The BMW 1-Series M Coupe has been chosen as the official pace/safety car of the 2011 MotoGP season.

The fun began over the weekend in Qatar as the season kicked off and the BMW M GmbH-supplied pace car was on duty.

The safety car is a one-off model by BMW's M division which shares little with the production model except the drivetrain. That would be the 250 kW (340 PS / 334 bhp) twin-turbo inline 3.0 liter six-cylinder.

Modifications on this one-off pace car include the use of carbon-fiber components, such as for the new bonnet with large air intakes, and polycarbonate side and rear windows. There's also a front apron with air induction, a front splitter, a spoiler lip on the boot and an adjustable rear wing for additional downforce. A titanium exhaust supplied by Akropovic delivers the proper roar to rouse the crowds. All that helps reduce weight on the 1-Series M Coupe for this particular mission.

The suspension also gets a track set-up tuning job including a sports chassis with independently-adjustable dampers. The 1-Series M Coupe safety car rides on 19-inch rims with 255/35/R19 tires at the front and 285/30/R19 at the back. Vehicle height and front and rear axle cambers are also adjustable and there's a performance brake system with six-piston fixed-calipers.

On the inside, the M division fits the safety car with a roll cage, of course, racing bucket seats, an Alcantara M steering wheel, and a 6-point race harness for the driver and wingman. The rear seats are also removed.

Gallery: BMW 1 Series M Coupe official pace car for MotoGP

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