• Feb 6th 2008 at 5:59PM
  • 17
click above to view more high-res live shots of BMW M3 ALMS race car

The American Le Mans Series is going to get a dose of Bavarian brilliance in 2009, as Bobby Rahal and David Letterman are teaming up to bring the fourth-generation M3 to the racing series. To properly battle the best competition in ALMS, BMW bumps the power quotient of its high-revving 4.0L V8 from 414 to 485 ponies, but brute force is just one facet of the M3's attack plan. The already outstanding chassis of the M3 has been further enhanced for the track, and weight has been reduced to make the deadly M even more nimble.

BMW also employed its extensive F1 knowledge into the M-racer, including computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel analyses to make the carbon fiber-winged M3 slip freely through the air. BMW Motorsport is still tweaking the M3 racer in advance of the 2009 season, and the car will be taken through its paces by Andy Priaulx, Jorg Muller and Augusto Farfus of FIA World Touring Car Championship fame. Since the previous two generations of M3 hold six manufacturers championships in nine years of US sports car racing, we're guessing this baddest M3 ever will continue to be a handful for the competition. If it drives as well as it looks, Mr. Rahal should be a happy man.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ferrari F430's and Porsche GT3 RSR's race in GT2 as well so BMW should have some stiff competition.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cool! Porsche, Ferrari, Audi, Corvette, Aston Martin, maybe Saleen, maybe Viper, (and others) and now BMW. Good mix of machinery.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bring on the Trophies!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't forget the Ford GT in the lineup also guys.

      But yeah, this M3 does sound like it's a lil too much for GT2 class.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I seem to remember Rahal appearing on Letterman back in the late 80s. He joked about how the cops wouldn't give him a pass when he got busted driving fast in his white M3 (an E30).

      It's ironic how the two men and a white M3 come together again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The more the merrier...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope it belches flames like the previous gen ALMS M3s did.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is sad to see that PTG won't be running the BMWs in ALMS. They switched over to Panoz when the E46 M3 finished its run. I was always hoping they would swtich back upon release of the new model. Although I guess Rahal Letterman has plenty of racing experience it won't be the same without the PTG drivers. It will be different to see a BMW without Bill Auberlen or Joey Hand at the helm.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So very nice. Can't wait to see this baby in action against some of the best racers out there.
      Ben Beauvais
      • 7 Years Ago
      i hope this has iDrive....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Which class is it in? I presume GT2.

      This sounds like far too much car for GT2. They'll likely win a lot of races until IMSA puts enough penalties on them to slow them down.

      2009 WTF?
      • 7 Years Ago
      ooops, I meant GT2 class.
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