If you're one of the enthusiasts who think the BMW M3 has grown too big and bloated with the current model, take heart: the Bavarian automaker's elite M division has just released the M3 GTS. Following in the path lead by such legendary derivations as the M3 CSL, the new M3 GTS is a hardcore, performance-focused version of Munich's finest sports coupe.
The award-winning engine has been enlarged from 4 liters to 4.4, and output is tipped to have jumped up to 450 horsepower. But that's only half of the power-to-weight ratio, as the M division has put the M3 GTS on a serious weight-saving scheme to cut its curb weight by some 420 lbs, thanks to a stripped-out interior devoid of frivolities like air-conditioning, satellite navigation and radio, equipping the M3 GTS with things like an emergency cut-off switch, fire extinguisher, racing buckets and mounting points for a competition-spec roll-cage and six-point racing harness. Lightweight windows, upgraded wheels, tires and suspension and a radical aerodynamics package are also part of the mix.
The car's performance is expected to increase considerably, but all that extra kit comes at a price: 115,000 euros in this case, or about $170,000 – but the M3 GTS is not expected to make it to the North American market, with deliveries beginning in Germany next May.