BMW unveils hardcore M3 Coupe

  • New BMW M3 Coupe is capable of 0-62mph in 4.4s
  • Most powerful M3 Coupe ever delivers 444bhp
  • Production starts in January 2011, prices to be announced

BMW has revealed the most powerful version of M3 Coupe, the BMW M3 GTS.

The GTS features a V8 444bhp engine mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. There's also modified suspension technology, improved aerodynamics to go with the lightweight construction. It has a power-to-weight ratio of 3.4kgs-per-bhp and accelerates from 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 190mph.

The engine size has been increased from 3,999cc on the standard M3 Coupe to 4,361cc, which boosts power from 414bhp to 444bhp with peak power coming in at 8,300rpm. Maximum torque has also been increased by 40Nm to 440Nm and is available at 3,750rpm.

Under the skin lies a rigidly bolted rear suspension subframe with adjustable height. As a result the car can be lowered by up to 16mm at the front and 12mm at the rear.

Braking power has been improved over the standard M3: the discs are 18mm larger in diameter at the front and 30mm larger in diameter at the rear. The GTS also features Dynamic Stability Control Plus, including ABS and also comes with intermediate tyres on 19-inch matt black M light alloy wheels featuring a Y-spoke design.

Exterior mods include a motor racing-oriented front apron and rear wing. The geometry of the front apron air deflectors can be varied as can the position of the rear wing. The rear wing assembly is based on the BMW 320si in the World Touring Car Championship.

Colours? Well, there's orange and that's it, but the additional model-specific features are the matt black exterior components such as the BMW kidney grille, roof trims and alloy wheels as well as the side gill elements made of dark anodised chrome.

In addition to the standard carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof, other lightweight components are used on the centre console and door panels, while polycarbonate side windows at the rear and a polycarbonate rear window reduce weight. By dispensing with the rear seats and reducing acoustic insulation further weight is saved.

Finally, the car features a new thin-walled lightweight racing exhaust system with new primary catalytic converter with titanium silencers. As a result it weighs 1,530kgs - 70kgs less than a similarly specified 'standard' BMW M3 Coupé. Automatic climate control and an audio system are available as options.

Inside, the GTS features racing bucket sets, carbon interior trims and an alcantara M steering wheel. Door and sidewall linings in the rear compartment are also made of alcantara.

The BMW M3 GTS is equipped as standard with a roll bar fitted behind the B-pillars with an optional roll cage extension. Additionally supplied six-point safety seat belts for driver and front seat passenger and a fire extinguisher complete the range of standard equipment.

Production of the BMW M3 GTS for the UK market in right-hand-drive form will start from January 2011. The price will be announced closer to the official launch.