BMW launches M3 GTS, the track-oriented CSL you’ve been dreaming of, photos and video included –

You’ve got to hand it to BMW: when the company launched the new M3, it has clearly emphasized that fans shouldn’t expect a CSL (Coupe Sport Lightweight) version of the car to appear ever. BUt after a few years and a facelift, a track-oriented version of the M3 did appear, dubbed the GTS (see what they did there?). The model is aimed at the club-based racing scene, but in true BMW style, a homologation package, so that you can register the car for road use will be made available.

Let’s get straight to the details shall we? Powering the BMW M3 GTS will be a revised version of the stock M3′s 4-liter V8 engine, which has seen its displacement upgraded to 4.4-liters, thus increasing the low end performance of the unit. The M division also fitted a larger carbon fiber inlet manifolt, reworked throttle body butterflies, mounted cast aluminum pistons, a stiffer crankcase and many other tweaks. The end result you ask? 30 HP more, taking the final output to 450 HP.

Now while this may not sound as much, bear in mind that the model has been stripped of many “luxuries” and is now a full 155 kg (341 pounds lighter). Take into consideration the improved aerodynamics, largely due to the new body kit taken straight from the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) race car, the 320si, and you’ve got yourself an even faster M3.

Changes and weight saving have been made all around the car, starting with the carbon fiber roof to the new body panels and the spartan interior, which saw its standard trim replaced with carbon fiber and alcantara panels. Special racing seats have been added, as well as a six point harness, a roll cage and a fire extinguisher, just in case.

More mechanical upgrades were made to the M3 GTS, upgrading the M division’s seven-speed dual clutch DKG Drivelogic gearbox, which allows changes to be made through the shift paddles. More resilient clutch plates and other software changes makes the new model shift gears as fast as ever

The suspension was of course modified, with newer and lighter mechanical parts, as well as reworked dampers, which will be attached toa set of 19-inch cast aluminum wheels, wrapped in performance Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires.

Expect the BMW M3 GTS to appear on the market in summer of 2010, costing around €115,000 or $170,000. Hit the jump to see a teaser video of the BMW M3 GTS.

Source: BMWblog

Post tags: Tags: BMW, bmw m3 csl, bmw m3 gts, bmw-m3, performance, Video