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BMW M3 GT (2011) spy photos
05 April 2011 12:05
Just a few days ago BMW pulled the wraps of its M3 Saloon Concept at a special event at M Division HQ, but CAR's spies have already caught a mule for the new car. This new lighter, faster, more focused M3 saloon is hotly tipped to be officially unveiled in production form at the M Festival at the Nurburgring 24hrs in late June 2011, but we've snapped a prototype parked up near the 'Ring.
Just what is this new BMW M3 saloon?
Think of it as halfway between an M3 Competition Pack saloon (which isn’t sold in the UK) and the limited-run M3 GTS – we'll call it the GT for now. Like the M3 GTS, this M3 saloon will also be built in limited numbers, and it inherits a large number of parts from the GTS. Count on the upgraded brakes, darkened alloys, reworked suspension and lighter exhaust from the GTS being carried over.
This test mule isn’t sporting most of that kit, but it does have the concept car’s chin spoiler – it’s not quite as wide as the adjustable unit on the M3 GTS, but it’s still much more than a regular M3 saloon. Judging by the state of it, it looks like it might have been kissing the tarmac at the ‘Ring, too.
Expect it to stick with the regular M3’s 4.0-litre V8 – rather than the more expensive 4.4-litre V8 from the M3 GTS – but we hear there should be a small power increase to lift this special saloon above its 414bhp siblings. There's no word yet on whether it's run the six-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed dual-clutch 'box.
BMW M Division sources have mentioned ‘lightweight construction’ but don’t expect carbonfibre body panels; instead, expect this M3 saloon to gain carbonfibre front and rear seats.
Production is as guaranteed as you can get without the project officially being given the green light, but carbon seats would rule out North American sales and with the standard M3 coupe and convertible far outselling the saloon in the UK, sales in Great Britain aren’t guaranteed either. With a tiny production run being planned too, expect prices around the £100k mark.
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