BMW's M3 will officially return to the German DTM championship series in 2012, the automaker confirmed today.
BMW made the official announcement at the Hockenheimring, a German racing circuit, that it will begin race-prepping the V-8 powered M3 in an effort to return to the famous DTM series. The last BMW bowed out of DTM in 1994, following a string of success with the first-generation E30 series M3 race car. BMW won the DTM championship in both 1987 and 1989 with the M3, also winning the initial 1984 championship with a race-prepared 635 CSi coupe.
"The return of BMW to the DTM is a fundamental part of the restructuring of our motorsport activities," said Dr. Klaus Draeger, member of BMW's Board of Management. "With its increased commitment to production car racing, BMW is returning to its roots. The race track is the perfect place to demonstrate the impressive sporting characteristics of our vehicles against our core competitors in a high-powered environment. The DTM is the ideal stage on which to do this."
Details of the DTM-spec M3 have not yet been officially finalized, but we'd expect significant changes to be made to the car should it expect to compete head-to-head with rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The M3 Coupe currently competes in the American Le Mans Series in the U.S., where it recently clinched the 2010 GT championship, beating competition from Porsche, Ferrari, and Chevrolet.