BMW is ringing in Oktoberfest this year with the special M3 you see here. The performance sedan has been done up in a retro livery that harkens back one of the BMW M1 Procars from 1981, and was even designed by the same artist responsible for the original 34 years ago. But you'll have to go to Munich to see it.

To understand the significance of the livery, you first have to know something about the BMW M1 Procar. The spec racing series was formed in 1979 around the M1, the legendary mid-engined sports car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and co-developed with Lamborghini. The road-going M1 models used in the series were modified for racing with more powerful engines, more aggressive aero, and other competition-spec components, and were driven by many F1 drivers in support races at European grands prix. Some even competed against other entries in broader races. Many of the cars featured liveries with BMW's signature red, dark blue, and light blue stripes, but others ran more unique color schemes.

The "Münchner Wirte" (Munich hosts) car was one such example, running at Le Mans with a custom livery designed and hand-painted by artist Walter Maurer. It featured Munich landmarks like the Olympic Stadium, Frauenkirche church and BMW's headquarters, along with a roast-chestnut vendor and an Oktoberfest beer tent. 34 years later, Maurer has applied the same livery to the M3 you see here. It'll be displayed at this year's Oktoberfest, which kicks off this weekend in – you guessed it – Munich. As if we needed another excuse to visit Europe in the fall and swill some of the world's finest beers by the liter.

Check out the video below for BMW's official welcome to Oktoberfest visitors.
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Oktoberfest date for one-off BMW M3 "Münchner Wirte".

Munich. BMW M GmbH is set to unveil a BMW M3 in "Münchner Wirte" livery to coincide with this year's Oktoberfest in Munich (19 September – 4 October). The one-off car will underscore the company's ties with motor sport in general and the city of Munich in particular. The livery design of the BMW M3 "Münchner Wirte" harks back to that of the legendary BMW M1 Procar from 1981, complete with Bavarian-style façade painting and blue and white twisted cords, along with depictions of Munich landmarks (such as the Olympic Stadium, Siegestor, Frauenkirche church and BMW's headquarters – the "four-cylinder" building), a roast chestnut seller and the Wiesn-Schänke beer tent at the Oktoberfest.

Walter Maurer is responsible for bringing the design back to life on the current BMW M3. The designer, whose close relationship with BMW dates back several decades, created the livery for the BMW M1 Procar "Münchner Wirte" and painted it on by hand 34 years ago. "Although the two cars are very different, it was surprisingly straightforward to carry over the design from the two-door BMW M1 racer to the four-door BMW M3 Sedan," reports Maurer.

More in common than you might think.
The new BMW M3 "Münchner Wirte" and BMW M1 Procar "Münchner Wirte" have more in common than just their eye-catching exteriors: both cars offer the benefits of a six-cylinder in-line engine with four-valve technology, rear-wheel drive and the vast pool of racing expertise amassed by BMW M GmbH. The engine powering the BMW M1 Procar racing machine developed 345 kW/470 hp, enabled acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.5 seconds and powered the car to a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). The cutting-edge M TwinPower Turbo engine in the BMW M3 comes close in terms of power, producing 317 kW/431 hp to propel the sports sedan to a maximum 280 km/h (174 mph) when the M Driver's Package is specified and teaming up with the M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic to deliver a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 4.1 seconds (fuel consumption combined: 8.3 l/100 km [34.0 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 194 g/km)*.

The BMW M3 "Münchner Wirte" will be on display at BMW Welt during the Oktoberfest.

So how did the idea come about in the first place? "I hatched the plan to turn this very special artwork into reality in 1981, together with my good friends and long-established Munich restaurateurs Putzi Holenia and Karl Heckl, and the then head of the BMW press department, Dirk Henning Strassl," explains Maurer. A few weeks later the BMW M1 Procar "Münchner Wirte" was lining up in the GT class at the Le Mans 24-hour race, where driving duties were shared by the three-strong line-up of Prince Leopold of Bavaria, Christian Danner and Peter Oberndorfer. The car's special design attracted a great deal of attention and captured the imagination of many who saw it, as reflected in the number of pictures now posted online.

Historical background.
The BMW Procar championship represented arguably the world's fastest and most spectacular single-make race series in 1979 and 1980. The races were held on the undercard of the Formula One grands prix in Europe. As well as its exploits in the Procar series, the BMW M1 Procar also saw action in the Le Mans 24-hour race and various national championships, including the DRM series (German Racing Championship) between 1979 and 1986.

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