BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition: BMW takes a victory lap with a special edition car

BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition front three quarterThere’s nothing like giving yourself a pat on the back, and that’s exactly what BMW is doing with its latest special edition. The M3 DTM Champion Edition celebrates, of course, BMW’s domination of the popular DTM race series.

DTM stands for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or German Touring Car Masters. It’s Germany’s equivalent of NASCAR, with cars that look vaguely like production sedans and coupes going wheel-to-wheel on the track. Like NASCAR, the series attracts Formula 1 alums (including Mikka Hakkinen and David Coulthard), but the tracks do have both left and right turns.

The 2012 season was BMW’s first official year of DTM competition since 1994, but the Bavarians were able to get back in the groove fairly quickly. BMW won the manufacturer’s championship and the factory-sponsored BMW Team Schnizter was the top team, with driver Bruno Spengler taking the driver’s championship.

To celebrate, BMW is giving customers a chance to own Spengler’s car, sort of. The M3 DTM Champion Edition is a regular M3 dressed up to look like that championship-winning racecar.

It comes coated in Frozen Black matte paint, the latest in BMW’s “Frozen” line of matte finishes, with an M tricolor racing stripe running over the carbon fiber roof and onto the decklid. A few extra decals, matte black wheels, and a body kit round out the exterior changes.

On the inside is a carbon fiber trim piece signed by Spengler and bearing the car’s serial number, along with door sill plates modeled after the driver’s helmet. The steering wheel is covered in Alcantara, while the rest of the interior gets black Novillo leather and Palladium Silver trim.

BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition rear three quarterSpengler’s DTM car has a 4.0-liter V8, which produces 480 horsepower. However, M3 DTM Champion Edition Buyers will have to make due with the stock M3’s 414 hp.

The DTM Champion Edition comes with plenty of other options, though, including the M DCT dual-clutch automated manual transmission, M driver’s package, navigation, heated seats, and parking sensors.

One unique feature is the BMW M Fascination Nordschliefe program, a two-day training course at Germany’s infamous Nürburgring Nordschliefe track that includes some lessons from Spengler himself.

That might be the best part of the deal because, like most special editions, the M3 DTM Champion Edition is more about exclusivity than true specialness.

And it will be exclusive: BMW is only making 54 copies, none of which will come to the U.S. The car will go on sale in Germany and other markets soon for around $130,000. It will also be one of the last versions of the current M3; a new version based on the F30 3 Series/4 Series is coming soon.