Originally Posted by mkoesel
Will BMW and Schnitzer (maybe Team PTG or someone else) build a new M3 GTR and re-enter the American Le Mans Series?
For those who don't know, here is a little history From Wikipedia:
An E46 GTR came to life on February 2001, powered by a 4000 cm³ V8 producing 444 bhp. Unlike the straight-six powered M3 versions, which were outpaced by the Porsche 996 GT3, the racing version of the E46 M3 GTR 16 was very successful in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), entered by Schnitzer Motorsport. Rivals such as Porsche pointed out that this car was more of a prototype as no V8 engine was available in the road-going BMW E46, which is in violation of the spirit of Gran Turismo. In 2001, ALMS regulations stated that cars must be for sale on two continents within twelve months of the rules being issued. To fulfill this rule, BMW put 10 road going GTRs on sale after the 2001 season, for 250,000 euros (then $218,000) each, allegedly only available for select customers. However, only two have been known to exist; one in an Arabic Museum, the other in BMW's own garages, probably tucked away in a corner. They got around the rules carefully, knowing what they were doing.
Due to this, the ALMS rules were altered for 2002 to state that 100 cars and 1000 engines must be built for the car to qualify without penalties. Although BMW could have raced the V8 with the new weight and power penalties under these new regulations, they chose to pull out of the ALMS, effectively ending the shortlived M3 GTR's career.
Now, to my thinking, the new M3 is absolutely begging to be turned into a race-car for a rematch in this series. Instead of having to make a special car with a special powertrain, they can just use a normal M3 and go from there.
How 'bout it? A race-spec motor would probably pump out upwards of 500hp, which should be more than enough to match Porsche or any other entries in this race series.
I agree with your thoughts on the suitability of the new engine, but I am not so sure about the new chassis. It has gotten big and one would assume they would need to strengthen it with tubes and all that, which would make it even heavier. I guess that all depends on the competition though...It would be great to watch if they decide to do it!