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‘Officially road legal'--but just barely: BMW releases more details on the M3 GTS

Wed, 12 May 2010

We love how BMW describes the M3 GTS: perfect for the track yet “officially road legal.”

How's that for a wink and a nod? That's OK. We can all grin. Because the M3 GTS, the most powerful version of the M3 coupe, can hit 62 mph in 4.4 seconds and peaks at a top speed of 189.5 mph, according to figures released on Wednesday from Munich.

The M3 GTS is the race-bred version of the iconic two-door that makes about 450 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque from a high-revving V8 boosted from 3,999 cc to 4,361 cc. The cylinders are banked at 90 degrees, and BMW is billing this engine as V8 technology at its best. It's hard to disagree.

The car is fortified with a modified dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission and a chassis bolstered with rigid rear-axle support and a coil-over suspension. The ride is lowered 16 millimeters in front and 12 millimeters in the rear. The M3 GTS also gets high-performance brakes with a six-piston configuration in front and four-pot in back. It all rides on 19-inch alloy wheels with a Y design.

The GTS wears an unmistakable bright orange color and gets air ducts in front, and a racing rear wing helps with aero. The tail-end assembly is based on the BMW 320si that competes in the World Touring Car Championship. A roll cage, extensions for six-point fasteners and a fire extinguisher are all options for those who plan to make the most of this car.

As BMW M test engineer Gunter Schillinger put it in a new video, “You sit inside; everything else fades away.”

To check out video of this racer at the fabled Nurburgring in Germany, watch below.

By Greg Migliore