BMW M has supplied the official MotoGP Safety Car fleet since 1999, and here’s its latest lead car for the top tier motorcycle racing championship – the BMW M8 MotoGP Safety Car. Based on the BMW M8 Competition that made its debut at the end of June, the new safety car made its first appearance last weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

“The BMW M8 and M8 GTE were developed in parallel, and these racing genes distinguish the BMW M8 models in all areas. That’s why it was a logical step for us to choose the M8 Competition as a basis for our new MotoGP safety car. Even in its production version, this high-performance automobile is suited to the racetrack. With its innovative technical features, it is yet another example of our quest to keep pushing the limit upwards,” said Markus Flasch, president of BMW M.

The M8 Competition comes with the most powerful engine ever developed for a BMW M car. Like the standard M8, it’s powered by the S63 4.4 litre twin-turbocharged V8, but Comp spec means 625 hp (vs 600 hp) and 750 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 5,800 rpm (vs 5,600 rpm peak). Paired with an eight-speed auto and xDrive AWD, it does 0-100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds, a tenth faster than the standard M8. With the M Driver’s Package, top speed is 305 km/h.

In addition, the MotoGP safety car wears the full catalogue of BMW M Performance Parts, many of which are available as retrofit parts for the road car. Goodies thrown in include a titanium sport exhaust system, carbon tail pipe finisher, floor mats, carbon engine cover, carbon rear diffuser, the M Performance steering wheel pro (with carbon cover and shift paddles), carbon air breather side grille, carbon side skirts and decals.

The transformation also includes necessary racing and safety equipment, as this car has a job to do. BMW M has fitted a bonnet with ‘motorsport lock’, fuel suction pump, battery master switch, flashing corona headlight rings, LED roof lights, front grille LED flasher, Recaro race seats with Schroth belts, roll cage, fire extinguisher, Michelin Cup tyres and a rear wing from the M8 GTE race car. The cabin has a special light control panel.

If cars with livery turn you on, check out BMW’s previous MotoGP safety cars. There’s the recent F90 M5, the M4 Coupe, the M6 Gran Coupe and even the X6 M and 1 Series M Coupe. My favourite is the M2.


GALLERY: BMW M8 Competition Coupe