As I talked about last week, BMW had been seen working on what seemed to be a successor to the E46 M3 CSL. Now, while a lot of people believed BMW when they said they weren’t doing anything about a new car, I didn’t. The GTS is part track car, part attention getter.
The orange paint is certainly something that catches your eye right off the bat. Not to mention that it’s a signature color for BMW ///M cars: think, 3.0 CSL…
Here is all the stuff we know about the new M3 GTS: the engine is bored out into 4.4L making about 450hp. The exterior seems to pretty much speak for itself. There is an adjustable rear wing and front splitter, as well as there being a fully adjustable suspension system with yellow ///M logoed springs. Also, the brakes, which appear to be highly upgraded, are grabbed by rather large 6-piston front calipers with 4-piston rear calipers, both fixed. To make sure the brakes aren’t too big for the car, BMW has outfitted the new beast with 255/35 tires up front and 285/30 tires in the rear. You can see in the top image that the wheels barely fit under the arches. They look menacing, to be honest. I love the wheels!
Now we get to what makes the M3 GTS lighter. The E46 M3 CSL had a carbon fiber roof, and the E92 M3 comes with it standard, these days. So, with that already a benchmark, it was back to the drawing board. Just like the CSL of old, the GTS has lightweight, body-contoured racing seats, no rear seats, no radio, along with Macrolon Polycarbonate back windows. One thing that the new GTS doesn’t have that the CSL could have was air-conditioning. Also, to delete weight, but to add appeal to the exhaust is a titanium rear silencer.
All of these weight savings add up to a total lost weight of 419lbs. That brings the standard E92 M3’s weight from 3,704lbs to 3,285lbs. That’s very impressive! Talk about BMW finally getting serious about sports cars, again…
As I stated before, and as it came on the M3 CSL, the GTS is only available with BMW’s new M-Dual-Clutch Transmission, or M-DCT for short. It’s 7 gears attached to up and down paddles fitted in the standard racing style. The standard racing way is the down-shift paddle on left and the up-shift paddle on the right. The paddles are fitted to the steering wheel, unlike Ferrari and Lamborghini who attach their paddles to the steering column.
One thing to mention is that the new GTS comes equipped with a rear, roll-over cage, 6-point racing harness for the seats, a fire extinguisher and a master emergency cut off switch for the battery.
BMW claims that they are very optimistic that the new GTS will best the CSL’s Nürburgring lap time. The CSL set its lap at 7:50 in August of 2003. So far the current E92 M3 laps The ‘Ring in 8:05. I still say there is a faster lap that could put the M3 up around 8 minutes flat, but who knows. I’m going to take a wild stab and say that the GTS will have a lap time of roughly 7 minutes 42-43 seconds. This would put it 2-3 seconds slower than the facelifted and upgraded 997 GT3, but around the same as the previous 997 GT3. The GT3 has only 435hp fitted to a 6-speed manual transmission. But it also weighs 210lbs less than the M3 GTS. The GTS is aided by having 15 more horsepower and a dual-clutch gearbox. This should be a pretty good fight.
No word yet if the M3 GTS will be officially offered in the U.S., but if it is, it’ll cost 170,547 USD. That’s a lot. I’m surprised they priced it that high.
Don’t forget to watch the video BMW ///M has supplied for us.
[Source: BMW M Power]
[BMW 3.0 CSL image taken from: BMW M Registry]