BMW has begun work on an all-new GT3 car that could debut as early as 2022.
The German manufacturer, which is in the fourth year with the BMW M6 GT3, is in the planning stages for a M-branded car built to a yet-to-be-launched production platform.
According to BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt, they have “very clear” plans for its next-generation GT3 model, which would follow in the footsteps of the Z4 and M6 that debuted in 2010 and 2016, respectively.
“We’re already working on a successor program,” he told Sportscar365. “New regulations will be in place for 2022. That’s probably the timing for us.
“We have [a car model] in mind but obviously it’s very much related to the production side of things. For sure, we have very clear plans.”
With the BMW 6 Series being phased out, Marquardt confirmed the new GT3 car would be based on a different model.
He explained any cars built on BMW’s CLAR platform would be ineligible under the current regulations, which prohibit GT3 cars based on a road car platform that offers a four-door model.
Introduced in 2015, the modular platform currently serves as the basis for BMW’s line of 3, 5, 7 and 8 Series lineup, as well as the new Z4.
“That part of the regulations, as far as my understanding with the FIA and the discussions, is going to be adjusted and addressed,” Marquardt said. “Most manufacturers have those kind of [common] platforms and toolboxes.”
Marquardt said he expects the new GT3 car to begin on-track testing in the second half of next year.
“We would hit the road in 2020 for an extensive development program and by the middle of 2021, hopefully showcase the car a little bit as an SPX [car] and have it ready,” he said.
“That would be the rough timing we have in mind.”
No Major Expansion of BMW M6 GT3 Efforts Planned
Marquardt said he doesn’t expect to see a significant increase in M6 GT3 customers, citing the crowded marketplace and new or updated models from other manufacturers.
“We’re still selling cars or putting them from one to the other,” he said. “But honestly I don’t see a possibility with a big expansion in that respect.
“We’ve got more cars coming but with GT3, we’ve just go to go with what we have until we have the new product.
“Everything is so much tied to our production schedules and when the launches are and unfortunately also with the regs, how they came with the discussions we’ve had with the FIA, it’s the only and best solution we can have.
“We’ll have a new product come 2022 and we just have to work until then and try and keep the M6 as competitive as we can. Obviously with the BoP that should normally be OK and go from there.”
BMW has placed its GT3 focus on Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli this year, with a two-car full-season effort, alongside a return to the Nürburgring 24 and other key GT3 races.