The Brits will get to see the new BMW M5 in the flesh sooner than anyone else as the car is set for UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 1-3 July.
The first ever turbocharged M5 will take the center stage along with some other fine Bavarian cars such as the 328, M3 GTS, and Z4 GT3.
This new M5 might not look all that posh and in-your-face as the old one, but in terms of performance, it’ll eat that, and many other supercars, for breakfast. It features the most potent engine ever devised by BMW’s high-performance M division along with race-bred chassis technology that includes, for the first time, an Active M differential and electronic damping control. 560 hp and 680 Nm of torque are very serious numbers in a four-door saloon car.
The new M5 Saloon will be available in the UK in November 2011, priced at £73,040.
Details on other features at BMW’s booth:
Icons sharing an anniversary 50 years apart
Goodwood will host two significant anniversaries for cars that can boast the title of icon in the pantheon of the great cars of automotive history – the BMW 328 and the M3.
Both these cars, separated by 50 years of automobile history, share characteristics that have helped elevate them to the highest platform of four wheel nirvana. Both appeared on the race circuits before they were widely available to the public; both dominated their competitors on the great race circuits of the world; both were designed for racing first and for the road later; both were feted by the motoring journalists of their day and both are still revered as milestone cars.
To celebrate the 328’s 75th anniversary, a beautiful and truly historic example will ascend the famous Goodwood hill on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The BMW 328 Kamm Coupé, named after the German aerodynamics pioneer Wunibald Kamm, and recreated by BMW Classic, comes to Goodwood for the first time.
Five BMW 328 models contested the 1940 Mille Miglia, but the Kamm Coupé disappeared without trace in1953. With the 70th anniversary of BMW’s famous Mille Miglia victory fast approaching, BMW Classic reproduced this legendary racing car to take part in the 2010 race and to highlight an important milestone in both motor sport history and the development of vehicle aerodynamics.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the M3 going on sale in the UK, a BMW M3 Group A DTM will be driven up the hill by one of the UK’s best ever international racing drivers, Steve Soper.
BMW 328 – racing heritage
The BMW 328 first appeared at the 1936 Eifelrennen held on 14 June at the daunting Nurburgring. A single example driven by Ernst Henne started the race among a field of larger sports cars but proved its agility and performance by totally dominating the event at an average speed of 101.5kmh over the tortuous 70 mile race
Built between 1936 and 1940 a mere 464 examples of the 328 were made but its innovative engine formed the backbone of many post-war racing engines under the Bristol name. It powered countless racing machines including those of Cooper, Frazer Nash and Veritas, as well as a whole generation of 1950s sporting road cars including Bristol and the AC Ace right up until the early 1960s, a full 25 years after its debut.
The 328 won its class in just about every race in the classic sports car calendar of the day – the Le Mans 24 Hours, Tourist Trophy and the Mille Miglia included. In total it won 141 victories from 172 starts in national and international races. At its zenith, special streamlined 328 roadsters and a coupé built by Superleggera Touring of Milan raced in the 1940 Mille Miglia and finished first, third, fifth and sixth, the winners covering the 1,000 miles at an average speed of 104mph.
As befits a car that is prized among collectors, top quality BMW 328s are today valued at close to half a million Pounds.
The road-going M3 started a racing trend
Although the M3 made its public debut at the 1985 Frankfurt Show, customer deliveries did not start until late in 1986, and it didn’t reach the UK until 1987 and then only in left hand drive. Customers started to read about the new M3 in motoring journals which to a man proclaimed the tactility, agility and performance to be quite unlike anything before in its class.
The E30 M3 made its racing debut at Monza in March 1987 and took the first six places in the race, until all were disqualified for insufficient roof metal thickness. Its major competitor, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, was also excluded for homologation discrepancies. These two cars, piloted by a panoply of touring car driver greats, battled out the next two seasons – the M3 using finesse and poise, the Sierra punching out much higher power from its turbocharged motor.
The results presaged the reasons why the M3 would be held in such awe. Roberto Ravaglia won the 1987 and only World Touring Car Championship (until it made its return in 2005), the M3 winning five of the season’s races, while Winnie Vogt won the European series with the M3 winning all but one round. 1988 was the same with Ravaglia winning the European series again. In the Donington Park race, M3s finished first to eighth unmolested.
The M3 is the most successful racing car of all time winning a huge number of races and over 40 championships between 1987 and 1992. But it was not only a winner in sprint events. It won the Nurburgring 24 Hours three times and the Spa 24 Hours four times. The M3 was versatile too. It won the Corsican round of the 1987 World Rally Championship – a car developed and entered by Prodrive, the company responsible for the MINI John Cooper Works WRC that made its WRC debut in 2011 – and will also go up the hill at Goodwood for the first time this year. The M3 still races today in GT2, Le Mans, ALMS and the Intercontinental Cup.
M3 GTS to storm the hill
The M3 story was brought right up to date this year withthe introduction of the BMW M3 GTS, the most powerful version of the high-performance M3 Coupé.
The car, only available in Fire Orange, will bring a frisson of colour and brightness to the Sussex countryside, as it steers its way up Goodwood’s hill in the super car run.
The M3 GTS features a 450hp engine that offers the ideal preconditions for use at club sport events, while still being road-legal. In addition to a larger and more powerful V8 engine, exclusive tuning of the seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission with DRIVELOGIC and modified suspension technology, the M3 GTS has also been specifically optimised with regard to aerodynamics and lightweight construction.
The sporting potential of the BMW M3 GTS is underlined by a power-to-weight ratio that has been lowered to 3.4kgs per hp. Featuring a transmission and suspension configuration which has been optimised for the racetrack, the BMW M3 GTS accelerates from zero to 62mph in a mere 4.4 seconds. The car covers the standing kilometre in just 22.5 seconds before going on to a 190mph top speed.
Limited production of the BMW M3 GTS for the UK market in right-hand-drive form commenced in January, 2011, with all 15 examples now sold.
Le Mans ace Dirk Müller to drive the BMW Z4 GT3
Straight from the Le Mans 24 Hours, and a podium finish for BMW Motorsport, Dirk Müller will drive the BMW Z4 GT3 against the clock on the famous Goodwood 1.16 mile hillclimb.
Müller achieved third place for the BMW M3 GT in the GTE class at the 79th staging of the Le Mans 24 Hours, along with fellow drivers Andy Priaulx and Joey Hand. In the hard-fought LM GTE class, the number 56 BMW M3 GT crossed the finish line at the “Circuit de la Sarthe” after 313 thrilling laps and having covered a distance of over 4,200 kilometres.
Dirk Müller clocked the fastest GTE race lap with a time of 3:58.876 minutes in the race, which was at times dramatic and overshadowed by several spectacular and alarming crashes.
The BMW Z4 GT3, which competes in the FIA GT3 European Championship, has proven to be competitive, with a one-two finish at the first race of the year in Portimão in May 2011. It had already secured outright victory at the Dubai 24 Hours, earlier in the year, its first ever win in a marathon race of this scale.
The BMW Z4 GT3 was launched in March 2010 and, with its elongated bonnet, driver’s compartment towards the rear of the car, long wheel base and narrow wheel arches, boasts an unmistakable appearance. The difference between the road-going production and racing car can be found under the bonnet: while the production version of the BMW Z4 is driven by a six-cylinder engine, the GT3 car is powered by a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine.
Whilst Dirk Müller will be aiming for a quick run up the hill, he will also be at the BMW pavilion to sign autographs.