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    • BMW switching to the Z4 GTE for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), will race in 2013 - Does BMW now need to sell a Z4 M?

      There was speculation that BMW would no longer race in ALMS after this season. BMW finished in second place to Corvette Racing failing to defend their championship for the second straight year. Speculation on a move began when BMW started to publicly complain and lobby against new technical regulations they said were slowing their cars down to the point where they were no longer competitive. So BMW will ditch the M3 GT's for Z4 GTE race cars.


      Now this is a bit of a cop-out on BMW's part. Rather than race an M3 they will race a car that does not have a few years of racing in the American Le Mans series under its belt meaning it won't be subject to the exact same regulations that slowed down the M3 attempting to make it on par with the rest of the field. Additionally, BMW has no M version of the Z4 with a V8 for sale. So, BMW will once again be bending the rules in their favor.

      Porsche, Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ferrari all race cars based on production vehicles they sell. BMW is twisting things to favor their racing program similar to what got them in trouble with the M3 GTR in 2001 when it used a V8 in the M3. If BMW sold a Z4 M with a V8 this would not be nearly as big of an issue. Kind of funny BMW recognizes the importance of Z4 as a racing platform with a V8 yet refuses to sell something similar to the public unlike the manufacturers they will be racing against.

      BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt stated, “This change in model shows that we are focusing fully on the BMW Z4 as an all-encompassing GT car. The BMW Z4 GT3 has been very successful on the GT3 scene in recent years, and has proven its ability to win races. I am confident this car will also play a major role as a GTE car in the ALMS.”

      Sorry Jens, but you seem full of it as you don't actually sell what you are trying to sell to the public with your statement. How are you focused fully on the Z4 when there is no M variant? The previous two generations had one and now you skipped it. Seems like you have lost focus to BimmerBoost. The audacity to pull a similar stunt as in 2001 which at least was justified under the rules at the time as you did sell an M3 GTR in limited quantities is BMW arrogance at its finest.

      Race the Z4 GTE and destroy the competition with it as we all know you can. But stop playing around and give us a Z4 M based on it already. Otherwise, you only make one thing, the Ultimate Marketing Machine.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: BMW switching to the Z4 GTE for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), will race in 2013 - Does BMW now need to sell a Z4 M? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 27 Comments
      1. DubSport's Avatar
        DubSport -
        Has anyone done or can someone here do a render/pshop of what a new Z4 M Coupe road-going version would look like? I bet it would look great.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DubSport Click here to enlarge
        Has anyone done or can someone here do a render/pshop of what a new Z4 M Coupe road-going version would look like? I bet it would look great.
        Sure, I can get that done for you. Just send me a few hundred bucks and I'll have it in a few days.
      1. DubSport's Avatar
        DubSport -
        Aww come one show us your skills! It would create some nice traffic to this site! Just make sure no other sites copy the image for themselves Click here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DubSport Click here to enlarge
        Aww come one show us your skills! It would create some nice traffic to this site! Just make sure no other sites copy the image for themselves Click here to enlarge
        That's why I watermark any renderings and yes it's worth traffic. So just send me the money and I'll do it. Click here to enlarge
      1. Scorpion's Avatar
        Scorpion -
        That's sick, maybe I should just get a Z4 instead of a 3 series.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scorpion Click here to enlarge
        That's sick, maybe I should just get a Z4 instead of a 3 series.
        The Z4 is nice but they have no real sporty variant...
      1. lughed's Avatar
        lughed -
        Sorry but the article kind of missed the bigger picture. ALMS gave all the other teams total overall upgrades while BMW got none. Personally i like the move and i said it in another thread that BMW should scrap the m3 program and use the z4 as its premere race car. After all the m3 manicure is dead. I do agree on developing a m version but you cant blame BMW when people ask for something then dont buy it
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lughed Click here to enlarge
        Sorry but the article kind of missed the bigger picture. ALMS gave all the other teams total overall upgrades while BMW got none. Personally i like the move and i said it in another thread that BMW should scrap the m3 program and use the z4 as its premere race car. After all the m3 manicure is dead. I do agree on developing a m version but you cant blame BMW when people ask for something then dont buy it
        It's a fair point but doesn't the linked article go over BMW's quotes and complaints?

        BMW doesn't have to make many. Just a small handful as their enthusiast car. Come on, the money they lost on the 5 GT is nothing compared to doing a limited M edition of the Z4 right?
      1. StinkyM's Avatar
        StinkyM -
        Well, after doing a lot of research on the topic. Sticky, I agree with you. We need a Z4M successor, and BMW will win the next season, only to reach an ultimatum which more then likely will not fall in true enthusiasts favor and they will continue development using the M4. I can see where BMW is coming from now and also back in 2001 with nearly the same issue. The points system needs an overhaul. The Corvettes are fast as well as the Porsches. All they see is BMW winning back to back; then when they restrict BMW to the new regulations, they are left to dry by the previous podium finisher. It's very competitive racing. The M3 needs a lot of help to stay afloat so yes, it will need the double wishbone suspension they have added as well as the other help ALMS officials have allowed.

        I look forward to seeing the Z4GT3 dominating only to see another GT3 model for sale only in the UK. Well not really but it's a huge possibility it will follow in the CSL/GTR's footsteps for economical issues that are severely burdening BMW. See what I did there?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by StinkyM Click here to enlarge
        I look forward to seeing the Z4GT3 dominating only to see another GT3 model for sale only in the UK. Well not really but it's a huge possibility it will follow in the CSL/GTR's footsteps for economical issues that are severely burdening BMW. See what I did there?
        Yes I do. And the though makes me angry although they may just pull another M3 GTR scenario. Race, win, then bow out pointing fingers only to repeat.

        Seriously, would it kill them to make a Z4M?
      1. lughed's Avatar
        lughed -
        it wouldnt kill them to make a M version and think it is dumb that they dont. $#@! they got m versions of everything else. I wouldnt even care if it very limited and only offer in Europe, as long as it stomps the competition
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lughed Click here to enlarge
        it wouldnt kill them to make a M version and think it is dumb that they dont. $#@! they got m versions of everything else. I wouldnt even care if it very limited and only offer in Europe, as long as it stomps the competition
        I don't understand BMW. 3 GT and 5 GT but no M version of the Z4. Seriously guys...
      1. deemo319's Avatar
        deemo319 -
        They can make a limited number for worldwide consumption, say 2500 units. They already have done the engineering to fit the S65B40 and the S65B44 in the engine bay with the work for Z4 GT3. Give it limited options to keep it simple, sort of like they did with the E82 1M which was saddled with an 18 month gestation. The E89 Z4 is almost at the end of it's lifecycle, with about 36 months left. They already have stated there will not be an M Roadster this generation, but they are considering it for the next one. Really BMW?

        Twice they have said they would not make an M Roadster and twice they did. So, what if it was already under development and was to be unleashed in 2014 model year with a one year production run? With bulging fender flares, stonking S65 V8, available with M-DCT or 6-speed manual, limited options, and a Track Package with a fixed roof, two kinds of rims and a nice $79,995 MSRP base price. A fitting farewell to the NA BMW S65 era? Sounds good to me, let the S65 go out in a blaze of glory. Can ya tell I have put some thought in to this? I have already priced the S65B44 from the E92 M3 GTS for a conversion from my local dealer!!!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by deemo319 Click here to enlarge
        They can make a limited number for worldwide consumption, say 2500 units. They already have done the engineering to fit the S65B40 and the S65B44 in the engine bay with the work for Z4 GT3. Give it limited options to keep it simple, sort of like they did with the E82 1M which was saddled with an 18 month gestation. The E89 Z4 is almost at the end of it's lifecycle, with about 36 months left. They already have stated there will not be an M Roadster this generation, but they are considering it for the next one. Really BMW?

        Twice they have said they would not make an M Roadster and twice they did. So, what if it was already under development and was to be unleashed in 2014 model year with a one year production run? With bulging fender flares, stonking S65 V8, available with M-DCT or 6-speed manual, limited options, and a Track Package with a fixed roof, two kinds of rims and a nice $79,995 MSRP base price. A fitting farewell to the NA BMW S65 era? Sounds good to me, let the S65 go out in a blaze of glory. Can ya tell I have put some thought in to this? I have already priced the S65B44 from the E92 M3 GTS for a conversion from my local dealer!!!
        Limited edition $80k Z4M coupe with the S65B44... ok, you got my money.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        I guess we need to wait until BMW releases more info on the changes to the car for ALMS.

        We all know they are not running a turbo six.

        So question remains. Will ALMS continue an even more blatant regulation bending and allow BMW to run the 4.4L that is in the Z4 GT3. Or will they continue to run the 4.0L (P65) in the out going E92 M3 GT?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3_WC Click here to enlarge
        BMW to run the 4.4L that is in the Z4 GT3. Or will they continue to run the 4.0L (P65) in the out going E92 M3 GT?
        This is the main question for me as well.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        What a cop out for a brand that has chosen to go to an all turbo line-up. They get to dramatically bend the regulations in their favour, to run a car that does not exist in the show rooms.

        So the homologation rule of 1,000 engines produced and 100 street cars produced, is being taken out of the rule book?


        Not sure how I feel about this. Do I want BMW to leave endurance racing...NO. But I am not happy about this liberal bending of homologation rules. Manufacturers use to have to put some forethought into racing and what they needed in production cars in order to meet strict homologation rules.

        So this basically paves the way for manufacturers being able to run almost any powerplant in their GTE class car. All the other manufacturers should definitely take advantage of the rules bending that BMW is benefiting from.

        ALMS needs to officially blow up the rules book and quit this game of fixing the rules book. Losing respect quickly. This is part of the reason why the best sports car racing on US soil is done in the Continental Tire series.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3_WC Click here to enlarge
        What a cop out for a brand that has chosen to go to an all turbo line-up. They get to dramatically bend the regulations in their favour, to run a car that does not exist in the show rooms.

        So the homologation rule of 1,000 engines produced and 100 street cars produced, is being taken out of the rule book?


        Not sure how I feel about this. Do I want BMW to leave endurance racing...NO. But I am not happy about this liberal bending of homologation rules. Manufacturers use to have to put some forethought into racing and what they needed in production cars in order to meet strict homologation rules.

        So this basically paves the way for manufacturers being able to run almost any powerplant in their GTE class car. All the other manufacturers should definitely take advantage of the rules bending that BMW is benefiting from.

        ALMS needs to officially blow up the rules book and quit this game of fixing the rules book. Losing respect quickly. This is part of the reason why the best sports car racing on US soil is done in the Continental Tire series.
        Agree with everything here strongly.

        I don't know how or why BMW will be allowed to break these rules. I mean why should BMW be allowed to here? In 2001 they met the rules, so different scenario.

        The best solution would be for BMW to actually build/sell this damn car. I agree with you completely that manufacturers used to have to put some thought into their lineup with how it would affect racing. BMW is essentially saying we will sell you whatever is cheapest for us and still race cars/motors without having to produce said cars with motors for public sale. That's BS!
      1. Scorpion's Avatar
        Scorpion -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The Z4 is nice but they have no real sporty variant...
        Yeah, know anything about the M coupes? The E86 look pretty insane. Nice little fun cars. They any good?
      1. IHCrusader's Avatar
        IHCrusader -
        Could we petition for a Z4M Coupe with the current S65B40 motor just like people did before to bring the E36 M3 to the US at a time BMW didn't think there would be a market for one in the US?

        With this all new turbo line-up, the renaming of the coupe 3 series to the 4 series, GT models, M SUVs, and the future of FWD cars to the lineup BMW sure is a doing a great job of frustrating real enthusiasts. Part of me secretly wants BMW to fail miserably so they may rethink what used to make them great and get back to their roots.