April 3rd 2011 18:00
Following the BMW M3 Coupe, BMW M3 Convertible and BMW M3 Sedan, a fourth body variant of this globally successful high-performance sports car was unveiled on April 1.
In what BMW has dubbed as the world's first high-performance "pickup" - ute for you and me - with 309 kW under the bonnet and a rear-axle load capacity of up to 450 kilos, this unique vehicle has already completed extensive test and set-up drives on the Nurburgring's Nordschleife.
The kerb weight of the world's fastest pickup undercuts that of the BMW M3 Convertible by around 50 kilograms. Removing the Targa roof shaves off a further 20 kg while at the same time lowering the car's centre of gravity. This most unusual experience of top-down driving pleasure in a BMW M3 thus goes hand in hand with further optimised dynamic handling.
The practical features of the BMW M3 Pickup are no less impressive. Maximum load capacity has been raised to 450 kilograms. The load bed of the BMW M3 Pickup is clad in high-grade structured aluminium sheeting and provides the biggest cargo capacity ever offered on a BMW M vehicle. In terms of the unit of measurement generally applied to premium automobiles, that gives the loading area of the BMW M3 Pickup the capacity to carry up to 20 standard 46-inch golf bags. What's more, the BMW M3 Pickup is the first BMW M3 variant in the 25-year-plus history of this model range to come with a trailer tow hitch.
Notwithstanding these unquestionable stand-out qualities, the BMW M3 Pickup will not be heading for the golf course or series development, but will retain its status as an exclusive one-off. It is earmarked for use as a workshop transport vehicle for BMW M GmbH. With this in mind, the current BMW M3 Pickup – unlike a similar predecessor built back in the 1980s – has gone through the requisite procedures to earn its road certification. Which makes it officially a truck – but one that puts a whole new spin on the meaning of the word.