We've seen the rumors, speculation and spy shots on BMW's M3 GT4-type car for months now. We were even one of the first sites to confirm the car for production with our interview of M Division head Kay Segler. But today BMW has gone official, unveiling the M3 GTS, as the new car will be called. Unfortunately, it's not currently planned for the North American market. Today, BMW released higher-resolution photos and more detailed info about its new track-special M3.
The car is a focused, no-compromises M3 in a way that recent M vehicles haven't been. Putting the track first and creature comforts--and possibly even aesthetics--second, the M3 GTS goes the extra mile for performance. Power is delivered by a special 4.4-liter version of the V-8 that powers the current M3, rated at 450 horsepower in this application. They also add race-derived technology including a crankcase made of a special aluminum-silicon alloy and constructed in bedplate design, individual throttle butterflies, anti-knock sensors with "ion flow technology" and a wet sump oil supply.
That power is piped to the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The transmission was specially engineered to withstand the power output of the beefed-up V-8, and the DKG Drivelogic shift points programmed to precisely extract the maximum from the engine.
Extensive use of honeycomb grillework, a prominent adjustable rear wing, adjustable front splitter and reworked front-end aero pieces all reflect the car's speedy genes. Unique black alloy 19-inch wheels wrapped in 225/35 front and 285/30 rear tires ensure track-friendly understeer-bias with a high level of grip.
Lightweight carbon fiber is used for the roof to help reduce weight and lower the center of gravity, much like previous M3 CSL versions. The result of the weight savings strategy sees over 400 pounds culled from the standard car's 3,700-pound curb weigh, with the GTS version weighing in at a scant 3,289 pounds.
A fully adjustable set of race dampers sits at the corners of the car, allowing owners to tune to the track and conditions with both bump and rebound adjustments. The brakes for the car are also custom-built pieces, with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units out back.
Inside, race seats and five-point harnesses complement abundant matte-black surfaces and Alcantara for a decidedly sporty look. Like the Porsche GT3, the rear seat is sacrificed for a roll cage and a fire bottle, all in the interests of on-track safety. Despite all of this, the M3 GTS is still completely road-legal.
So far, there are no plans to bring the car to the U.S., however. This appears to be a track-day special for the European enthusiast. Expect it to cost about €115,000, or around $171,000--roughly three times the price of a 'normal' M3. Ouch.