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.