MUNICH: The M division of BMW has been involved in MotoGP for 13 years, providing the safety cars for the motorcycle road racing world championship.
This year, the 1 Series M Coupe will for the first time be deployed as the official safety car for the MotoGP events – in advance of its market launch late in April.
The BMW safety car is a one-off built by M specifically for this race series. Only the 340hp straight-six M TwinPower Turbo engine and the entire drivetrain were taken over unchanged from the production model.
To maintain agility, the safety car comes with a carbon fibre-reinforced bonnet featuring additional large air vents, as well as polycarbonate side and rear windows.
A special lightweight titanium race exhaust system not only saves weight but also delivers a captivating sound for the benefit of the spectators.
Complementing the discreet spoiler lip on the boot lid there is now an adjustable rear wing to provide the requisite downforce. On the safety car, the aerodynamically honed front apron with its precisely defined air ducting, including Air Curtains, features an additional splitter integrated on the underside of the apron.
A rollover cage bolted behind the B-pillar, the absence of rear seats, two racing bucket seats with 6-point safety belts, an M steering wheel in alcantara and a fire extinguisher are all standard in the safety car.
The suspension technology of the 1 Series M Coupe was specially adapted for the safety car. Its high-performance suspension system boasts an adjustable race track set-up that includes a sports-tuned chassis in which the dampers are independently adjustable for bump and rebound.
The BMW Safety Car runs on 19-inch mixed tyres measuring 255/35 at the front and 285/30 at the rear.
Vehicle height is variably selectable and the camber of the front and rear axle can be altered to suit the circuit topography. The braking system of the 1 Series M Coupe, already designed for extremely high demands, is replaced with a six-piston fixed-calliper racing brake system.
A fleet of eight BMW vehicles is supporting the safe running of the motorcycle world championship in the current race season.
There are two reserve safety cars: an X6 M and an M3. In addition, the organising team has been given an X5 M for the Safety Officer and an ActiveHybrid X6 for the stewards. On call this season as a medical car is a 535i Touring.
There will also be two safety bikes namely an S 1000 RR and an HP2 Sport.
BMW M announced last month that it has extended its partnership with Dorna Sports, the organisers of the MotoGP World Championship, until 2016.