This is the announcement that most BMW fans have been waiting for, the announcement of the track-biased version of the current E92 M3 – the 2011 BMW M3 GTS. Shown for the first time today, the V8 gains more power and a few extra aerodynamic enhancements. The cult following that the 2004 E46 M3 CSL created meant that a hardcore sporting variant of this car was always on the cards.
Details are just leaking out at the moment, but from what we’ve been reading, it sounds very good indeed! As you’d probably expect, the weight loss is a major selling point. 190kg have been lost, in total the car weighs 1,490kg. A pretty respectable weight in our opinion considering the old CSL weighed 1,385kg. The practical reasons for the weight loss are obviously to be seen on the track where the GTS is expected to excel, past the limits of the standard car.
To help it live up to this task BMW have cranked out an extra 30bhp to make a total of 450 naturally-aspirated horsepower. It’s expected that this may be the last N/A performance oriented M3 with forced injection thought to take over for the next generation M3 due to emission regulations. Capacity has been increased to 4.4-liters for the extra power compare to the 4.0-liter V8 that’s found in the standard car. Add to that a titanium exhaust system and we’ve ticked both the power and sound boxes.
Power is controlled through the 7-speed M dual clutch transmission that’s also found in the standard car. The shift characteristics have been changed though to allow for the change in pace, handling and dynamics that’s to be expected from the GTS. The stopping power comes from a fixed caliper system with six pistons at the front and four at the rear. These are fitted inside exclusive 19 inch alloys. New springs toughen up the handling and supposedly come in yellow with a small ‘M’ logo.
The weight losses that we told you about earlier, they’re made possible through the use of lighter seats, interior parts, insulation. There’s also a lack of luxuries in this car, air conditioning, navigation and radio systems have all been removed along with a the rear seats! In fact, the only thing we can see that’s been put in are the roll cage and the fire extinguisher.
Now we’re onto the aerodynamics. As you’ve probably seen by now, the car makes use of a new adjustable front splitter. The M3 GTS also makes use of a very simplistic spoiler. Unlike the elegant bootlid spoiler that the old CSL made use of, this spoiler seems a bit crude and functional. Regardless, BMW hope that these additions will help them beat the CLS’s ring’ time.
The M3 GTS will go on sale in Germany next May with other European sales starting sometime in the future, during summer 2010. Speculation suggests that the car won’t make it to the US though. European pricing is expected to be around €115,000 (including German taxes).