BMW’s M division will continue to keep MotoGP motorcycle racing safe and fast this year, with the inclusion of three safety cars, the BMW M5, 1 Series M, and M6 Coupe.
BMW announced that MotoGP, which kicked off its 2012 season last week in Qatar, will continue its six-year-old partnership with the M division. The pairing provides MotoGP stewards, medics, and safety officers with a variety of BMW-crafted vehicles for use during events, including X5 and X6 Ms, 535i Tourings, and S 1000 RR motorcycles.
For the first half of the year, MotoGP races will continue with last year’s arrangement, which includes the BMW M5 and the 1 Series M safety cars. About halfway through the year, M will turn up the heat by replacing the 1M with something a bit hotter: the new M6 Coupe. The M6 Coupe is powered by the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine from the M5 sedan, which makes 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, and is sent through the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If the current M5 is any indication, the M6 will receive slight modifications in the form of adjustable traction control, aerodynamic tweaks, a sportier exhaust system, and a more sculpted racing bucket seat.
As for the racers behind the pace car, they can look forward to some love from BMW as well: it will continue its M Award program this year, which rewards the driver with the best qualifying results during the season. The winner will be celebrated at a special night in Valencia, Spain this year, where he’ll receive a BMW M3 Coupe Competition Edition, wearing a special shade of Frozen Silver paint and black M wheels.