Sparesbox Blog

Looking at this Year’s Bathurst 12 Hour Debutants

By Brad Nash

Wed Jan 04 2017

If you aren’t already familiar with the hype surrounding this year’s LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, it’s time you get some knowledge into you. We’ve already covered off some of the reasons you should be tuning into this year’s race come February 3, one of them being the wealth of new cars that are due to take to Bathurst’s hallowed tarmac for the first time ever.

These are the shiniest, newest, fastest cars ever to race around Mt. Panorama, and they look so damn good we just couldn’t resist profiling a few before we see them tearing down the Sparesbox Dipper.

 

BMW M6 GT3

BMW M6 GT3 Bathurst 12 Hour
Image: ForceGT
Engine: BMW 4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 (588hp)
Notable Drivers: Russell Ingall, Mark Skaife, Tony Longhurst, Chaz Mostert, Paul Morris

BMW Claims that its successor to the Z4 GT3 was already perfectly suited for the track before it even became a GT3 car. That may be questionable, but there’s absolutely no doubt that the BMW M6 GT3 is one of the most ridiculously awesome looking GT3 cars ever to take to the track. Powered by a mental 4.4L Twin Turbo V8, the M6 GT3 may well prove to be the fastest car on the grid as well.

 

Ferrari 488 GT3

Ferrari 488 GT3 Bathurst 12 Hour
Image: Grand Prix Media
Engine: Ferrari 3.9L Twin-Turbo V8 (tuned down from 659hp)
Notable Drivers: Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes

Ferrari’s ever-present 458 GT3 has had plenty of memorable moments during the history of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, but now its time in the sun is over. Enter the 488 GT3, which boasts (along its arsenal of aero), a revised version of the most powerful engine (Litre for Litre) Ferrari has EVER made. While the 2 teams running 488 GT3s may not have the Tifosi on their side up on Mt Panorama, they have a hell of a lot of firepower that could propel them to Ferrari’s 2nd win at Bathurst.

 

Mercedes AMG GT GT3

Mercedes AMG GT GT3 Bathurst 12 Hours
Image: Mercedes Benz
Engine: AMG 6.3L V8 (approx 500hp)
Notable Drivers: Maro Engel, Shane Van Gisbergen, Craig Baird

There’s no denying that Mercedes’ new incarnation of the 12 Hour-winning SLS GT3 is a bit of a grower in terms of looks, but we promise you that by the end of 12 Hours of racing, it will be one of your favourite looking cars on the grid. After a year of posting up solid results in the Australian GT Championship, the AMG GT GT3 packs an improved version of the SLS’s 6.3L V8, as well as refined aero of which every part has been developed to maximise performance and efficiency.

 

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

Lamborghini Huracan Gt3 Bathurst 12 Hour
Image: Trofeo Motorsport
Engine: Lamborghini 5.2L V10 (552 hp)
Notable Drivers: Ivan Capelli

As clearly evidenced by the performance of the Gallardo R-EX in previous years, there’s no sound quite like the wail of a race-tuned Lamborghini V10 screaming down Mt. Panorama. Trofeo motorsport are now stepping up their Lambo game with a brand new Huracan GT3. Because what Bathurst 12 Hour would be complete without a little bit of Lambo insanity thrown in?

 

Aston Martin Vantage GT8

Aston Martin Vantage GT8 Bathurst 12 Hours
Image: Aston Martin
Engine: Aston Martin 4.7L V8 (439hp)
Notable Drivers: TBA

Forget the V8 Focuses and Hotted-up BMW’s, Aston’s incredible new Vantage GT8 is what the production car class SHOULD be all about. An infusion of the already-successful Vantage V8 road car and Aston Martin’s Vantage GTE Endurance Car, the Vantage GT8 offers a blend of road-going versatility and razer-sharp, track-oriented performance that’s pretty much unrivalled anywhere else.

Its entire body has been sculpted from carbon fibre to save weight, making this the lightest Vantage model ever created and a true reflection of everything Aston Martin Motorsport prides itself in. Only 150 will ever be made, making it one of the rarest Astons as well.

 

KTM X-Bow GTR

KTM X-Bow GT4 Bathurst 12 Hour
Image: Reiter Engineering
Engine: VW 2.0L Turbo Flat-4 (355hp)
Notable Drivers: TBA

In a race full of huge power and insane aero, M-Sport’s pair of KTM X-Bow GTRs could take the biscuit for sheer insanity. Building on the Ariel Atom-rivalling chassis of the road-going X-Bow, the GTR is a collaboration between KTM and Reiter Engineering, who made their fame developing insane GT3 Gallardos for Lamborghini. As a result, X-Bow GTR nudges the scales at barely 1000kg, despite its 2.0L, 355hp engine. In fact, it could well be the first GT4 car where the manufacturer has actually had to ADD weight, rather than remove it. Plus, just look at the thing.

 

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Bathurst 12 Hour
Image: Porsche
Engine: Porsche 3.8L Flat-6 (382hp)

The road-going Cayman GT4 was one of the biggest hits of 2015/16 upon its release, so it’s no wonder that Porsche has capitalised on its remarkable performance by giving it the race treatment. Aiming to be king of Class C, The GT4 Clubsport boasts a 283kw flat 6 that’s more-or-less lifted straight out of the 911 S, with a revised aero package and fade-resistant race brakes. To go with this, it’s been put on a diet, has no sound insulation (Porsche says you obviously won’t need it), and has race adapted versions of the GT4’s normal differential and manual gearbox.

 

Ginetta G55 GT4

Ginetta G55 GT4 Bathurst 12 Hours
Image: Ginetta
Engine: Ford 3.7L V6 (355 Hp)
Notable Drivers: TBA

While it may not have the long pedigree of its German Contenders in the GT4 class, the Ginetta G55 has serious endurance credentials and is likely to present more than a challenge for the Cayman GT4. Ginetta GT4s have driven to class victories in 2 consecutive 24 Hours of Dubai races, and have also competed in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and Gulf 12 Hour Races.

 

As official sponsor of the 2017 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, we have 5 ‘Exclusive Experiences’ to give away. Prizes include double weekend tickets, a VIP pit tour and Sparesbox vouchers.

 

Get in to win and join Team Sparesbox trackside: Win Sparesbox Tickets