An Aircraft Carrier Makes The Ultimate Racetrack For The BMW M4

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BMW has just released a new ad on their Canadian YouTube channel, showing the new M4 blazing around the "Ultimate Racetrack" — the deck of an aircraft carrier.

It's difficult to tell how and where this was actually filmed, but in a brief clip, the car tears past the carrier's "island" (the tower above the flight deck) and we see '74' painted in white and framed by lights. CVN-74 is the USS John C. Stennis. I highly suspect they didn't really use the Stennis as it's still a working US aircraft carrier.

I actually don't believe they used any aircraft carrier and frankly I don't care, because otherwise they did a hell of a job making it look like the real deal.


Screen shot of the M4 racing past the carrier's '74'

Real aircraft carriers don't have a rounded end on the flight deck either, though those three drifting turns in the video made me hold my breath.


Most of us here already know, but it's worth mentioning due to the theme, that BMW owes part of its heritage to the aviation industry. It's logo is supposed to evoke a spinning aircraft propeller, with the blue and white signifying the colors of the Bavarian flag, or some say the sky and clouds. The company built aircraft engines during World War 1 but was forced to cease production by the Versailles Armistice Treaty.


BMW built the 132-model engine for the Junkers Ju-52 flown by Lufthansa. Pic by Alan Wilson, CC Commercial License

In 1928, it took over a license from Pratt & Whitney to manufacture a nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine called the Hornet. Then in the 1930s, BMW produced aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe as Germany rearmed itself. The BMW 132 engine was used in several types of planes, in roles varying from mail carrying to torpedo bombing.


Fw 190 pic by tataquax on Flickr, CC Commercial License

BMW's 801 engine was the most-produced engine during WWII, powering the famous Focke-Wulf Fw 190, which was used for both bombing and air-to-air fighting. Over 20,000 were built between 1941 and 1945.


Heinkel He-162 by Roland Turner, CC Commercial License

BMW only created one jet engine model that ever made it into production, the BMW 003. The 003 was used on the Heinkel He-162, and the Arado Ar 234. The Ar 234 was the first 4-engined jet ever to fly.

This isn't the first time an aircraft carrier has been used for some stunt driving. A few years back, the BBC series Top Gear launched a souped-up Jaguar off the deck of a British carrier.


The director of the BMW video, Ozan Biron, reached out to me directly via email because he thought the Flight Club & Jalopnik audience would be interested in seeing it. When I asked, he was unable to give me any details into how and where it was filmed, due to the restraints of a non-disclosure agreement with BMW.