Earlier today, BMW unveiled one of the most exciting models we have seen this year or….maybe even in the last few years: BMW M3 GTS. As any bimmer enthusiasts, we get excited about new M products and the M3 has been one of our all time favorite cars. For those of you that missed our previous M3 GTS coverage, feel free to go scan through our previous articles.
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Without any further ado, let’s have a look at the interview with Markus Schadow, the man responsible for the BMW M aerodynamics development, courtesy of M-Power:
MPW: Mr. Schadow, the BMW M3 GTS has clearly visible dynamic measures with its front splitter and rear wing. The aerodynamics of the BMW M3 GTS is clear for all to see. Optimised for downforce. Why?
Schadow: The power which can be transferred from the contact area of the tyres to the road depends on tyre properties, the position of the tyre on the road – i.e. axle kinematics – and the wheel vertical force. Our measures are all about increasing the wheel vertical force. The higher the wheel vertical force, the higher the level of longitudinal and transverse acceleration which can be achieved.
MPW: An increase in vehicle weight would also increase wheel vertical force …
Schadow: (laughs). That’s certainly true. But more mass also generates greater forces of inertia and centrifugal forces. So this doesn’t do any good. On the contrary: the tyre-specific maximum load is reached earlier on, and the longitudinal and transverse acceleration can only be raised to this point, since above this point grip is lost. So what is required is low weight combined with maximum wheel vertical force. Which is why we generate downforce. However, the measures to increase downforce also increase aerodynamic drag. This is why they are adjustable in their effect in the BMW M3 GTS.
MPW: At the front axle, the downforce is generated by means of a longitudinally adjustable front splitter …
Schadow: Yes, we chose this solution so as to limit the everyday suitability of the vehicle as little as possible and have sufficient ground clearance in racing set-up on the Nordschleife.