If you’re not familiar with Lime Rock Park, you can stop reading, or just check it out here. It’s a truly fantastic track—short and sweet, with elevation changes, a nice straight, tight passing and a go-kart-esque personality. And that’s what BMW aims to achieve in the spirit of the 2013 M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition.
BMW of North America today announced the new model, with only 200 being built this summer. Starting at a hefty $70,995, plus the always-beloved $895 Destination and Handling charge, the M3 LRPE better be special. It will be “…a classic car for a classic track,” said Skip Barber, owner of Lime Rock Park. The M3 LRPE celebrates a long history of partnership between Skip Barber, Lime Rock Park, BMW and years of enthusiast race weekends as well as professional series.
On to the details, though; each M3 Coupe will be soaked in the rare Fire Orange coat featuring Anthracite and Black cloth seats with Nappa leather trim. And don’t worry, of course the tuned Competition package is installed, along with other unique bits like a lightweight inconel-titanium exhaust muffler, carbon fiber front and rear aerodynamic aids and an Anthracite Alcantara-covered, flat-bottom steering wheel, which we love, along with the carbon roof and a number plaque on the center console to go with your certificate of authenticity. The M3 just looks like a luxurious track toy, and according to California-based racing driver Bill Auberlen, its capabilities live up to its aesthetics.
Auberlen joined Skip Baber and Lime Rock management on July 3rd to stretch the legs of the prototype M3 Coupe LRPE on the 1.5-mile track, where he noted, “A race car is never allowed to be perfect. It’s the job of the driver to constantly suggest improvements and find more speed. But the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition may be as close to perfect as you can get, right off the production line. From its great color to the flawless manners it showed on the track, for the first time I can say I might not change a thing.” And this isn’t coming from an ordinary weekend racer—Bill Auberlen’s achievements include over 300 professional races in BMWs and is competing in his 100th American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock Park today.
While Lime Rock is undoubtedly fun, it’s also one of the most challenging tracks to be fast on, and according to Skip Baber, the M3 is great match for the circuit. To give you an idea, Skip Barber describes:
“A newcomer looks at the track map and thinks, ‘Oh, this is easy.’ It’s not. Lime Rock is an extremely difficult track to drive quickly. It has three of what many drivers think are some of the most challenging corners in North America: The Uphill, West Bend and The Downhill,” Barber said. “There are tricky cambers, extreme elevation changes, very high speeds... all Lime Rock signatures since it opened 55 years ago. And the BMW M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition, when equipped with the six-speed manual, is geared perfectly – and I mean perfectly – for the track. I agree with Bill: I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Deliveries are planned to begin this September, and if you’re like us, you’re tempted to get your checkbook out already, so, we wish you luck in securing one of these gems, and hopefully you’ll get it to Lime Rock, where it belongs.