GTS be­yond our lim­its

The M3 GTS is a ready racer, writes Karla Pin­cott

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

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