BMW M3 GTR: Correction, this is the first official road-going M3 with a V8 engine

BMW’s press release on the new M3’s 4.0 V8 engine informs us that it’s the “First eight-cylinder for the BMW M3 sports car”. Umm, well that’s not exactly true. For their own reasons, Bavarians seems to have forgotten the ultra-limited but nevertheless road-going, 2001 M3 GTR that was fitted with a 350Hp 4.0-liter V8 engine. –Continued: Click “Read More…” below

The story of this unique M3 started in 2001 when BMW Motorsports built the E46 M3 based GTR to compete in the American Le Man Series (AMLS) race.
In its debut season, the M3 GTR triumphed by winning seven out of ten races in the GT category. BMW driver Jörg Müller won the Drivers’ Championship while BMW picked up the Constructors’ Championship. Their success annoyed several rival manufactures such as Porsche who (rightfully) pointed out that the Bavarians bent the rules since there was no V8 road-going version of the car (the homologation stated at least one road going version needed to be sold). BMW then put 10 GTR’s into production selling them for a whopping 250.000 EUR -about 210.000 USD in 2001.

In 2002 though ALMS altered the rules stating that 100 cars must be built for a car to qualify without penalties such as an additional 100 lbs of weight and 20% larger air restrictors. BMW then chose to pull out of the ALMS, but that wasn’t the end of the racing version since we saw the GTR again at long-distance tracks in Europe, the German Nürburgring-Nordschleife and Spa-Francorchamps.



By using carbon fibre body parts and by completely foregoing any comfort equipment, the two-seater M3 GTR is a car for true purists. An empty weight of approx. 1350 kilograms has been achieved. The 4.0 litre V8 engine with a cylinder bank angle of 90 degrees resembles the race version featuring in excess of 450 hp. Due to the necessary adaptations regarding emissions and noise levels the road version still generates more than 258 kW (350 hp).

The M3 GTR road version is kept technically as close as possible to the racing version. Apart from the extremely light V8 engine this includes dry sump lubrication, a 6-speed gearbox, a two-disc sports clutch and the variable M differential lock.

For weight reduction purposes the roof, the rear spoiler as well as the front and rear aprons are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic - just like in the race version. The extended front and rear apron as well as the rear spoiler optimise the aerodynamics of the M3 GTR. Additional cooling slits in the bonnet ensure the high-performance powerplant's thermal well-being.

The BMW M3 GTR features an extremely lowered suspension and enormously sporty suspension settings. The compact V8 high-performance engine permits optimum weight distribution which, together with the 19-inch sports wheels, guarantee outstanding handling properties.

This level of exclusiveness also calls for a great deal of highly qualified manual workmanship giving the price of the BMW M3 GTR a new dimension. The price of approx. 250,000 euros reflects the extraordinary technology of this car

Pics via: Bohp

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