Big things with little cars

Fraudulency. Falsehood. Humbug. That’s a bit what BMW tried when they came up with this one: The BMW M3 GTR. Why? Because it had a V8 when BMW lined it up in the American Le Mans Series in the year 2001. Yet no V8 ever saw the engine bay of an officially sold BMW M3.

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And that was pretty awkward in a class of GT’s. As a GT “should” be based on a car for sale on public roads. But the E46 M3 with it’s S54 sechs reiher was no match for Porsche’s 911 GT3 (996). And therefor BMW mounted their P60B40 engine, a V8 developed by BMW ///M GmbH, just for this car.

Of course there was some murmur that eventually led to official complaints (by Porsche amongst others) that this could never be a GT, it should compete in one of the LMP prototype classes as it wasn’t available on the road.

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BMW replied immediately by stating there were cars sold: between 1 and 10 M3 GTR Street had been sold, just had not yet been delivered. And after the 2001 ALMS series was over 10 customer cars actually were produced and delivered to their buyers.

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For 2002 however the ALMS modified their regulations stating that 100 cars and 1,000 engines must be built otherwise the car would be penalized by additional weight and restricted power. This would not necessarily mean BMW wasn’t able to compete it but BMW decided not to enter the GTR anymore so it actually lasted only one season.

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Or did it? It did see some action after all this. In the 24hours of the Nürburgring, in the Spa 24 Hours and, although equipped with another V8 (N62), in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hours. There were plans to have it compete in the Nations Cup as well down under but PHR Scuderia, who had entered the GTR in the Bathurst 24 Hours eventually did not do anything but that Bathurst 24.

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The car displayed here is one of the road legal M3 GTR Streets. It featured a Zweischeibenkupplung 6 speed Manuèl transmission. The flat plane cranked P60B40 was tuned down from 330 kW (446hp) to 258 kW (346hp). It had all kinds of carbon stuff (roof, spoilers, bonnet, trunk) like the race car which led to a weight of just 1,350kgs for this two seater. As the rear seats were left out of course. And it costed you 250k euros.

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The model is a 1/43 Minichamps. It’s from their “Flavours of Asia” series which was an advertising series from BMW themselves. It’s pretty good but one thing I truly dislike: It’s color. I just hate shooting black cars, let’s stick to that.

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And those hood pins (if they are that) are clearly just tampos, that’s what’s letting it down a bit for me. [EDIT] And it’s not a proper Street version but a de-liveried race car, thank you Pillarless Coupe and navyeagleeye86 for clearing that out.

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Und das war es wieder. After all those Bread Boxes last week it’s about time we showed some proper power again. Even if it was a bit of a cheater. Let’s keep LaLD a bit Teutonic today and have fun. Tschüss!

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