BMW 120d Racing Series????


We know very little about this mystery BMW racecar—the company has released the photos without any information whatsoever about the car or where it will race. But what the heck, we can speculate, can't we?

Launched in late 2004, the 1-series is a front engine, rear wheel drive hatchback with a 50:50 weight distribution, which makes it a natural candidate for the racetrack. BMW has touted the performance potential of the 1-series since its introduction, and in September 2005 launched an M Sports Package for the car.

The "Diesel Power" logo on the concept car's hood is interesting. The 1-series hatchback's top-line 120d diesel powerplant puts out 163 hp and 250 ft.-lb. of torque, good for 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, so the performance potential, while not overwhelming, is sufficient to make a race version interesting. As far as I know, there isn't (yet) a touring car series or class dedicated to or favoring diesel engines, so this car is probably intended for a one-make, BMW-only racing series - perhaps a lower-key touring car version of its Formula BMW series? (The 1 Series, of course...) Certainly diesel-powered racecars are a hot item in Europe at the moment, with Audi's launch of its R10 Le Mans Prototype V12 turbodiesel.

Today's Announcement:

"Fresh of its success in this years World Touring Car Championship, BMW will add to their already impressive arsenal of touring car equipment with news that the factory will make a racing version of the new diesel powered 120 for all FIA recognised Group N touring car series.

The racing kit is expected to cost 95,000 euros when it goes on sale in March 2006 and is available from BMW Racing Parts.

The 245 bhp racing model was developed by BMW Motorsport and is suited to both rally racing and endurance events across the globe. Like its production counterpart, the turbocharged four-cylinder inline diesel engine driving the 120d race version is also coming from BMW Motoren GmbH Steyr in Austria.

The BMW 120d marks its racing debut on 12th/13th January at the Dubai 24-Hour Race, where Team Schubert Motors will be fielding the car privately to test its endurance under race conditions. Taking it in turns at the wheel will be Johannes Stuck, Claudia Hürtgen, Bernhard Laber and Roland Hertner."