Stripped bare, the M3 Coupe-based racer features a raft of weight-saving measures including plastic rear- and side-windows, lightweight body-contoured front seats and removed rear seats.
The concept, which will spawn a limited production run of street-ready vehicles, weighs in at about 1490 kilograms – a whopping 190kg less than the Coupe's curb weight of 1680kg.
Air conditioning has also succumbed to the diet regime, as have the navigation and radio units.
The M3 GTS’s drive train, however, is where much of the fun begins, with a purpose-built, 335kw 4.4-litre V8, up from the base Coupe’s 309kw 4.0-litre unit. The sole transmission available will be a specially adapted seven-speed M dual clutch system borrowed from the standard M3.
The distinctive Inka Orange paintwork is a homage to early BMW race cars, including the 1973 3.0 CSL seen here.
Race-track ready, the M3 GTS concept includes a six-point seatbelt and roll-cage mounts. Exclusive 19-inch wheels with 255/35 tyres at the front and 285/30 at the rear house a fixed calliper brake system with six pistons the front and four at the rear. An adjustable front splitter and rear wing also reveal its race suitability.
The car's spiritual predecessor, the highly lauded E46 M3 CSL, hit a Nürburgring lap time of 7:50. Pundits say the M3 GTS will reach a 7:40 time, putting it on-par with such heavyweights as the Porsche 997 Turbo and Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren.
First deliveries of the M3 GTS are due to begin in Germany in May 2010, with a sticker price of €115,000 (about $190,000). A BMW Australia spokesperson said that while it is not clear as yet whether the car would be available, they would love to offer it if there was sufficient customer interest.
Stay tuned for more details.
by Hayden Jose