How a BMW Z4 Becomes a Z4 GT3


Ever since its release in 2010, the Z4 GT3 has received almost universal praise from motorsport drivers and motorsport fans alike. But, just how different is it to the comparable road version? Let’s take a look…

Tuned and altered to meet GT3 regulations, the Z4 GT3 can compete in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the International GT Open or the ADAC GT Masters – as well as at 24-hour endurance races.

In itself, the production model of the GT4 is already highly impressive, standing out from the crowd on any street corner due to its elongated bonnet, flared wheel arches and long wheel base. In many ways, the styling and production of the GT4 make it the perfect car for GT3 production, allowing BMW to keep the car as true to the original as possible, while still creating a more than competent GT3 racing car.

What’s the Difference?

The largest difference between the production and racing versions of these cars can, as you’d probably expect, be found under the bonnet.
The regular production model of the Z4 is powered by a 6 cylinder engine, whereas in the GT3 model, there’s a 4.0 litre eight-cylinder under the bonnet which is ready to wreak havoc, producing 480 bhp.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this change of engine to a V8 then had a considerable impact on the development of the rest of the car. CATIA V5 design software was initially used in order to inform engine placement, ensuring that the engine was in exactly the correct position while still meeting racing specifications. From here, the rest of the components were added around it.

In terms of electrics, a Power400 electronic control unit is used to power all of the actuators, while power is transmitted through a six-speed, sequential gearbox with “Quick Shift” function.

As well as all of this, the front axle of the GT3 version is a completely new design that is based on a series concept that has a stabiliser bar and adjustable blades.

One thing that you definitely won’t find as standard on the road version is a safety cell. The GT3 version, of course, has one, and it’s made from precision steel tubing which is welded into the body.

What Other Changes Are There?

Once more, as you would expect with racing cars, a reduction in weight was also a factor, and the GT3 version is a mere 1,200 kilograms. This has been achieved by using carbon fibre reinforced plastics (also known as CFRPs) on the front and rear wings, bonnet, roof and fender.

Of course, all of this technology comes at a price, and the GT3 version is far from cheap. Fortunately, road versions are far cheaper, particularly used ones from somewhere like AA Cars. This way, you can still drive something with the essence, heart and styling of the GT version.


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