BMW is replacing this year’s potent M2 MotoGP motorcycle racing safety car with something even more powerful and muscular – a new M5.
The BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car will debut at the final round of the 2017 season in Valencia on 10-12 November, ahead of going into full-time safety car service for the 2018 season. And like the M2 it replaces, the new M5 is among the coolest-looking motor racing safety cars on the planet.
For the first time, BMW is fielding a safety car with M xDrive all-wheel drive tech – because, said BMW M GmbH president Frank van Meel, of the “enormous challenges” a MotoGP safety car faces. “It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes safely through all sorts of conditions.” The safety car itself simply can’t go off, no matter how inclement the weather.
Its 600hp power output is the same as the 4.4-litre V8 production car, as is the 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds. BMW has added on a load of M Performance parts though, including a titanium exhaust with carbon tailpipes, carbon side sills, rear diffuser, rear spoiler and air breather slats, plus a prototype front splitter designed especially for the M5 MotoGP.
There are racing-spec bonnet latches, bucket seats from the BMW M4 GTS and the most intense LED light bar on the roof. There are more LED lights in the grilles – and the corona rings on the headlamps also flash when the safety car is in action.
As for the styling, well, there’s no missing it: the cues are inspired by the 2018 BMW M8 GTE that’s set to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours. We for one are already dreaming of a duly inspired road car version, complete with gold wheels…
In pictures: 2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car