Yes, this car is real, and yes there are 10 very lucky individuals on the planet that plunked down 250,000 Euros (then $218,000) to own such a beast.
The car you’re looking at is one of those 10 road going cars BMW was forced to sell after the 2001 season in order to satisfy ALMS homologation requirements. Update: According to BMW NA, “The GTRs (both race and street copies) were never sold to anyone. Only 3 street copies were built. Not all 3 were ever shown. A street copy was shown in the US only once, and for less than an hour.”
The E46 M3 GTR came to life in February 2001, powered by the P60B40 a 3,997 cc V8 producing 493 hp (368 kW; 500 PS). Unlike the straight-six powered M3 versions, which were outpaced by the Porsche 996 GT3, the racing version of the E46 M3 GTR 16 was very successful in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
Rivals such as Porsche pointed out that this car was more of a prototype as no V8 engine was available in the road-going BMW E46, which is in violation of the spirit of Gran Turismo,
so BMW was forced to sell those 10 cars.
Not many of these cars see track time as their value and cost of replacement makes such outings prohibitive. At least we can appreciate them in images like this where we see one of the uber rare 10 alongside their track version sibling.
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Hat tip: Christian