The new BMW M5 has been announced as the next safety car for the MotoGP championship.
Set to make its debut at the 2017 season finale in Valencia, Spain, from November 10 to 12, the car will replace the modified M4 introduced in 2015.
The MotoGP version of the M5 is distinguishable from the production model thanks to a red, white and blue livery and a light bar on the roof. It also gets a raft of BMW M Performance Parts, such as carbon-fibre sills, rear spoiler and rear diffuser, which will all be optional extras for the road-going M5.
The sound of the 591bhp 4.4-litre V8 is enhanced by a titanium sports exhaust, which BMW says has been specifically tuned for the track.
Upgrades to the M5 safety car that aren’t available to customers include a prototype front splitter, race car-like bonnet latches and bucket seats from the M4 GTS. The light bar on the roof uses LED technology and is controlled via a panel on the dashboard, while blue flashing lights are embedded in the headlamps.
The new BMW M5 was revealed in August, and will be the first M5 to use all-wheel drive, which contributes to a blisteringly fast 3.2-second 0-60mph time. Called M xDrive, the system predominantly deploys all of its power to the rear wheels, but can bring all four into play if grip levels are low.
However, the driver can manually make it rear-wheel-drive-only if they want to induce oversteer.