With March 1 marking the deadline for the submission of the necessary papers for the aerodynamic homologation of the 2014-spec DTM cars to the Deutsche Motor Sport Bund (DMSB), BMW has rolled out its new challenger that it hopes will pick up where the back-to-back championship-winning M3 left off.
As of today, it is no longer possible to make modifications to the most fundamental areas of the new M4. Upcoming pre-season testing will now primarily focus on optimising detailed aspects of the total package and understanding how to exhaust the full potential of the new car ahead of the start of the season in Hockenheim on May 4.
“Even before the BMW M3 DTM completed its final race last season, our development team was already hard at work on the 2014 car,” said BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt.
“Preparing a new car for the DTM is a big challenge," he explained. "In few other series is aerodynamics so important. Even the slightest detail can make the difference between success and failure.
"This attention to detail shown by our engineers is apparent at first glance – from the elongated bonnet with its steeply sloping front and aerodynamically optimised wing mirrors, to the contoured roofline that is a characteristic feature of the BMW M4."
BMW Motorsport engineers started to look ahead to 2014 and began working on the development of the new contender well before the start of the 2013 DTM season. The first model made its first appearance in the wind tunnel at the BMW Group's Aero Lab on April 22, almost a fortnight before the opening race of the 2013 season.
In the summer of 2013, while continuing with aerodynamic testing, the experts in Munich then turned their attention to designing new suspension parts which had their first on-track outing in December 2013, albeit still within the BMW M3 DTM at that point.
The final parts for the chassis of the BMW M4 DTM were in production by the turn of the year, allowing the BMW teams to assemble the first models of the new car in January and February. Finally. three hundred days after the first test in the wind tunnel, the BMW M4 DTM took to the track for its track debut in Monteblanco in Spain on February 11 2014.
“For me, the BMW M4 DTM is an absolute highlight," said Marquardt. "Like its production counterpart, it looks fantastic and it also made a positive first impression at our tests.
"Unlike when we were developing the BMW M3 DTM for our return to the DTM in 2012, this time around we were able to call upon the wealth of experience gained over the last two seasons," he added.
"Despite this, we still have a long road ahead of us – the opposition have continued to develop their cars in the meantime," Marquardt cautioned. "It is important to continue gradually improving the new car and ensure we can get the very best out of it, in order to be able to compete on a par with our strong and experienced rivals right from the outset with the BMW M4 DTM.
"I am confident we will achieve this," he concluded. "Every DTM fan can already look forward to the first showdown in Hockenheim on May 4: only then will we know exactly how competitive the BMW M4 DTM really is."