BMW Z4 GT3 undergoes opening round of customer tests

BMW Z4 GT3The 2011 BMW Z4 GT3 proved it can win races back in January when it took the overall win at the Dubai 24 Hours. Never one to relax on its laurels, BMW took the car from the winners circle in Dubai and place it right back on a test track. After a fine beating throughout March, BMW made aerodynamic and electronic tweaks to get the racer into absolute state of the art shape for consumer entries in 2011 GT3 competition.

The BMW Z4 GT3 resembles its manufacture cousin in name and basic shape only. Most of its body panels have been significantly altered to maintain the car slipping through the air and bolted to the road.

Under the hood, the production Z's six-cylinder heart has been ripped out and replaced with the similar 4.4-liter V8 that sees duty in the M3. The V8 feeds power to the ground through a six-speed paddle-shifted sequential manual. Stuffing all that engineering know-how into the Z4 GT3 isn't inexpensive, either; the car retails at just north of $450,000. Complete press release after the jump.