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BMW M3 GTR (Race)

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For the Street variant, see BMW M3 GTR (Street)

The BMW M3 GTR (E46) is a race car from BMW based on the M3 E46.

It was originally fitted with a 3.2L inline-six engine based on the engine of the standard E46 M3. The car first entered the GT class of the American Le Mans Series in 2000, in which it only took a single victory and was beaten on several occasions by the Porsche 911 GT3-R.

A newly developed P60B40 V8 engine was quickly placed into the race car before the beginning of the 2001 season. It was developed alongside the BMW V10 engine that was used to power Williams Formula 1 cars during the 2001 F1 season. The old engine was ditched as BMW's engineers couldn't squeeze any more horsepower out of it.

The new engine gave the BMW M3 GTR a competitive edge over the Porsche 911 GT3-R and allowed the M3 GTR to win seven out of the ten events in the GT category in the 2001 season.

Porsche claimed during the 2001 ALMS season that BMW had violated the ALMS entry rules and the spirit of Gran Turismo. This was based on the fact that the V8 engine in the M3 GTR was not available in any road legal BMW M3.

BMW produced 10 road going GTR models for sale after the 2001 ALMS ended as the rules required that the entered cars must be placed on sale on two continents within twelve months of the season beginning.

The ALMS rules were changed for the 2002 season and required that at least 100 units and 1,000 engines be built for a car to qualify for the season.

The revised rules forced BMW to pull the M3 GTR from the following American Le Mans Series season. However, it made its return to motorsports when BMW-backed Schnitzer Motorsport team entered two M3 GTRs for the 2003 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race. The M3 GTR participated in the race for the following two years and scored a 1-2 victory for the team in 2004 and 2005.

Need for Speed: Most WantedEdit

The BMW M3 GTR is available from the beginning of the career mode in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The game's storyline partially revolves around the M3 GTR as it is the player's car at the beginning of the game until it is sabotaged. It can be used in Quick Race after defeating Blacklist racer #1 - Razor.

The M3 GTR can also be driven in the hidden Challenge Series event #69 'Burger King Challenge' which unlocks Junkman parts for use in the My Cars menu.

The BMW M3 GTR is one of the best performing cars in Need for Speed: Most Wanted due to its outstanding acceleration, handling, and a high top speed of 240 mph (386 km/h). Its nitrous output gives it an average increase in speed.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0Edit

The BMW M3 GTR appears in Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0 and is unlocked upon defeating Blacklist Racer #1 - Clarence Callahan "Razor". It comes with a unique livery not featured in other releases. Visual customisation and performance upgrade options are not available for the car.

The M3 GTR has the most powerful acceleration of all the cars in the game along with a high top speed and handling rating.

Need for Speed: CarbonEdit

The BMW M3 GTR reappears in Need for Speed: Carbon as a Tier 3 Exotic car. It is shortly available in the career mode but is permanently available in Quick Race after completing its reward card.

The start of the career sees the player escaping the pursuit of Cross whom is now a bounty hunter. The player has their M3 GTR although they won't be able to escape as they drive into a construction area as they approach the base of the canyon, which results in the car getting totalled.

Performance-wise, the M3 GTR has similar traits as it did in Need for Speed: Most Wanted but with the difference of a lower top speed, which is somewhat lacking for a Tier 3 Exotic car. Other differences from its previous iteration are a louder transmission whine and a royal blue livery as well as having an improved handling to compensate for its lowered top speed.

Need for Speed: WorldEdit

The BMW M3 GTR appeared in the closed alpha of Need for Speed: World. In later builds of the game, the vehicle was replaced with a custom BMW M3 (E46) featuring a body kit and spoiler that resemble the BMW M3 GTR.

The files for the BMW M3 GTR were later re-added near the end of 2010, and could be found in the directory of the game. Its mesh and texture files were removed in later builds of the game.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)Edit

The M3 GTR appears in the Need for Speed Heroes Pack for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 releases of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) as a Race class vehicle.

Purchasing the Need for Speed Heroes Pack will unlock a Most Wanted racer within Singleplayer that will reward the player with the M3 GTR upon completion. It is unlocked in Multiplayer upon the player completing 24 SpeedList events in Sports cars.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) (Mobile)Edit

The M3 GTR appears as an Exotic class car in the iOS and Android releases. It is unlocked and given to the player for free upon completing the #1 Most Wanted event. Its best trait is depicted as acceleration, although speed and handling are also rated high.


  • In Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the player can keep the M3 GTR at heat level 6 as long as they don't modify any of its visual attributes.
  • The BMW M3 GTR depicted on the box art of Need for Speed: Most Wanted features a different wheel design compared to the M3 GTR that appears in the title. The in-game model features a set of 20-spoke rims although the box-art model features a set of 5 spokes at the hub which split into 10 towards the wheel hoop.
  • The BMW M3 GTR driven by the player, during the prologue sections of Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Carbon, has reduced performance to provide an easier introductory driving experience.
  • The TV show 'Tuner Transformation' created a replica of the BMW M3 GTR based on an E46 330ci. Many viewers of the TV show were disappointed by the fact that the modified car hardly resembled the M3 GTR from Need for Speed: Most Wanted because of the dissimilar appearance.
  • The BMW M3 E46 in Need for Speed: ProStreet, Need for Speed: Undercover, Need for Speed: World, and Need for Speed (2015) can be equipped with a body kit that resembles the M3 GTR.
  • The player races against an M3 GTR in a Gold Ranked Canyon Duel Challenge Series event in Need for Speed: Carbon.
  • The M3 GTR is seen in Need for Speed: Carbon in the Gold Ranked Canyon Checkpoint Challenge.
  • The M3 GTR appears on the box art for Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
  • An unused vinyl for the M3 GTR in Need for Speed: Most Wanted resembles the 2004 Schnitzer Motorsport M3 GTR livery, which won the 24 Hours Nürburgring endurance race that year.


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