BMW Debuts the M3 GTS

For the European market only comes a highly modified version of BMW’s excellent M3 Coupe. Meant for Clubsport events, the new M3 GTS Coupe has significant changes included that many owners would likely do themselves if they planned on attending motorsport events, Autocross, or track days.

The M3 GTS starts out by dropping some weight to the tune of 400 lbs, now down to 3300 lbs. This was done by swapping out the center console, door linings, and silencers with lightweight versions, and completely removing the rear seats, automatic A/C, and audio system. The body also comes equipped with mounting points for a rollcage and six-point seatbelts for racing. Aerodynamics were improved in the M3 GTS by adding a race-spec front air dam and giant adjustable rear wing.

You can’t modify a car like this without increasing power, of course, so BMW bored out the stock 4.0-liter V8 to 4.4 liters and change around a few engine internals. The changes added nearly 40 horsepower in the process, now up to 450 hp. The BMW M3 GTS’s engine is mated to the stock M3’s seven-speed, paddle-shifting, double-clutch Drivelogic gearbox.

Suspension and brakes were upgraded as well, as you’d expect from any race-purpose BMW. The M3 GTS sports bigger calipers and a tweaked adjustable suspension setup in which BMW bolted the rear axle subframe into position. Bigger 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels and a tweaked Stability Control system ensure the M3 stays firmly planted.

A couple of exterior changes let BMW fans know what you’re driving, and the interior features some upgrades as well. The steering wheel, door, and side panels are finished in Alcantara, special sport bucket seats are added, and carbon trim is sprinkled throughout the cockpit. Also included are a fire extinguisher and emergency-off switch for those “Oh shit!” moments.

Naturally, the BMW M3 GTS won’t be available here in the States, but will be officially launched in Spring of 2010. Pricing is yet to be announced, but if you have to ask…