Is The 2018 BMW HP4 Race About to Debut in China?

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After this year’s April Fools hijinks, we have a whole new respect for the cunning that resides at BMW Motorrad, and the Germans seem to be honing that trait even further today.

Announcing its plans for the upcoming Auto Shanghai 2017 later this month, BMW lists a number of four-wheeled news items for the Chinese auto show, and then casually slips-in at the end of the press release that we should expect a big unveil from BMW Motorrad.

The statement reads that “the highlight of the BMW Motorrad stand is the world premiere of one of the most exclusive models ever offered by BMW Motorrad,” which is terse, though given what we know about the Bavarian brand, it should be easy to guess what they are hinting at.

Spy shots of the BMW HP4 Race – the all-carbon fiber superbike that debuted at last year’s EICMA show – have begun to circulate the internet already, and the machine is surely about to move from prototype to production machine in the coming months.

BMW Motorrad told us as much last November, saying to expect the bike’s debut in the second-half of 2017 , so the timing is right for us to see the production-ready version of the 2018 BMW HP4 Race.

Naturally, we can expect the bike to come with a substantially higher sticker price than the BMW S1000RR street bike, and to be built in very limited quantities.

Why debut it in China though? You might ask. Surely a large part of that equation is timing, of course, with there being relatively few venues to debut a new model during mid-April, but the Chinese market is also very strong for ultra-premium products, such as halo bikes like the BMW HP4 Race.

No doubt, BMW Motorrad expects more than a few wealthy Chinese collectors to snatch up the handful of HP4 Race superbikes it produces, with Shanghai also having a strong affluent expat population as well.

The BMW HP4 Race features an all-carbon fiber chassis, which includes carbon fiber wheels, fairings, and a carbon fiber frame. The prototype debuted at EICMA featured a carbon fiber swingarm as well, though spy photos show a bike with an aluminum piece instead.

It’s not clear if that photo was from an earlier testing period, or if the final machine specs have changed since November. Either way, we would expect some tuning to the HP4 Race’s inline-four engine to be on the cards, not to mention an update to the electronics package.

There is of course the chance that we are wrong about our prediction of the BMW HP4 Race debuting in the next couple weeks, in which case BMW Motorrad certainly has an interesting surprise for us in terms showing “one of the most exclusive models ever offered” from the brand.

However, our money is on the HP4 Race though, and it should be quite the treat.

Source: BMW Group