The guys from Carfection have started a series a while back, looking to dig deep into the history of the BMW M3 and find out what turned it into a legend over several generations. In their endeavor, they decided to pick the best iteration of each generation to test out and see exactly how they stack up against each other, and how they evolved over the years. This time we’re looking at the BMW E92 M3 GTS.

Having been announced in 2009, the GTS version of the E92 M3 was the best version of that platform, hands down. It received a lot of changes compared to the standard car and it was turned into a proper track monster, provided you had the skills too, of course. The GTS was a hardcore M3, if you will. It came with bucket seats and a roll-cage among others, and it was seriously stripped out inside to save weight.

Only 150 units of the GTS were ever made and that makes this the rarest ‘special edition M3’ of the bunch. Because the modifications to the M3 GTS were so extensive, the cars were semi-completed on the normal 3 Series production line at Regensburg (from a modified body-in-white) and then transported to the BMW M facility in Garching for final assembly. Production of the M3 GTS occurred in small batches between May of 2010 and December of 2011.

The M3 GTS had a bigger, 4,361-cc version of the S65 V8. That was achieved thanks to an increase in the piston stroke from 75.2 mm to 82 mm. The lightweight exhaust made of titanium helped create a total output of 450 HP at 8,300 rpm and maximum torque went up from 295 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm to 325 lb-ft at 3,750 rpm. Power was transferred exclusively via the 7-speed M-DCT gearbox, modified with increased oil capacity and GTS-specific software calibration. The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) software was also altered. Were all those changes successful in making the E92 M3 GTS a drastically better car, to match the price tag?

Find out for yourselves.