BMW lines up hardcore, lightweight saloon to sign off current-generation model
3 June 2011

BMW is lining up a hardcore special edition of the M3 saloon as one last hurrah for the performance icon before it 
is replaced with an all-new 
model in 2012.

The latest M3 special, spied here in testing at the Nürburgring, will use the same 4.4-litre V8 engine as the M3 GTS coupé and will be lighter, faster and more track-focused than the M3 saloon on which it is based. The upgrades will extend to new braking and suspension set-ups.

See the spy pics of the hardcore BMW M3 saloon

BMW says the power output will be between the standard M3’s 414bhp and GTS’s 444bhp, but Autocar understands it’s likely to match the GTS’s figure. The torque figure is likely to be 325lb ft. Expect 0-62mph performance to be around 4.5sec and the top speed to be just shy of 190mph when de-restricted.

The car was first previewed to journalists at a viewing of the new M5 concept in April. BMW M chief Kay Segler, who has since moved to head Mini, said the M3 saloon special would contain “several other surprises”.

Video - BMW M3 GTS vs Porsche 911

The spy shots show the M3 saloon special sporting several muscular styling upgrades. It gets revised front and rear bumpers, a new front splitter and rear diffuser, as well as some lightweight body panels taken from the M3 GTS. It will also use that car’s lightweight sports exhaust, but makes do with a more subtle boot spoiler instead of the GTS’s large fixed rear wing.

The car will sit between the standard M3 and GTS coupé in BMW’s range, ground traditionally occupied by the M3 CSL. BMW has yet to say whether or not the car will use either the CSL or GTS name, but the former is considered unlikely because it’s a badge traditionally reserved for M3 coupés.

Mark Tisshaw

See all the latest BMW M3 reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals