2001 BMW M3 (E46) GTR
Kyosho - 03531S (diecast)
Like many other cars, the E46 M3 GTR only exists because of racing regulations. The model’s story begins in 2000. For 2001, BMW wanted a car to compete in the GT class of the ALMS. At the time, a V8 engine was the way to go, so they started to develop one from scratch. This new engine, called P60B40, was a 90º 3997 cm³ V8 with dry sump. It had DOHC, 32 valves and was capable of 444 hp and 48,9 mkgf at 5500 rpm. However, for race homologation, BMW should offer road versions. According to the rules, the car had to be on sale in two continents for at least 12 months. And that was all. So BMW offered 10 units to the public, as a special order.
The BMW M3 GTR Strassenversion (in Germany) or Road Version (in the US) was quite civilized. It had many creature comforts, but there was no rear seat. Most of the aerodynamic features of the race version were also present, but the engine was detuned to 385 hp. Even with the sedated engine but weighing 1349 kg, it could go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. So it was a rocket. The race car was a total success, and dominated the 2001 season. To the point that Porsche filed a complaint, and for 2002 ALMS changed the rules. From then on, for homologation, BMW would need to produce at least 100 cars and 1000 engines. BMW said “No way!” and that was the end of the E46 Strassenversion
When new, the sticker price was € 250.000, but it’s not clear how many actually came out of the factory. Some say six, but with no official confirmation from BMW, that is speculation. Nowadays only three exist, all silver, and they were all bought back by BMW. Without a doubt this is my favorite bimmer of modern times, and I needed (a silver) one for the Garage. A great model from Kyosho, just as good as my Turbo and Carrera. Minichamps also offers the car in 1:43, but I couldn’t find one in silver. And since the real cars came out of the factory only in silver, it had to be silver.