Frankurt 2007: AC Schnitzer has gas, runs with it in GP3.10

Click the image above for a host of high-res pics of the AC Schnitzer GP3.10

For over two decades, AC Schnitzer has built its brand on motoring madness with looks to match. Normally, this involves a bevy of modifications to enhance every performance-related aspect of the vehicle, but with the GP3.10, they've made the bold move of trying to balance fuel efficiency with sporting dynamics.

The GP3.10 houses an M5/M6-sourced V10 that runs on liquefied petroleum gas and produces 552 HP and nearly 400 lb.-ft. of torque. 60 comes up in a cool four-and-a-half seconds, and between high-speed runs you can fill up at one of the 2,700 LPG-packing fuel stations sprinkled across Germany. Of course, the Schnitzer folks couldn't leave the GP looking like a standard 3, so they unfortunately took the interior and exterior to an unhealthy extreme.

You can read up on all the details in the press release after the jump, and peruse through the gallery below.

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Green Energy with 552 HP und 540 Newton metres

AC Schnitzer GP3.10 GAS POWERED with alternative LPG drive

Driving pleasure has been written large at AC Schnitzer for 20 years. And happily, nothing will change for the 62nd IAA. But this goal can be reached in a totally alternative way, as the launch of the superb AC Schnitzer GP3.10 GAS POWERED shows. This high-performance coupé has LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) drive, where power and efficiency, economy and ecology, meet in an exciting study.

As if the extravagant exterior of the project vehicle, based on the current 3-series coupé, were not enough, under the bonnet growls the V10 engine of the current M5/M6 which AC Schnitzer is presenting at the show for the first time in bivalent design: The vehicle has a fully sequential LPG system with two parallel 5-cylinder vaporizers. There's no loss of power or dynamics. The engine, tuned with a remapped control unit and modified exhaust tract with sports catalyst and exhaust manifold, develops 552 HP/406 kW and produces up to 540 Nm at the crankshaft. In itself, that's 45 horses more than the M5/M6. But why power this with LPG?
Liquified Petroleum Gas is a sensible alternative to normal petrol fuel, both economically and ecologically, and after corresponding conversion can be burned in almost any petrol engine. Per litre, LPG is not only cheaper than petrol but produces around 15 percent less CO2 from the exhaust. With over 2700 filling stations in Germany alone, fuel supplies are guaranteed everywhere, and the 80 litre gas tank fits on board with the original 60 litre petrol tank. So you can switch between fuels at any time. In any case, acceleration is more than just acceptable.

sprint to 100 km/h takes 4.5 seconds, and the 200 mark is passed after just 13.9 seconds. Only at 320 km/h does the pressure on your back begin to ease. Nimble enough to show the rear lights to many powerful sports cars. Especially when a racing suspension from Aachen provides incredible handling qualities. And to match the power of the acceleration, there's the brakes on the AC Schnitzer GP3.10 GAS POWERED: At the front, 8-pot fixed calliper brakes with perforated and vented discs size 374 x 36 mm, at the rear a 4-pot brake system with
350 x 24 mm discs.

Talking of slowing down: the striking body design will soon bring passers-by to a stop. In conjunction with the mineral green special paintwork, the AC Schnitzer aerodynamic kit is a real eyecatcher. The air intakes on the front wings, with their characteristic chrome ribs, and the rear 60 mm wheelarch extensions, are particularly successful. With the AC Schnitzer GP3.10 GAS POWERED, AC Schnitzer has created a feast for all the senses, where the centrally positioned sports rear silencer with its sonorous crescendo takes centre stage acoustically.

The rear styling with its special contours and the rear skirt with integral diffuser, the rear roof wing with carbon centre part, are as aesthetically pleasing as the powerful front skirt with its coarse-mesh sports grille. The latter makes an effective contribution to the breathing of the oxygen-hungry five-litre engine. Equally breathtaking for the spectator is the first sight of the racing rims Type VI.

The latest creation from the Aachen wheel manufacturer combines the classic Y-spoke appearance with five striking hollow spokes and bicolor finish. Naturally these decorative elements are not just available for the AC Schnitzer GP3.10 GAS POWERED. For the moment however the latter is a unique creation not for sale, with an estimated value of 198,000 Euro. But we can still get excited because for sure, numerous components will soon find their way into the regular AC Schnitzer range. Parts of the exciting sports interior can already be ordered for
example by customers with a 3-series coupé.

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