BMW M2 Is MotoGP’s Sexy New Safety Car
Gold all in my rims, gold all in my cage.
Last year’s BMW M4 MotoGP safety car was always going to be hard to top. The car was BMW’s first use of direct water injection for turbochargers, enabling the M4’s twin-snailed 3.0-liter inline-6 to crank out more power and more laps per gallon. Add in the car’s gnarly red/blue/black livery and unmuffled sport exhaust, and it all comes together into one of the nastiest safety cars ever to roll out of Munich.
The 2016 MotoGP safety car, on the other hand, is based on the long-awaited (and much salivated over) BMW M2 with 365 horsepower.
Y’know what? We’ll call that an even trade.
Of course, for MotoGP safety car duty, the BMW M engineers did more than slap a couple stickers on the flanks and call it a day. Engineers ripped open the car to expose the undercarriage, then added a gold-colored safety cage based on the one in the M4 GTS, six-point Recaro seats with golden brackets, a holster for the fire extinguisher, and controls for the bevy of lights and other added electronics needed for safety car duty.
The standard brakes were tossed in favor of the heat-resistant carbon ceramics from the M3 and M4. A thin light bar was added to the roof—then, to counteract the ways it interrupted the M2’s carefully curated aerodynamic profile, the team engineered a new carbon-fiber wing for the trunk. They pulled anything in the exhaust that would quiet things down, so this M2 could be heard above the scream of racing bikes. Oh, and they painted the wheels gold, because gold wheels on any sort of track-worthy vehicle are undeniably awesome.
And that’s on top of the bundle of other add-ons the engineers grabbed from the M Performance Parts catalog and bolted onto the car for extra performance and pizzaz: the M Performance coilover suspension, the M Performance carbon-fiber front fascia blades, the M Performance carbon-fiber side skirts, (gasp) the M Performance gloss-black grille, the M Performance Alcantara steering wheel, the M Performance carbon -iber mirror caps…we would go on, but we’re getting woozy.
And once it was all done, they put it back together, reupholstered the interior in leather and Alcantara, and laid on a classy livery worthy of the M brand. All in all, the process took 10 weeks from soup to nuts. The result, though, is a veritable smorgasbord of awesome that makes us wish we could get a gig driving MotoGP safety cars.