BMW debuted a new water-injection system on its M4 safety cars at the MotoGP World Championship opener in Qatar last weekend, ahead of a planned production application in a M car sometime in the near future.
For the rest of the MotoGP season the M4s will be doing double-duty as safety cars and test mules, by validating the water-injection hardware in a real-world high-speed setting across a broad range of climates.
The system works by spraying a fine mist of ordinary water into the M4's inlet tract, which then absorbs heat from the air, reduces the chance of engine-destroying pre-ignition (or 'knocking') and, when the fuel/air/water mixutre is ignited, turns to steam to create a bigger bang.
Plus, thanks to its abiility to absorb heat and reduce inlet air temperatures, turbo boost can be raised to further increase power. An important factor in hot countries like Qatar, where heat can handicap turbo engines.
BMW won't say exactly how much more power is generated by the water-injection system, but given the technology is still being tested we'd say the current answer is, "it depends".
The first production model to take the water-injection tech is also a mystery, but the M4 - and by extension the BMW M3 - is the most likely recipient given its involvement in the testing programme. Then again, the M2 Coupe is just around the corner...
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