The BMW M3 is a legend – and also the most successful touring car of all time. The current racing version, the BMW M3 DTM, is the product of intense development work carried out by BMW Motorsport, in close collaboration with colleagues at BMW M GmbH and in BMW Production Development.
In the DTM alone, the car won a staggering 51 races. Harald Grohs got the ball rolling in Hockenheim on 29th March 1987. With the new BMW M3 making its competitive debut, the German crossed the finish line first ahead of eventual champion Eric van de Poele, whose second place completed a sensational one-two for BMW. This success was followed by win after win, achieved by such drivers as Steve Soper, Fabien Giroix, Johnny Cecotto, Joachim Winkelhock, Christian Danner and Roberto Ravaglia, who claimed the second Drivers’ Championship title for the BMW M3 in 1989. Since BMW returned to the DTM in 2012, BMW drivers have added a further ten wins with the BMW M3 DTM. Bruno Spengler sensationally won the third DTM Drivers’ Championship for this touring car icon last year.
The current racing version, the BMW M3 DTM, is the product of the intensive development work put in by BMW Motorsport, in close cooperation with colleagues at BMW M GmbH and the BMW Production Development department. More than 50 of the 5,000 plus parts that make up the car are standard components, which are used in all DTM cars. One of these is the carbon-fibre monocoque, which sets benchmarks in terms of safety in motorsport. With an integrated tank and steel roll cage, as well as additional crash elements, it provides the drivers with effective protection should he be involved in a crash. Components like the gearbox, clutch, suspension and rear wing are all identical in all DTM cars. This regulation was implemented in order to keep a lid on development costs. Despite this, the BMW Motorsport engineers were still able to incorporate the BMW Group’s immense technical resources as they applied all their powers of innovation. The goal was to establish a performance advantage over the opposition, whilst complying with the strict regulations. BMW Motorsport began developing the DTM version of the latest BMW M3 back in autumn 2010, when the board of BMW AG confirmed the company’s decision to return to the DTM.
The BMW M3 DTM is a spectacular racing car. The powerful V8 engine equipped with the air restrictor as detailed in the technical regulations generates approximately 480 bhp. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in about three seconds and boasts a top speed of approx. 300 km/h. The BMW M3 DTM was revealed to the public for the first time at the DTM event in Munich on 15th July 2011. One and a half years and one season later, the BMW M3 DTM claimed a hat-trick of titles on 21st October 2012, when BMW emerged triumphant from a spectacular finale with the driver, manufacturer and team titles. It appears to have inherited its predecessors winning genes.
2014 heralds a new era: BMW will line up with a new challenger, in the form of the BMW M4 DTM.