BMW M Motorsport boss Andreas Roos looked back positively on the new-for-2023 BMW M4 GT4’s debut outing in last weekend’s NLS round, stating that the car “hinted at great potential”.
A pair of the new cars, which are set to replace BMW’s current GT4 offering next year, contested the SP8T class in Saturday’s four-hour race and finished one-two.
They were piloted by factory drivers Philipp Eng, Erik Johansson and Stef Dusseldorp, joined by test and development engineer Joerg Weidinger.
The best-placed of the two cars, driven by Eng and Johansson, finished the race in 24th place overall.
“The successor to our BMW M4 GT4 hinted at its great potential in this race,” said Roos.
“The test went without any major problems and our engineers gathered data that will be valuable looking ahead to further optimisations over the course of the year.
“The feedback from the drivers was very positive.
“That shows we are on the right track to achieve our goal of providing our private BMW M Motorsport teams with a car in the 2023 season which is able to back up the great success achieved by its predecessor by retaining its strengths and improving in certain areas.”
The new car includes a powertrain completely derived from the production M4, adopting the engine, transmission and electronics.
It also takes elements from the GT3-spec M4, which notably swept the podium during the second round of the season.
Factory driver Eng said that next year’s M4 GT4 shares some notable similarities with its bigger brother.
“The race in the successor to the BMW M4 GT4 was really great fun,” the Austrian explained. “We came through without any problems and even won our class – it could not really have gone any better.
“The car is very easy to drive, and you can feel that it has the DNA of the BMW M4 GT3.
“The seat position is the same and the car, despite weighing more according to the regulations, is very agile in any kind of corner.
“The balance is right in fast, medium-fast and slow corners.
“I am happy with this test and confident that private BMW M Motorsport teams and drivers will also have a lot of fun with the successor to the BMW M4 GT4.”
The NLS race was the latest step in the development of the new GT4 challenger, which BMW says is mainly focused on topics such as ease of maintenance and operational costs.
Development will now continue further, with BMW currently going through an ‘intensive program of testing’ that is set to involve a wide range of tracks. Paul Ricard, Almeria and Miramas are among the circuits that have already been visited during private testing.
Roos told Sportscar365 last month that the target is to reach 30,000 test kilometers ahead of the car’s 2023 rollout, with an aim to start production in the final quarter of 2022.