A few weeks ago our spies snapped a BMW M3 pick-up being thrashed around the Nuburgring by M Division engineers, and now BMW has released the official pictures of its one-off M3 ute. It's a one-off, but it's not an April Fool's joke – this car exists, and M Division has plans for its future.
So what's this BMW M3 Pick-Up all about?
This M3 Pick-Up is the result of M Division's engineers asking 'what if?’. Apparently it started life as an after-hours project, but has been officially today at an event in Germany alongside the Concept M5 super saloon (which will appear at next month's 2011 Shanghai motor show) and a whole host of other mouth-watering M Division metal. The official reveal coincides with April 1, but this expensive engineering one-off isn't BMW's idea of an April Fools' joke. Of course there are no current plans for production, but the Z3 M Coupe began as an after-hours project too...
The M3 Pick-Up is based on the existing M3 Convertible, which already has the necessary bracing and extra stiffness to accommodate such drastic bodywork changes. There’s no a flip-down boot lid, a metal-covered load bay (capable of carrying 450kg or 20 golf bags) with under-floor storage, and a canvas cover. And to make this BMW M3 Pick-Up more mad, it’s a convertible thanks to a lift-out targa-style roof panel, and can even be fitted with a towbar. The Pick-Up is around 50kg lighter than the 1885kg M3 Convertible, and another 20kg is saved when the roof panel is removed.
Under the bonnet is the M3's 414bhp 4.0-litre V8, with the M3 ute sending power to its rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. BMW claims wind tunnel-testing have revealed Cd factor on par with the M3 Coupe, and during extenisve running at the Nurburgring it's hit 186mph.
In the cabin the BMW M3 Pick-Up maintains the standard M3 chairs, although they gain a splash of colour from M Division’s famous tricolour stripes. There’s carbonfibre trim too (engraved with 'Pick-Up Powered by M: 001'), but although this M3 Pick-Up has the latest rear lights, the cabin appears to be based on a pre-facelifted M3 as it features an old iDrive controller.
Of course, this isn't BMW’s first M3 pick-up. When CAR visited M HQ back in 2007 the engineers had a battered 1980s 3-series with its rear-end chopped to form a pick-up bed, and under the skin was the four-cylinder engine from an E30 M3 and a limited slip diff. Our guide, workshop boss Jakob Polschak, mimed a few opposite-lock heroics, before an engineer threw some rubbish in the back, fired it up and headed off to the tip. Ths is M3 Pick-Up is destined for the same life, and is fully road legal.
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