Top Gear: BMW M3 GTS takes on Austrian Alps

BMW M3 | November 15th, 2010 by 5
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Top Gear publishes the best BMW M3 GTS review we have seen to date. No further ado is needed, the article will speak for itself. …

Top Gear publishes the best BMW M3 GTS review we have seen to date. No further ado is needed, the article will speak for itself.

Here is an excerpt:

Animals and cars don’t mix. Muntjacs – a doe-eyed but truly devious deer – have a habit of wandering into the roads round my way, and you really don’t want to collect one of those at 70mph. Here, 7,500ft up the Austrian Alps on the infamous Grossglockner Pass, the warning signs feature something apparently cuddlier: the marmot. Technically, the marmot is a squirrel, though it looks like the gopher that terrorised Bill Murray in the comedy classic Caddyshack. Hitting a marmot in an M3 GTS would be no laughing matter.
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But this car has a bigger wildlife problem, and it’s the elephant in the room. So let’s get it out of the way now. By the time George Osborne’s 20 per cent VAT hike kicks in next January, an M3 GTS will set you back approximately £120,000. This isn’t just a stupendous sum of money, it’s almost a joke. It’s also the most expensive BMW by some distance, unless you go crackers and specify your V12 760Li with diamond-encrusted cup-holders. This is some achievement, given that the GTS is a tricked-up M3 which, when all’s said and done, is still a 3-Series. So £120k is crazy talk, surely? Um, not necessarily.
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What you really want, though, is an M3 GTS. Sorry about that. This is a very, very special motor car. Just to give you some context, my two favourite hi-po road cars are the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and the Porsche 911 GT3 (2006, 997-vintage). I love the fact that you can hear the stones ping off their undersides as you fling them from corner to corner, that they have engines that punish valves, pistons and cylinders mercilessly in pursuit of pure revs, and that the people who made them were given carte blanche to rip as much weight as they dare out of them. The Scud has the best paddle-shift semi-auto ‘box of them all; the 911 GT3, supernatural traction.

Well, you can talk about the M3 GTS in the same breath as these two – something I didn’t expect. Powertrain, chassis, interactivity, noise, emotion: it’s right up there, believe me. Turning a 3-Series into a Ferrari 430 Scud rival: it’s some transformation. Yet that’s what they’ve managed.

God, it sounds good, this thing. Apart from a boominess around 4,000rpm, the stripped soundproofing andtitanium exhaust cause no problems at all. Wring it outto the 8,500rpm red line, and just pin your lugholes back. Who needs a stereo? The M3 GTS has the low-frequency lung power of Tom Jones, and the top-end rock star banshee wail of Axl Rose, all in one. And the beefed-up M-DCT dual-shift ‘box is so addictive that you find yourself hanging back, downshifting, then nailing it just because you can. In this installation, we finally have a dual-shift system that factors in some genuine mechanical sensation.”

Full review continued at Top Gear

5 responses to “Top Gear: BMW M3 GTS takes on Austrian Alps”

  1. Giom Mouton says:

    Why is this car not in GT5? For some reason, BMW got the shortest end of the stick for this latest (and delayed) installment. I’m so disappointed about it, but fortunatly, there are some great feautures to the game – and some old(er) BMWs.

    Back to the article, I was surprised to get this sort of reaction from TG. Any British publication, for that matter. It’s almost as if this guy, Jason Barlow, had to submit to his honest secret love for BMW. I’ve read some pretty mediocre tests on the GTS, but this one really nails it. Well done, Jason, and thank you!

    PS. I’m not receiving any email followups since posting through facebook, any ideas? Thanks!

    • BIMMER1 says:

      “Why is this car not in GT5?”

      Because they couldn’t sacrifice any of the 23,146,278,165,423,714 Skylines they had to have in the game. Of course, they had to delay the game to get the new Benz in there though.

  2. Murph says:

    Comparing the M3 GTS to a 430 Scud is a hell of a compliment. Sounds like this is a hardcore version of a CSL.

  3. Laszlo says:

    Dear Devil,

    I have a fairly well suited, sweet and caring soul. I’m offering it up to trade it for this BMW GTS. I still have a lot of life left in my soul, barely broken, most of the damage on it from missing an excitement of driving this GTS.

    I absolutely love this car… can not even explain why…just love it.

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