BMW M3 GTS

Published on November 19th, 2009

Even from a distance, any BMW car that sports the ‘M’ insignia or logo attracts enthusiastic and curious attention, stares and looks because BMW’s ‘M’ insignia is well-known and renowned for being badged on a select number of BMW cars that come of the production line with mind-bending performance which electrifies both drivers and occupants. 

Any BMW or BMW ‘M’ fan and enthusiast will say that every step taken towards an ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’, especially such an example that is decked in orange paint like the concept vehicle known as the BMW M3 GTS, with its numerous matt black applications, will most definitely at least raise  one’s adrenaline level just that little bit more.

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Exclusive 19-inch wheels wrapped with wide and gripping 225/35 tyres at the front and 285/30 at the rear will catch the focus of anyone’s eyes who comes into contact or view of it.

All this certainly looks good and menacing, but look beyond the spokes of the aluminium sports rims and it gets even better: a generously sized fixed performance caliper brake system with six pistons at the front and four at the rear.

The sizeable wheels almost fill out the muscular and cavernous wheel arches, but take a closer look   and the next highlight will come to view. Striking yellow springs emblazoned with a tiny ‘M’ logo will clearly suggest that the M3 GTS uses a threaded suspension, adjustable in compression and rebound, which means that the rear axle support is bolted in place.

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Attentive car enthusiasts will also notice the adjustable front splitter and rear wing. Such features are functional in terms of performance as a high level of downforce can be generated and it is also precisely adjustable at the front and rear. Sharp, tight and tricky bends and corners will be a synch for the M3 GTS as it will enter and exit such bends and corners in no time provided the driver at the wheel is  skillful enough and is able to handle and control such a beast of a sportscar through such a manoeuvre.

“The usual, off the production line BMW M3 is weight-optimised with a whole range of measures reserved for the BMW M3 CSL in the predecessor model, such as the striking carbon fibre lightweight roof.

Needless to say the BMW engineers were not contented with leaving the M3 GTS weighing the same as the off the production line M3, so the BMW engineers got back to the drawing board to work again on coming up with more weight saving components and materials for the M3 GTS. Light body-contoured seats was just the start.

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A cluster of lightweight construction measures that were incorporated into the M3 GTS to make it a formidably quick, lightweight sportscar include optimisation of the insulation, the use of lightweight parts in the interior, the use of Macrolon for the car’s windows in the back, the lack of air conditioning (it’s easy to discard air conditioning when there’s four seasons, in Malaysia such a move would be frowned upon to say the least), and navigation, radio and the entire rear seat were scaled down to reduce weight.

At the bottom rear end of the M3 GTS is the new titanium muffler which not only looks the part and  sounds menacing, but it is also much lighter than that of its serial production counterpart.

However, the weight saving measures were not applied all throughout the car as certain parts and components of the car were indispensable for safety reasons: the lightweight construction body has been prepared for installation of the 6-point seatbelt included for use on the race track. There are also mounts for the roll-over protective structure bolted on from the B column. A fire extinguisher and a battery master switch/emergency shut-off preparation do not make the car lighter either – but safer.

So at the end of the day, the M3 GTS concept vehicle tips the scales at around 1490 kilograms ñ which the BMW engineers were quite satisfied with.

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Transmission wise, the car comes fitted with a 7-speed ‘M’ dual clutch transmission with adapted shift characteristics. The absolute highlight though is what the transmission is connected to which lies  under the bonnet. Exclusively for the BMW M3 GTS, the engine builders of BMW ‘M’ – recent winners of the Engine of the Year Award yet again not surprisingly – have developed a power unit based on the ‘M’ high-performance engine of the current BMW M3: with a capacity of 4.4 litres and an output of  a whopping 450hp, which will catapult the lightweight BMW M3 GTS into a whole new adrenaline induced performance sphere.

After all, one of the main reasons behind the creation of the M3 GTS was for another special ‘M’ badged sportscar to beat the lap time of the legendary M3 CSL on the equally legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife. And test runs of the M3 GTS certainly give grounds for optimism, confidence and belief.

The BMW M3 GTS will be exclusively manufactured to order on an individual basis from the BMW M production workshops.

The price of the BMW M3 GTS with the mentioned features is expected to be in the region of half a million ringgit, not including the financially depressing 300% tax.

The first batch of M3 GTS are expected to roll out in May 2010, about half a year or so to go. For technical reasons relating to registration it seems (oh please!), the first batch of M3 GTS examples to be produced will be made available only for individual registration in Germany. According to current BMW planning, the official sale of the M3 GTS in other countries will start from the later half of 2010.

If you cannot resist temptation and you willingly give in to the cravings of owning and driving the BMW M3 GTS, we recommend that you make your enquiry or procurement moves with a reputable grey importer instead of going to the principal distributor and dealer.

text: Azdee Amir  pix: BMW

 

 

Comments

  1. Posted by Lindsay Danner on March 1st, 2011, 06:18

    I seriously think BMW and in particular M-Tech has moved in the proper route once again with their line of models after the new millenium. I had a test drive in the new M3 last month and I’m astounded.

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