The cars that you see in drifting are typically Japanese sportscars – after all, the sport began along the mountain roads of that country in the 1970s. There are also some other non-Japanese models and these include BMWs. At the Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC) this year, the new BMW M4 Competition will also be among the cars going sideways and the two cars entered are supported by BMW M GmbH.
The team is known as the Red Bull Driftbrothers – Elias Hountondji and Johannes Hountondji from Germany – who have participated in the DMEC since 2018. Now they use the M4 Competition which has been comprehensively modified to be suitable to the extreme demands of drifting.
Increased engine output, better aerodynamics
Work done on the cars has doubled peak performance of the straight 6-cylinder power unit to produce 1,050 bhp and increased maximum torque to almost 1,300 Nm, this being absolutely crucial for drifting. Elias admires the production engine for its massive potential and said: “It is by nature a genuine racing engine in a road-legal car, so to speak. When you look at each component of this engine, it is clear that many engineers have put a lot of thought into creating an optimal design.”
Besides a special, particularly efficient cooling circuit along with an additional second cooler at the rear, the aerodynamics were extensively modified and optimised for drifting. Here, BMW design experts offered help and virtually all newly designed aerodynamics components were manufactured exclusively at BMW M Prototype Construction.
For example, the Driftbrothers’ BMW M4 Competition was fitted with a new BMW kidney grille to optimise the supply of air to the engine compartment. Furthermore, carbonfibre was used to produce a new spoiler lip for the tailgate, side coverings for the rear diffuser and attachments for the side sills from the M Performance Parts portfolio.
These were complemented by so-called ‘winglets’, which optimise airflow at the front splitter and behind the front wheels as well as in front of the rear wheels. Should the need arise during the course of the season, the production of an airscoop for the bonnet would also be possible.
“It was a great honour for us to collaborate with experts from the design and prototype construction departments. With their help, we were able to implement our ideas perfectly,” said Johannes, the older of the two brothers.
“I am deeply impressed with what the Red Bull Driftbrothers have managed to coax out of our vehicles and wish both of them every success for the start of the season. The result also shows how good a basis the BMW M4 Competition provides for motorsport use. From the start of its development, we had designed the production vehicle to also form the basis for our GT icon, the BMW M4 GT3, which we officially presented during the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring almost two weeks ago,” said Markus Flasch, CEO of the BMW M GmbH.
5 rounds for second season
The M4 Competition will be appearing for the first time when the 2021 season of the DMEC starts on July 10 in Austria. The second season of the increasing popular series will have 5 rounds, with the finale in Georgia on October 5. Some 45 of the best drivers from Europe, the USA and the Middle East will compete in this invitation series.