BMW M3 DTM Safety Car

Choosing a safety car to pace a racing series is tricky business that almost invariably results in either a constant flux of vehicles called into duty or playing favorites between the manufacturers taking part in the series. NASCAR changes its pace cars about as quickly as it changes tires. Formula One sticks with Mercedes-Benz machinery, and nobody seems to complain very much. But DTM bridges the gap with a slightly different approach.

In the German touring car series, each of the participating automakers provides safety cars to the series organizers, which alternate between them from one race to another. That was simple enough when it was just Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but now that BMW has thrown its proverbial hat into the ring, DTM is putting a third car into the rotation. And this is our first look at it.

Revealed with a handful of crude snapshots on the BMW Motorsport fan page on Facebook, the BMW M3 DTM Safety Car looks closer to the standard, roadgoing M3 than the DTM racer, but with some extra modifications. Those include special wheels, an emergency light bar and a stripped-out cockpit with full roll cage and Recaro buckets. But there could be something special going on under the hood as well, where a bright orange engine cover lurks under a unique louvered hood. That could mean a more powerful version of the outgoing M3's high-revving V8 engine to help it stay out in front of all that racing machinery.

We'll have to wait for BMW to release additional information to find out, but for now you can check out the low-res images in the gallery above.
Related GalleryBMW M3 DTM Safety Car