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BMW M3 GTR (Race)

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M3 GTR (E46) Race
GermanNFSLang BMWSmallMain 2001
EngineInfoboxIcon 4.0L V8 (ECU 12A)
BHPInfoboxIcon 444 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
TorqueInfoboxIcon 345 lb·ft @ 5,500 rpm
DrivetrainInfoboxIcon RWD
AccelerationInfoboxIcon 3.4 seconds
MassInfoboxIcon 1,120 kg (2,469 lbs)
TopSpeedInfoboxIcon 152 mph (245 km/h)
TransmissionInfoboxIcon 6-speed (Manual)
For the Street variant, see BMW M3 GTR (Street)

The BMW M3 GTR (E46) first entered the American Le Mans Racing Series in 2000 and won only a single race. It was beaten on several occasions by the Porsche 911.

A newly developed V8 engine was quickly placed into the race car before the beginning of the 2001 season. The old 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine was ditched as BMW's engineers couldn't squeeze any more horsepower out of it.

The BMW V8 engine placed in the GTR in 2001 was developed alongside the BMW V10 engine that was used to power Williams Formula 1 cars during the 2001 F1 season. The V8 engine used in the racing GTR was never planned to be used in any road going BMW model.

The new V8 engine gave the BMW M3 GTR a competitive edge over the Porsche 911 GT3-R and allowed the GTR to win seven out of the ten GT events in the 2001 ALMS.

Porsche claimed during the 2001 ALMS season that BMW had violated the rules requiring the cars entry to the ALMS and the spirit of Gran Turismo.

The claims were based on the design of the V8 engine that BMW had placed in the M3 GTR as the engine was not put on sale in road legal M3 models.

BMW placed 10 road going GTR models on 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 in 2002 and required that at least 100 units and 1,000 engines must be built before a car can qualify for the season.

The 2002 revised rules forced BMW to pull the M3 GTR from the following year of racing in the American Le Mans Series. Two Schnitzer Motorsport GTR cars appeared at the 2003 "24 Hours Nürburgring" touring car endurance race with a 1-2 victory for the team in 2004 and 2005.

Need for Speed: Most WantedEdit

The BMW M3 GTR is already available from the beginning of the career mode in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. 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 #70 '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 high top speed of 240 mph (386 km/h). Its nitrous output gives it an average increase in speed.

The M3 GTR is portrayed as an essential element of the storyline as it is the player's car at the beginning of the game until it is sabotaged.

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

The BMW M3 GTR appears in two distinct variations in Need for Speed: Most Wanted 5-1-0. The signature BMW M3 GTR is unlocked upon defeating Blacklist Racer #3 although an alternative variant is unlocked upon defeating Blacklist Racer #1.

Both variants have good acceleration and top speed but the earlier variant lacks sufficient handling in comparison to the later unlocked variant.

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 playable 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'll drive into a construction area during at the base of the canyon. This impales their car and totals it.

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: 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 release. 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 leave their car's heat level at level 6 as long as they don't modify any of the car's 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 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 street model of the BMW M3 E46 in Need for Speed: ProStreet, Need for Speed: Undercover and Need for Speed: World can be equipped with a body kit that resembles the racing M3 GTR.
  • The player races against an M3 GTR in a 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.


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