system for vehicle monitoring
- BMW Aero rims: 12.5×18 inch on the front axle, 13×18 inch on the rear axle
- Michelin tyres: 30/68 R18 on the front axle, 31/71 R18 on the rear axle