The safety car is a bit of a controversial entity on the racetrack. While it does of course help keep drivers and riders safe during some of the more dangerous times on a course, for a lot of fans it represents a temporary halt to the fun that they paid a lot of money to see. However, perhaps BMW can help change that, as it’s upcoming safety far for the MotoGP ’15 season looks nothing like safety cars of old, with a black paint job with colourful markings and flashing lights making it look more like an official police vehicle than one designed to keep some of the fastest racers of the world in check.
There will be three models of BMW taking on the role of safety car this year: the BMW M4 Coupe, as well as the BMW M3 and the M6 Gran Coupe as well. Each of them heavily modified of course, to make them that bit more applicable to their role. All of them have been chosen (and tweaked to perfection) for the conditions expected on the variety of tracks that MotoGP racers will take place on throughout the year. They each feature the same TwinPower turbo engine, using a high-rev concept that gives the car significant performance that should even give some of the MotoGP riders a run for their money – or at least, as close as you can get in a full size vehicle.
In total it has over 430 horse power, with a maximum torque of 550Nm, much of which is accessible throughout the rev range. Each of the cars also uses a water-injection system to help cool the high-powered engines, making sure that premature ignition doesn’t occur and ultimately delivering maximum power as soon as the throttle is pressed. To make sure all the exhaust gases leave the engine as quickly as possible too, BMW’s new M4 uses the BMW M Performance Exhaust System with titanium tailpipes.
Some effort has gone into improving the aerodynamics and downforce of the M4 though. BMW has included the BMW M Performance Front Splitter, and a BMW M Performance Rear Diffusor, both of which will help keep the wheels pressed into the tarmac for added grip and performance.
However, despite all this performance, the vehicles are actually surprisingly efficient, delivering good fuel economy and low emissions for such a powerful car. All in, it’s able to achieve a high-performance fuel usage of 32.1mpg, which is no less than the standard road-version.
While a lot of the technology used in the BMW safety cars is experimental or conceptual at the moment, if they prove versatile and ultimately not too costly to produce, it’s possible that some of the features of the new safety line will end up in production level vehicles in the future.