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First Look 2012 BMW M3 DTM

Not your garden-variety M3.

by on Jul.18, 2011

BMW officials unveil the 2012 M3 DTM.

Here’s a first look at the new race car that BMW will begin campaigning on the DTM circuit next year.  The look may be vaguely familiar, but making just under 500 horsepower it’s not your typical M3.

Actually, there are a surprising number of common parts – as required by DTM regulations – but the matte black carbon fiber body, which straddles a high-strength steel roll cage is definitely not something you’ll find at your local BMW dealer.

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In typical fashion, BMW wants to keep the competition guessing until the very last minute, so it is billing this prototype as “an initial impression” of what it will be running on the 2012 DTM circuit.  But it should provide a pretty clear indication of what’s to come.

The aerodynamic enhancements add up to an extra 6.5 inches compared to the current E92 edition BMW M3.  While the rear haunches are about five inches wider.  Meanwhile, the M3 DTM sits about nine inches lower than the production coupe.

The carbon fiber M3 DTM is lower, wider and longer than the production BMW M3.

As for power, the prototype is pumped up with a 480-horsepower naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V8.  It drives the rear wheels through a 6-speed sequential gearbox.  BMW is claiming 0 to 60 times of just 3.0 seconds, with a top speed of 186 mph.

BMW plans to field three of the M3 DTMs, with ex-WTCC champion Andy Priaulx and Brazilian BMW GT veteran Augusto Farfus the first two drivers named for the season.

“The DTM comeback sees BMW return to its roots,” said BMW’s development director and board member Klaus Draeger. “We have enjoyed great success in production car racing in the past, and I am convinced we will follow on in 2012 where we left off. Everyone at BMW Motorsport is working hard to ensure we get off to a successful start next season.”

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