The history of BMW M3 motor sport is to be enriched following the confirmation that the next chapter in ‘M’ heritage is here. The most powerful version of the high-performance M3 Coupé, the BMW M3 GTS, features a 450hp engine that offers the ideal preconditions for use at club sport events, while still being road-legal. In addition to a larger and more powerful V8 engine, exclusive tuning of the seven-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission with DRIVELOGIC and modified suspension technology, the M3 GTS has also been specifically optimised with regard to aerodynamics and lightweight construction.
The sporting potential of the BMW M3 GTS is underlined by a power-to-weight ratio that has been lowered to 3.4kgs per hp. Featuring a transmission and suspension configuration which has been optimised for the racetrack, the BMW M3 GTS accelerates from zero to 62mph in a mere 4.4 seconds. The car covers the standing kilometre in just 22.5 seconds before going on to a 190mph top speed.
Dr. Kay Segler, CEO of BMW M GmbH, said: "The BMW M3 is an icon and internationally synonymous with the highest level of dynamics. Our aim was to develop a model variant that would prove its outstanding potential both on the road and at club sport racing events. The BMW M3 GTS is pure M feeling, embodying the brand values in a highly concentrated form."
The power required by this unique vehicle is delivered by a high-revving eight-cylinder engine taken from the ‘standard’ BMW M3 range that has then been enhanced with an increase in displacement, power output and maximum torque.
The engine’s displacement has grown from 3,999cc to 4,361cc and this has been achieved by a cylinder stroke that has been extended from 75.2mm to 82mm. The enlarged combustion chamber has resulted in a power output increase from 420hp to 450hp with peak power attained at 8,300rpm. Maximum torque has also been increased by 40Nm to 440Nm and is available at an engine speed of 3,750 rpm.
Characteristic features derived from motor sport include the crankcase designed as a bedplate construction and made of a special aluminium-silicon alloy, individual throttle butterflies, knock sensors featuring ionic-current technology and a dynamically optimised wet-sump oil supply that has been adapted from the original power unit. The lightweight sports exhaust system developed for the BMW M3 GTS with model-specific primary catalytic converters and titanium rear silencers ensure optimum exhaust flow.
The M Dual Clutch Drivelogic gearbox developed for the BMW M3 range is standard on the M3 GTS. However, compared to the original transmission the gear shift characteristics have been exclusively tuned to the modified engine featured in the BMW M3 GTS. This seven-speed transmission shifts gears without interruption of power for rapid yet smooth acceleration.
High-performance suspension with adjustable racetrack set-up
The car’s suspension technology, also derived from motor racing, is based on the front and rear axle construction featured on the ‘standard’ BMW M3 Coupé. However, the BMW M3 GTS features a rigidly bolted rear suspension subframe with adjustable height. The car, thus, can be lowered by up to 16mm at the front and 12mm at the rear. It also features separately adjustable dampers. Moreover, camber on the front and rear axles is also variable.
The high-performance brake system featured on the BMW M3 GTS has been designed as a fixed-calliper construction and comprises six pistons per calliper on each of the front wheels and four pistons per calliper on each rear wheel. Compared to the ‘standard’ BMW M3, the brake discs are 18mm larger in diameter at the front and 30mm larger in diameter at the rear.
Specific tuning of the stability control function DSC+ (Dynamic Stability Control Plus), including ABS and the M Dynamic Mode (MDM), make allowances for the increased dynamic potential of the BMW M3 GTS. The unique vehicle comes with intermediate tyres on 19-inch matt black M light alloy wheels featuring a Y-spoke design.
Optimised and adjustable aerodynamics
In order to optimise air stream and for on-demand adaptation of downforce characteristics, the BMW M3 GTS is fitted with a motor racing-oriented front apron and rear wing elements. These offer the possibility to adapt the car’s aerodynamic characteristics according to the racetrack profile and other motor sport requirements. The geometry of the front apron air deflectors can be varied as can the position of the rear wing. The rear wing assembly is based on the corresponding component featured by the BMW 320si in the World Touring Car Championship.
Any colour so long as it’s orange
The BMW M3 GTS will only be available in a unique orange colour. Additional model-specific features are the matt black exterior components such as the BMW kidney grille, roof trims and alloy wheels as well as the side gill elements made of dark anodised chrome.
In addition to the standard Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic roof on the BMW M3 lightweight components are used on the centre console and door panels, while polycarbonate side windows at the rear and a polycarbonate rear window reduce weight. By dispensing with the rear seats and reducing acoustic insulation further weight is saved. Finally, the car features a new thin-walled lightweight racing exhaust system with new primary catalytic converter with titanium silencers. Thus the unloaded weight of the BMW M3 GTS is just 1,530kgs (DIN) including roll bar and M Dual Clutch Drivelogic transmission - 70kgs less than a similarly specified ‘standard’ BMW M3 Coupé. Automatic climate control and an audio system are available as options.
The interior of the BMW M3 GTS reflects a predominant focus on optimum performance and the highest level of safety on the racetrack. The range of equipment includes thoroughbred racing bucket sets, carbon interior trims and an Alcantara M steering wheel. Door and sidewall linings in the rear compartment are also made of Alcantara.
The BMW M3 GTS is equipped as standard with a roll bar fitted behind the B-pillars with an optional roll cage extension. Additionally supplied six-point safety seat belts for driver and front seat passenger and a fire extinguisher complete the range of standard equipment.
Production of the BMW M3 GTS for the UK market in right-hand-drive form will commence from January, 2011. The on-the-road price will be announced a later date.