BMW M3 GTS Test Drive by Autocar

BMW M3 | July 9th, 2010 by 11
BMW M3 871010112982381600x1060 BMW M3 GTS Test Drive by Autocar

This week is an M week in the BMW world and after the surprising semi-unveiling of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe, we now …

This week is an M week in the BMW world and after the surprising semi-unveiling of the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe, we now have the first test drive of another exciting M product: BMW M3 GTS.

The most powerful version of the high-performance BMW M3 Coupe features a 331 kW/450 bhp engine offers the ideal preconditions for use at club sport events, whilst at the same time being officially road-legal.

The BMW M3 GTS is produced at the BMW M manufacturing facility. In addition to a larger and more powerful V8 engine, exclusive tuning of the 7-speed M Dual Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic and modified suspension technology, the car, which is designed for club sport use, has also been specifically optimized with regard to aerodynamics and lightweight construction. The car, which is designed for club sport use, has also been specifically optimized with regard to aerodynamics and lightweight construction.

BMW M3 871010112968471600x1060 BMW M3 GTS Test Drive by Autocar

Featuring a transmission and suspension configuration which has been optimized for the racetrack, the BMW M3 GTS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 4.4 seconds. The car reaches the 1000 meter mark from a standstill in just 22.5 seconds.

Top speed is 305 km/h.

Let’s jump into the driving experience as reported by Autocar.

What’s it like?

Fire the M3 GTS’s new V8 and you’re immediately made aware of all the under bonnet tinkering as it catches and settles into a lumpy idle overlaid with a pulsating exhaust note that is full of purpose and fantastically naughty.

Moving off, it’s the added torque that make its presence felt more than anything else. At lower revs, the M3 GTS feels more muscular than the standard M3 – not a lot but enough to make you think the engine changes have been worth the effort.

The acceleration is clearly stronger and not so heavily weighted towards the business end of the rev range, something that provides it with added flexibility and a more determined feel.

The response is something else. BMW’s M division has retained individual throttle butterflies for each cylinder and full variable valve timing, endowing the new V8 with sensational pick up. It’s not quite as rabid as similarly sized engines boasting a flat crank design, but it is mightily impressive nonetheless. All of which, gives the impression of added speed right throughout the range.

Less mass helps, of course. At 290bhp/tonne, the M3 GTS’s power to weight ratio is rather sharp – not stunningly sharp but sharp enough to make the standard M3 appear somewhat blunt by way of comparison.

Overall effect: this hardcore M3 goes faster, feels faster and, most of all, sounds faster than any road going versions of Munich’s legendary coupe that have come before it over the past quarter century.

What sets the GTS apart most from the standard M3 from is its sharpness. Everything you ask of the new coupe is carried out with greater immediacy, added response and heightened accuracy.

The steering is heavenly – heavier than the standard power assisted hydraulic set-up, but the added effort that’s required is more than made up for in precision. Turn-in is instant. There’s no slack as you come off centre, just eager, linear response.

Full review at Autocar

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