A new year, a new set of regulations, a new M sports coupé – the wraps have come off the new BMW M4 DTM, the German company’s latest Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters contender, based on the BMW M4.

Of course, that last bit is not really true – under the skin, all DTM cars run a spec chassis to save costs and ensure parity. Only the roof, the head- and tail lights and the grille have been carried over from the M4 to give it at least a passing resemblance to the showroom variant. Measuring 4,775 mm long, 1,950 mm wide and about 1,200 mm tall, it weighs just 1,110 kg.

DTM cars also use similar engines – albeit built by the manufacturers themselves – so instead of the 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged straight-six of the road-going M4 there is a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated V8, air-restricted to about 480 bhp and 500 Nm. This power is sent to the rear wheels through a standard DTM six-speed sequential gearbox, propelling the M4 DTM from 0-100 km/h in about three seconds.

GP Spanien 2013

The car will make its track debut during official test sessions at the Hungaroring in Budapest at the end of the month, ahead of the first race of the season in Hockenheim on May 4. BMW will undoubtedly want to reclaim the DTM title it lost to Audi after winning both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships on its first season in 2012.

Of course, 2014 also marks the year that technical regulations for the DTM and the GT500 category of the Super GT are unified. The Japanese series – which will star the Lexus RC F GT500, Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500 and Honda NSX-GT – will begin in Okuyama on April 6.