BMW announced the M3 GTS in November 2009 for the European market only. The car is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 based on the 4.0-litre engine found in the standard M3, which produces ~450 hp. The car weighs approximately 300 pounds less than the standard M3 due to various weight saving methods applied by the M engineering team. Only 250 units of this (E92) M3 monster were produced at a cost of $161,000 CND. Here’s an excerpt from the BMW press release at the time:
“Munich. BMW M GmbH now offers a truly outstanding performer based on the BMW M3 Coupé also ideal for Clubsport events – exactly the right car for the truly discerning customer demanding the very utmost in terms of power and performance. The BMW M3 GTS is largely hand-built by the most skilled craftsmen at BMW M GmbH as a perfectly harmonised package of outstanding modifications, with production exclusively to the customer’s personal order. Focused on motorsport, the modifications comprise both the drivetrain, the suspension and the body of the car, as well as its interior.
Offering this truly exclusive model for the genuine motorsport enthusiast, BMW M GmbH is continuing a great tradition introduced on former generations of the BMW M3. Once again, the outstanding sports potential of the BMW M3 is being consistently enhanced and upgraded to an even higher level, the customer benefiting from the Company’s wide range of know-how in the development and production of racing cars. Through its race-oriented modifications enhancing both performance and safety, the BMW M3 GTS is ready”
In typical form, the GT Spirit team has produced a great limited edition model of this gem, though it is a shame it is sealed and in resin form. Is the GT Spirit model ready? At first glance, the bright-orange exterior of the BMW M3 GTS catches the eye. The paint is faithfully reproduced in quality by GT Spirit (I much prefer this choice of orange over the Valencia Orange of the 1M Coupe reviewed earlier). Shutlines and panel gaps are excellent, but this is typical of a resin/sealed models. The roof is covered in a carbon fiber print, while the remaining exterior is treated to matte black accents and wheels. The only bling here are the rear chrome quad pipes of the exhaust.
The front fascia is very aggressive mostly due to the lower chin spoiler. Centre grille and lower grilles are perforated, a very solid plus for model fans. The only miss is the finish on the lower chin spoiler, the model is completed in matte, while in actual form it is glossy. The rear is much the same, nicely executed on all levels. The large adjustable spoiler appears to be missing the bolt/nut detail – though GT Spirit did execute the two piece arm design.
The wheels of the M3 GTS are brilliant! The inner workings/venting of rotors are so life-like, they seem to be made of metal, and the added brake wear brings a perfect level of realism to the entire package. Well done GT Spirit! The M3 GTS does ride on a more aggressive suspension than the standard car, but the ride height on the front two wheels is a little more aggressive than I would like. Rear is perfectly aligned with the original.
Inside, the model does capture all the interior elements of the original. Nice to see the fire extinguisher and blue seat harnesses all ready for action! The real interior of the M3 GTS is treated to Alcantara bits, such as on the steering wheel, door and sidewall linings in the rear compartment. Unfortunately, this detail isn’t found in the replica. If GT Spirit can find a way to enhance such elements, they may become the best at full scale resin models, putting them up there with Spark, BBR and others.
What we have here is an almost perfect example of a 1:18 scale model. GT Spirit’s attention to detail (for the most part), and quality of delivery are second to none. In their brief history, this brand has proven to me and many others they are the real deal. I’m looking forward to more releases, and hopefully they expand on the number of marques currently in the stable of brands. Get this one, you won’t regret it. Enjoy the pics!