Earlier this week, BMW M Motorsport brought the M Hybrid V8 to Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps as part of the testing phase to have the electrified endurance car ready for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2024. It shared the track with the M4 GT3 EVO, which as the name suggests, represents an evolution of the G82-based race car introduced in mid-2021 for the 2022 season.
No fewer than eight works drivers took turns behind the wheel of the cars. Robin Frijns, Maxime Martin, René Rast, Marco Wittmann, and Nick Yelloly drove the sinister-looking M Hybrid V8 finished in carbon-black. Augusto Farfus, Jens Klingmann, and Bruno Spengler put the M4 GT3 EVO through its paces ahead of its official racing debut set for the 2025 season.
Spa was only the first of many venues where BMW M Motorsport intends to test the M4 GT3 EVO for the remainder of 2023 as well as throughout 2024. The racing side of the German brand doesn’t go into details about the changes planned, only saying they’re looking into “expanding vehicle functionalities, enhancing component reliability, improving handling for the teams, and further enhancing drivability.”
As shown in the adjacent images taken on a wet track, the M4 GT3 EVO is hiding updates to both front and rear bumpers under camouflage. It’s safe to assume aero and/or cooling tweaks are being developed. It looks as though the shape of the side mirror caps will also change judging by the disguise, presumably to improve airflow.
The M4 GT3 and M Hybrid are not the only race cars developed by BMW M Motorsport as the company also has the lower-tier M4 GT4 and the M2 CS Racing, with the latter being based on the first-generation M2. Lessons learned while developing, testing, and racing these track-only machines are being put to good use in hardcore M models such as the M4 CSL and the upcoming M4 CS.
In addition, the hybrid expertise gained while engineering the M Hybrid V8 has helped the M division develop the XM, although the plug-in hybrid SUV uses a different combustion engine.