BMW Z4 GT3 Racer with 480HP V8 Officially Launched [with Photo Gallery]

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BMW has delivered the first examples of its Z4 GT3 racer to private teams that will prepare them for use in various national and international championships.

Developed by the Bavarian automaker's Motorsport division, the Z4 GT3 swaps the standard model's straight-six for a 4.0-liter V8 engine with 480HP similar to the unit used in the M3 GT2 racer. The power is transmitted to the rear-wheels through a six-speed, sequential gearbox with "Quick Shift" function.

Aside from various safety and mechanical upgrades including a roll cage and a new front axle design, the Z4 GT3 also gets front and rear wings, bonnet, roof, fender and many other components made of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), which helps reduce the car's weight to 1,200 kg or 2,645 lbs.

BMW said that the Z4 GT3 is available at a cost of €298,000 or about US$403,000 at today's exchange rates.