BMW has sprung a bit of a surprise with its M3 GTS, an über-lairy M3 set to go gunning for the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
After a bit of a dodgy year for the M Division – the X5 M and X6 M, and the apparent killing off of the naturally aspirated M car – the bonkers M3 GTS is just the thing we’ve been craving.
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While it errs more towards track rather than road driving – it even has a bodykit based on the World Touring Car Championship 3-series – the GTS will be offered with a road homologation package.
That aims it squarely at the recently launched GT3 RS, the Beemer offering up a similar 450bhp output and 300bhp/ton power to weight figure. The extra poke comes courtesy of heavy revisions to the M3’s 4-litre V8, which is enlarged to 4.4 litres and hooked up to a titanium exhaust system. BMW’s twin-clutch seven-speed gearbox is standard.
The extra power comes in conjunction with tweaked suspension – adjustable for compression and rebound – and an impressive amount of weight shedding, with the stock M3’s lardy 1675kg dropped to 1490kg thanks to the loss of non essentials (air con, sat nav, radio and back seats) and the introduction of lightweight bucket seats and plastic (well, Macrolon) rear windows. There’s also a roll cage in there for good measure, too.
On the outside you’ll find some lovely black wheels (reminiscent of the BMW M3 Edition’s) wrapped in 225/35 tyres at the front and 285/30 rear. More noticeable, though, is that stonking rear wing and front splitter. Both are fully adjustable to crank up the downforce levels as required.
If you fancy one, then happily it’ll be coming to the UK next summer. Each one will be built to order and cost 115,000 euros - £103K at current exchange rates. Or three grand more than that pesky Porsche. Which would you choose? Hit the forum and let us know…
Read Chris Harris’ first impressions of the new 911 GT3 RSFollow evo on Twitter for the latest performance car news