BMW M3 Race Version 2008


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BMW presented the racing version of the new BMW E92 M3 at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. Powered by a 485 bhp eight cylinder engine, this impressive race car has been designed to compete in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) from 2009 onwards.

Technical Specifications BMW M3 Race Version

Weight: 1150 kg
Tank capacity: 110 Liter
Chassis/body: Unitary construction steel body with welded safety cell made of extremely rigid precision steel tubing; safety fuel tank in CRP sandwich tray; pneumatic four-stamp jack system
Aerodynamics: Front wings, rear apron, motor hood, roof, trunk lid, rear wing, front wings, and flared rear wheel arches in CRP
Transmission: Carbon fibre clutch operated by hydraulic central slave cylinder; 6-speed sequential racing transmission with straight-cut, unsynchronized gears; additional oil/air cooler; quick shift system with ignition cut-out controlled by shifting force; mechanical limited slip differential with additional oil/air cooler
Front axle: Based on production version, with increased wheel caster angle, enlarged track width and enhanced wheel camber; five-way adjustable shock absorbers; tubular stabilizer bar
Rear axle: Based on production version, with enlarged track width and enhanced wheel camber; five-way adjustable shock absorbers, tubular stabilizer bar
Front brake system: Six-piston aluminium brake calipers, inner-vented grey-cast iron brake disks 380mm in diameter
Rear brake system: Four-piston aluminium brake calipers, grey-cast iron brake disk, 332mm in diameter
Steering: Rack and pinion steering with electro-hydraulic power
Wheels: Aluminium wheels, 18 inches


BMW P65 Engine

* Type: Eight cylinder, V-configuration
* Capacity: 3999 cc
* Bore x stroke: 92 x 75.2 mm
* Max. output: approx. 485 bhp
* Max. torque: approx. 500 Nm
* Cylinder block: Aluminium cylinder block construction with bed plate power section
* Crankshaft: Steel crankshaft
* Pistons: Forged skirt pistons
* Conrods: High-performance steel
* Cylinder head: Aluminium DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft); four valves per cylinder
* Valve train: Four overhead chain-driven camshafts, valve actuation via rocker arms
* Intake system: Eight throttle valves, made of CRP with load-charge optimized ram tubes
* Exhaust system: Headers, silencer
* Fuel system: Single cylinder multi-point injection
* Lubrication: Dry sump lubrication
* Cooling: Water/air cooler and oil/water heat exchanger



Engine management: BMW Motorsport ECU 408 with two high-performance micro-processors; Individual cylinder injection and ignition; BMW Motorsport Lambda Controller, Pit speed limiter, Quick Shift function; Engine data memory system
Energy management: Electric energy management and monitoring with BMW Motorsport POWER400 control unit, networking of all sensors and actuators through bus system
Wiring harness: Weight optimized
Ignition coil: Eight high-performance pencil coils with integrated ignition drivers
Spark plugs: High-performance spark plugs
Cockpit: Free programmable LCD Display with integrated shift indicators
Steering wheel: Quick release multi-function steering wheel with integrated display unit


BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen said: “With the sporting genes of the production BMW M3 being clearly evident, developing a racing version of the car was the next logical step. The fact that the road-going vehicle is fitted with a V8 engine as standard provided us with an ideal base. However, the BMW M3 is more than a race car, it has achieved legendary status amongst race fans across the globe. I am convinced that this unique story of the BMW M3 racing cars will now be expanded upon by the addition of further chapters.”

“We are very pleased to be returning to the American Le Mans Series with our latest generation BMW M3,” states Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO, BMW of North America. “Sports car racing has been part of BMW of North America’s history practically from day one. Just two weeks after the company was formed in March 1975, a BMW CSL won the 12-hours of Sebring. We are confident that the fourth generation M3 will continue the legacy of its two predecessors which combined to win six manufacturer’s championships over nine seasons. As it has been in the past we believe the ALMS is the ideal venue to showcase the potential of the newest BMW M3.”

BMW’s 2009 entry into the Sports Car Championship will be overseen by the United States-based Team Rahal Letterman operation. “BMW has an illustrious racing heritage,” says co-owner and US motorsport legend Bobby Rahal. “Rahal Letterman Racing is eagerly anticipating, not only becoming part of that heritage, but helping to enhance it. Our dedication to this project will be without equal and we look forward to racing at the front of the grid with BMW in the years to come.”


The BMW M3 Race Version: Sportiness personified.

In the course of developing the race version of the BMW M3, BMW’s engineers were faced with an ambitious task: to improve upon the sportiness of an already sporting car. A better base would, though, be difficult to find. In standard form the vehicle delivers powerful dynamics and sporting aesthetics. Thanks to an eight cylinder engine producing 420 bhp, BMW’s customers are provided with a unique driving experience.

Those engine blocks, cast in BMW’s light alloy foundry in Landshut – the very source of BMW’s Formula One castings – selected for race duty need to withstand even more power: the BMW P65 engine delivers 485 bhp.

In order to enable the BMW M3 to make full use of this performance on the race circuit, the experts in Munich have not concentrated solely on the engine, but have race-tuned the chassis as well. The race version of the BMW M3 is wider and significantly lighter than its production equivalent, enabling it to perfectly transmit the power of its V8. Widespread use of carbon-reinforced plastic (CRP) provides proof of substantial weight reduction. As with the production version, the race car’s roof is manufactured from this high-tech material.

The race version of the BMW M3 is clearly aimed at the top echelon of motorsport. As such, it is no surprise to discover that in the course of its development, begun in mid-2007, numerous Formula One techniques were applied. These include computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel analyses, both of which have ensured the best possible aerodynamic package for the BMW M3.

Intelligent control systems have been incorporated throughout the BMW M3. The POWER400 control unit actuates all the accessories fitted to the car, such as lights, wipers, etc., via two bus systems. Traditional relays and fuses are thus eliminated, ensuring considerable weight saving, improved reliability and ease of application. The functions of the BMW P65 engine are managed by an ECU 408 electronic control unit, developed in-house by BMW Motorsport. The software and applications, too, have been developed by the experts in Munich.


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7 Responses to “BMW M3 Race Version 2008”

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