The handling and
steering was super-sharp
despite the greasy and
mixed tarmac surfaces,
the rear-end stepping
dutifully back into line
after powering through
The ride, of course,
was firm but not too
harsh, and the feedback
from the suspension
through the drivers seat
information as to how
far this car could be
pushed in less than ideal
who is likely to own one of these iconic BMW beasties? Well-heeled customers
who most likely already have a collection of high-performance, limited-edition
cars along with those who want to test their mettle at trackdays or for club
The 'standard' 155mph M3 Coupe costs £54,545 in road trim and has not only been at the forefront of motorsport participation, but with its supercar status has sold in considerable numbers in the UK 823 in 2007; 1,228 in 2008; 686 (in the recession year of 2009); and now just starting to regain ground with 711 sold in 2010.
BMW says the M3 GTS Coupe is the epitome of high-performance BMW M engineering, encompassing BMW M brand values in a highly-concentrated form. Every car is hand customised in the home of the M division at Garching in Germany.
There's absolutely no doubt as to the M3 GTS's sporting potential instantly recognisable by its unique Fire Orange paintwork, dark anodised chrome exterior trim, fully-adjustable race-type rear spoiler, front splitter and 19-inch M double-spoke matt-black alloy wheels with mixed tyres (255/35ZR at the front; 285/30 ZR at the rear).
Extensive use of lightweight materials such as polycarbonate rear and rear
side windows and carbon-fibre roof plus lightweight door trim panels gives
a power-to-weight ratio of 3.4kgs-per-hp. Not only does this assist performance
but it enables the GTS's supreme agility.
Inside and under the lightweight skin, the GTS is motorsport bred. That doesn't mean that the two-seat interior finish is basic or stripped-out solely for motorsport use and the only options are no-cost items; a BMW professional radio and single CD player and dual-zone automatic air conditioning. If the car is for trackday or motorsport use, these will not be taken up; if it's for a connoisseur owner, they will.
The GTS specification includes racing exhaust system, catalytic converter and titanium rear silencers with four tailpipes, dynamic stability control (with M Dynamic mode for driver preference settings), adjustable height suspension (with separate adjustment for the shock absorber compression and extension rates), 20-piston fixed calliper braking system, compound brake discs front and rear (ventilated and cross-drilled), roll-over bar/cage behind the B-pillars, six-point seatbelts for the driver and front passenger for track use (if required), fire extinguisher, steering column-mounted M-shift gear-paddles, Recaro racing-bucket front seats and bespoke M3 GTS door sill finishers.
Uprated from 4.0 to 4.4 litres, the V8 petrol engine has four valves per cylinder and the 443bhp/324lb ft power/torque outputs have been chosen to meet the needs of club motorsport events while still remaining road legal and retaining the ability to make it useable day-in and day-out on normal roads.
Drive is to the rear wheels through a modified seven-speed double-clutch M Drivelogic gearbox which includes the usual BMW M-Drive facility to tailor settings such as gearchange points and throttle response. Gearchanges can be made either with the sequential gearshift or the steering column-mounted paddles.
Uprated from 4.0 to 4.4 litres, the V8s
443bhp/324lb ft power/torque outputs
have been chosen
to meet the needs of club
while still remaining road
legal and retaining the
ability to make it useable
on normal roads...
BMW M3 GTS Coupe | £117,630
Maximum speed: 189mph | 0-62mph: 4.4 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 22.2mpg
Power: 443bhp | Torque: 324lb ft | CO2 295g/km