BMW M3 GTR (E46) - The First V8 Engined M3

2y ago


- What you're looking at here is the first BMW M3 ever to use a V8 engine: the E46 GTR from 2001.
- In order to race in Le Mans, BMW needed to homologate their racing car. Since their racing car used a V8, the road car needed to use a V8 too - hence the GTR was born.
- Only 10 of them were ever made, and with their exclusivity, came an eye-watering price tag of €250,000 - the equivalent of £285,000 in today's money!!
- The V8 under the bonnet was a 4L, normally aspirated unit. Even though it was tuned down quite significantly from the 493bhp it produced in the racing car to 380bhp, it was still capable of some impressive performance.
- 0-60mph happened in just 4.6 seconds; 0-100mph in less than 10. Let lose from its 155mph speed mussel, and god only knows what it'd do!
- Other than the engine, the one thing that separated the GTR from the regular E46 was the weight. The standard M3 - while producing 338bhp - had to drag along 3,461lbs (1,570kg); the GTR was 485lbs (220kg) lighter at just 2,976lbs (1,350kg).
- That weight saving is especially amazing when you consider that the GTR essentially has 2 extra cylinders and 800cc of extra capacity. But then you look at the interior, and all becomes clear.
- Unlike the luxuries you'd find in a normal M3, the GTR has been stripped of anything that'd slow it down. Thankfully, it's still fitted with a manual gearbox, enabling you to enjoy that wonderful V8 even more!
- The engine under the bonnet of this car - code named P60 - eventually evolved into the P65 engine than powered the E92 M3 GTR racing car.
- I'm going to say something brave now: I've never been the biggest fan of BMW. People tend to lust after M cars like they're the greatest division in the entire automotive realm - but I've failed to see the point over the years.
- To me however, there have been a few stand-out moments: the E28 M5, the E60 M5 Touring, the E46 M3 CSL, and the E46 M3 GTR. Those are my personal top 4 BMWs - with the M3 GTR being my favourite of the lot!
- The value of this car today is unknown. But suffice it to say, a good low milage example would probably set you back a mortgage or 4.

The first M3 to use a V8 engine - and it's also the rarest M3 ever produced.