GTS beyond our limits
The M3 GTS is a ready racer, writes Karla Pincott
TOO low and too loud. Those are the barriers denying the BMW M3 GTS an Australian visa.
The track-ready version from BMW’s M division doesn’t meet the Australian design regulations for ground clearance or decibels, according to the carmaker’s Australian spokesman Piers Scott.
‘‘We’re not sure of the exact specs of the M3 GTS, but apparently it’s lower and louder than the limits,’’ he says, referring to the ADR’s restrictions for 100mm clearance and 83-decibel noise limit.
‘‘However, there will be a righthand-drive version, and though it looks like we’re not able to have it at the moment, it might change — were still discussing it.’’
Scott says that if any of the 120 cars being built do arrive, it will be with a price tag nearly double that of its $163,000 M3 coupe sibling.
‘‘I’d think it would be in the region of about $300,000 based on a rough comparison with what the price estimates in Europe have been,’’ he says.
What it offers for the price premium is a bigger, gutsier engine, a high-revving 4.3-litre V8 that develops 331kW and 440Nm, (the M3’s 4.0-litre offers 309kW and 400Nm) mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.
At 1500kg — about 80kg less than the Coupe — the orange GTS is aerodynamically helped by a front racing apron and rear wing, and with features such as the grille, roof trim, alloy wheels and gills fin- ished in matt black and dark anodised chrome, the GTS is clearly track-oriented.
‘‘It’s the essence of M. The M3 is right at the core of what the M division does best and this is the M3 in its purest, most race-ready form,’’ Scott says.
Racetrack ready: but BMW’s M3 GTS doesn’t meet Australian design specifications.