Before BMW’s replacement of the M3 saloon arrives in 2012, it will be offering a special edition. Seen testing at the Nurburgring, the M3 special is powered by the 4.4-litre V8 engine that’s also used on the M3 GTS coupé.
The M3 special is quicker, lighter, and is better built for racing than the M3 saloon. It will also receive upgrades on its braking and suspension systems. BMW claims that its power will be somewhere between the standard M3’s 414bhp and GTS’s 444bhp.
Autocar believes that this special edition will probably deliver the same output as the GTS. It’s expected to have a torque of 325lb ft. It is capable of going from zero to 62mph in about 4.5sec and when limits are turned off, it can go nearly as fast as 190mph.
A preview of this model was first shown to journalists last April during a viewing of the new M5 concept. Back then, BMW M chief Kay Segler said that there will be “other surprises” in the M3 saloon special.
Since this statement, Segler has transferred to be Mini’s head. These spy shots indicate that the M3 saloon special has received some several muscular styling upgrades.
It has also been fitted with front and rear bumpers, a new front splitter and rear diffuser, and several lightweight body panels that come from the M3 GTS. The M3 special will also get the M3 GTS’s lightweight sports exhaust but not the GTS’s large fixed rear wing. Instead, it will be fitted with a less prominent boot spoiler.
The BMW M3 Coupé is already regarded as a high-performance version of the BMW 3-Series as built by BMW M GmbH. Now, BMW M is presenting a new model based on the M3 Coupe that offers greater power and performance – the BMW M3 GTS Coupe. Designed as an ideal participant for Clubsport events, the BMW M3 GTS Coupe is regarded as a fusion of excellent modifications in its body, drivetrain, suspension and interior. It is produced – actually largely handcrafted -- exclusively to the personal order of customers, who are expected to be genuine motorsport enthusiasts. Through the years, BMW M has been enhancing, improving and upgraded each generation of the BMW M3 to further augment and realize their sports potential.
Using its expertise and experience in the development and production of racing cars, BMW was able to implement race-oriented modifications that make the BMW M3 GTS a safer and better performer than the model it was derived from.
With these capabilities, the BMW M3 GTS is prepped to challenge Clubsport events on the track, and could be homologated for the road. BMW M did not think twice about employing a number of technologies and innovations on the BMW M3 GTS to allow the car to comply with all the requirements of motorsport. Not only does BMW M employ consistent lightweight construction and adjustable aerodynamic units, it also increased the V8 engine’s size and output and made use of advanced suspension technology.
With an unladen weight (DIN standard) of less than 1,500 kg (3,300 lb), the car’s lightweight body features special mounts for six-point seat belts as well as a rollcage fitted behind the B-pillar. Using lightweight materials and special equipment, the new BMW M3 GTS is designed to deliver a pure motorsport driving experience. Its light weight is further optimized with the use of carbon fiber roof, titanium silencers, lightweight center console and door linings, and a specially customized sound insulation. Moreover, BMW M got rid of the rear seats, automatic air conditioning and an audio system.
Of course, the heart of the BMW M3 GTS – a V8 high-speed engine – is further optimized for motorsport. BMW M increased the V8’s displacement to 4.4 liters and hiked its output to around 450 hp, with the aid of motorsport-derived construction principles and technical details. This high-speed V8 boasts of offering a high amount of available power in a wide range of engine speeds, thanks to a number of features usually found in a motorsport engine.
These elements include an aluminum-silicon alloy crankcase constructed in bedplate design; anti-knock sensors with ion flow technology; individual throttle butterflies; and wet sump oil supply. It is only logical to pair the motorsport-optimized V8 engine to a motorsport-inspired gearbox. Thus, the new BMW M3 GTS employed the seven-speed M DKG Drivelogic gearbox with race-bred gearshift. This gearbox allows the new BMW M3 GTS to change without any disruption of engine power.
Drivelogic developed this gearbox especially for powerful high-speed engines, laden with attributes that allow for dynamic acceleration at all times. Interestingly, gearshift attributes of the seven-speed M DKG Drivelogic gearbox has been adapted to the modified V8 engine of the BMW M3 GTS. Gear-shifting could be done through the selector lever on the center console or via special M shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. BMW M is planning to deliver the BMW M3 GTS to the market in spring 2010.