After Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin revealed their Safety Cars for the 2021 Formula 1 season a couple of days ago, BMW is doing the same for the upcoming MotoGP championship. The Bavarians through their performance M division have been the official safety car fleet supplier since 1999 and have used a variety of models, including the superb Z8 and the rare Z4 M Coupe.
For 2021, M has prepared a trio of new Safety Cars based on its latest M models: M3 Saloon, M4 Coupe, and the all-conquering M5 CS. BMW's performance division is spicing things up for the new season by doing away with the predominantly white liveries used in the past to show off some of the more special colours available for the M trio.
Gallery: BMW M MotoGP Safety Car
For example, the M3 Competition Saloon is dressed in Frozen Grey Dark Metallic while the M4 Competition Coupe comes with a vibrant São Paulo Yellow. The most powerful of the lot, the M5 CS, wears a fancy Frozen Deep Green Metallic paint. These three vehicles will be joined by additional MotoGP safety cars, including the M8 Competition Coupe and M8 Competition Gran Coupe, plus an X5 M Medical Car.
Aside from these four-wheeled machines, some of which have a rather polarising front grille, there's also a bike. BMW Motorrad's first M-branded motorcycle, the 1000 RR, is an official Safety Bike with a familiar white paint adorned by the traditional M colours. This livery will also be applied to the BMW M 1000 RR that will race in the Superbike World Championship.
The first race of the 2021 MotoGP season will take place on 28 March for the Grand Prix of Qatar in Losail, but the entire fleet of safety cars will debut at the first European race of the season programmed for 18 April for the Grande Prémio de Portugal in Portimão.
BMW mentions the standard versions of these M cars were developed right from the start to deliver "sporty performance and perfect driving behaviour up to the limits." Therefore, only minor changes were necessary to turn them into MotoGP vehicles. These include quick-release bonnet latches, flashing low-mounted front lights, a roof light bar, and emergency power shutoffs to safely transport the cars overseas.
In addition, the M4 Competition Coupe has lost its rear seats while gaining a rollbar, a four-point harness, and a modified exhaust. The latter has also been installed in the M3 Competition Sedan, but it’s not that strange M Performance exhaust (pictured above) with stacked exhausts the company is offering at an additional cost on the road cars.
In addition, the M4 Competition Coupe has lost its rear seats while gaining a rollbar, a four-point harness, and a modified exhaust. The latter has also been installed in the M3 Competition Sedan, but it's not that strange M Performance exhaust (pictured above) with stacked Lexus F-like exhausts the company is offering at an additional cost on the road cars.
If we were to pick next year's MotoGP Safety Cars, the M3 Touring would certainly be on the list. It hasn't been revealed yet, but BMW will likely introduce the go-faster wagon before the end of the year or early 2022, so there's a chance we'll see the long-roof model dressed for the occasion as a MotoGP safety or medical car.