BMW launched it’s latest special edition M3 on Friday, appropriately called the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition. Built to celebrate its commitment to the American Le Mans Series, the Lime Rock Edition is set to be a limited run of 200 cars. But aside from the special paint and low production numbers, we’re a bit skeptical as to why we’re being told it’s special.
BMW has been a sponsor of the Lime Rock Park Raceway for sometime now. Which is a good thing since most BMW’s, especially the M cars, are right at home on the track. Lime Rock has also hosted a GT racing event nearly every year over the last two decades, and has history dating back to the start of sportscar racing after World War II. BMW has been a major part of that, esspecially in the last 40 years. There’s no doubt that the the E92 M3 Lime Rock Park Edition has a lot of racing pedigree behind it.
It fails, however, to make anything out of that goodwill. Though the paint on the Lime Rock Edition is very similar to the Europe only M3 GTS, it shares none of what makes the GTS so special. The loud paint is called Fire Orange. Which begs the question, if this is a Lime Rock Park Edition, why isn’t it some shade of green? We digress.
The other features that make this special edition “special”, include a carbon fiber roof, a flat bottom steering wheel (which sounds a lot like the previously available DCT wheel that lit up like a Chinese knock-off Formula 1 steering wheel), a titanium exhaust system (which used to be an option), and the competition package- a $2,500 option available since 2011.
Essentially the Lime Rock Edition is a summary of options which didn’t sell well separately before, so BMW of North America is offering them as a complete car. There are no noteworthy improvements to the suspension, powertrain, wheels or tires. Normally, we welcome the special editions from companies like BMW, but this car follows actual special edition models like the M3 GTS and the M3 CRT, which we never received here in the United States. Instead we get special colors like the Frozen Gray and Frozen Black edition, and limited runs named after short race tracks. In this case, the $70,000 price tag simply isn’t warranted, unless of course you’re a collector. Then we say buy it and never drive it.