The upcoming BMW 1-Series M Coupe will serve as the official Safety Car for the 2011 season of the motorcycle road racing world championship (or simply MotoGP), which kicks off this weekend. The 1-Series M Coupe Safety Car is a one-off built by BMW’s M division specifically for this race series, with the Bavarian automaker stating that only the 340HP twin-turbocharged straight-six engine and the entire drivetrain were taken over unchanged from the production model, which launches in late April.
The Safety Car is lighter than its production counterpart thanks to a series of weight saving measures such as the carbon fibre-reinforced bonnet featuring additional large air vents, polycarbonate side and rear windows and the elimination of the rear seat bench. In addition, BMW’s M team developed a bespoke lightweight titanium race exhaust system that not only saves weight but also promises to delivers a much more exciting sound.
Details that set it apart from the production version include an additional splitter integrated on the underside of the front apron, an adjustable rear wing that provide the added downforce, white LED flashlights incorporated in the front grille, and blacked out 19-inch alloy wheels shod in 255/35 tires at the front and 285/30 at the rear.
In the interior, there’s a safety rollover cage bolted behind the B-pillar that has taken the place of the rear seats, an M steering wheel in alcantara, two racing bucket seats with 6-point safety belts, and a fire extinguisher.
BMW said that it has also revamped the suspension of the 1 Series M Coupe which now boasts an adjustable race track set-up that includes a sports-tuned chassis in which the dampers are independently adjustable for bump and rebound. Furthermore, the standard braking system of the series production model has been replaced in the Safety Car with a six-piston fixed-calliper racing brake system.
In addition to the 1-Series M Coupe Safety Car, BMW will have plenty of other cars at the 2011 MotoGP series including two reserve Safety Cars - an X6M and an M3, a 535i Touring serving as the Medical Car, an X5 M for the Safety Officer and an ActiveHybrid X6 for the stewards, as well as two Safety Bikes, the BMW S 1000 RR and a HP2 Sport.