Is BMW the ultimate driving machine

Partly hand-made small series on the market from January / Over 350 hp for around half a million marks

BMW M3 GTR: The road version (left) © BMW AG
costs almost half a million marks
In February BMW presented an extreme sports car for the road, the M3 GTR with a V8 engine. This car, the racing version of which will be used in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), will be built by BMW M from January 2002. The flexible production possibilities of BMW Individual allow a small series with the possibility of street approval.

The use of carbon fiber body parts and the complete abandonment of comfortable equipment make the two-seater BMW M3 GTR a purist and result in an empty weight of around 1350 kilograms. The 4.0-liter V8 engine with a bank angle of 90 degrees essentially corresponds to the 450-hp racing version. Due to the modified adaptations to exhaust gas and noise regulations, this engine in its more civil version still delivers more than 258 kW (350 hp).

The road version of the BMW M3 GTR remains technically as close as possible to the racing car. In addition to the extremely light V8 engine with dry sump lubrication, this also includes a six-speed gearbox, a two-disc sports clutch and the Variable M differential lock.

As with the racing car, the roof, the rear wing and the front and rear aprons are made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic to reduce weight. The extended front and rear aprons, together with the rear wing, optimize the aerodynamics of the BMW M3 GTR. Additional cooling slots in the bonnet ensure the thermal well-being of the high-performance engine.

The BMW M3 GTR is extremely low and has a very sporty set-up of the chassis. The compact V8 high-performance racing engine enables ideal weight distribution in the car, which together with the 19-inch tires guarantees excellent handling properties.

This exclusivity partly requires highly qualified manual work, and so the price of the BMW M3 GTR is also a new dimension: approx. 250,000 euros - around half a million marks - have to be turned over on the table of the house. According to the Munich-based company, the price corresponds to the extraordinary technology of this car. That may be - and yet every reasonably sensible person buys a nice apartment for this money - and perhaps a "normal" M3 from the rest - or "just" a BMW 330i.