First came the E46 M3, a powerful machine that could turn a few heads, especially when the driver put all it’s horsepower to the tarmac. Then came the E46 M3 CSL; the rich man’s M3 with engine enhancements, improved aerodynamics and weight saving wherever possible.
Both cars were class leaders and have been the benchmark of BMW for many years, until they released the new M3 that is… With more power and much better aerodynamics, the M3 was back and it wanted to prove a point. The only problem was that it looked pretty much like any other 3 Series BMW on the road, except for minor changes here and there such as the bulge on the bonnet. This left us a little disappointed and hoping that we may see a CSL successor which takes the aggressive heritage of the M3 and rejuvenates it.
We have not been disappointed and the latest pictures of the M3 GTS show us that the car is going to do what the M3 has done for the last two decades – make people stare in envy. If the front splitter, rear wing and unique 19-inch wheels don’t have heads turning then the Porche 911 GT3-like orange finish will definitely get attention.
BMW’s M department stuck with the original V8 motor from the standard M3 but have enlarged the displacement to 4.4 litres, thus giving the driver around 450 horsepower. Not too bad if you ask us. As with the CSL, the GTS is a lighter version of the standard M3 and has been designed with the race track in mind. Having said that, the M3 GTS comes equipped with six-point seat-belts, a half roll cage, a fire extinguisher and a battery master switch/ emergency shut-off preparation.
If BMW South Africa do decide to bring the GTS to the country, which they should considering the success of the CSL, you could expect to pay over a million for it. The car would only arrive in 2011 so, by then, you would have hopefully received some return on your investments in the stock market after they shoot-up after the recession.