Driven - October 2015

BMW M4 GTS: All you need to know.

  BMW M4 GTS: BMW’s fastest production car.

A standard BMW which accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds is something unheard of from the stable, until now. The new BMW M4 GTS is breaking new ground; it’s lighter, better and much faster. This special edition M car is not only the fastest BMW ever made, but it is also the most track based production car BMW has made. The brand makes no apologies that this car is strictly for the enthusiast. Let’s break it down to see what makes a BMW M4 GTS tick.

Power:

The car uses the same engine in the M4 coupe and M3 sedan, but this time, boost is increased resulting in an output of 368 kW and 600 Nm, a massive leap from the standard car. For the engine to handle all that power, BMW has not simply turned up the boost and left it at that. The car uses a water based air cooling system which sprays water into the intake manifold plenum chamber (area where air is about to enter the intake), the water then evaporates and significantly cools the air entering into the combustion chamber. In the world of engines, cold air is always better, and in the case of the BMW M4 GTS, this system allows the car to handle more boost from the turbochargers. This exact engine configuration system was first used in the MotoGP BMW M4.

Looking back from the days of the e30 M3 Sport Evolution, to the e36 M3 Lightweight, to the e46 M3 CSL and then the e92 M3 GTS, BMW have stuck to a particular formula when developing such cars. A strict diet and some force feeding is what is takes to create special edition M car; nothing has changed for the M4 GTS. The only difference being that now there are better technologies available to extract more power and save more weight.

The Diet:

The interior of the BMW M4 GTS has been stripped out, not in a bad way, though. The front seats are made from Carbon Fibre and weigh 50% less than the standard seats. The door handles on the inside have been replaced by pull-loops too. Orange striping, anthracite bits and Alcantara play a significant role in the design element of the cabin, which creates a race ready look inside the car.

The exterior changes add to the weight saving as well, with the bonnet, roof and front splitter being made out of Carbon Fibre reinforced plastic. The result is a car with a kerb weight of just over 1500 kg, which is very light considering all that goes into a car like this. The car still features creature comforts such as air conditioning, navigation and of course a radio. These things were usually removed or limited in previous versions of serious M cars such as these, but this time an M4 GTS client does not have to get heat stroke after many laps on the track.

The track:

Speaking of laps, the M4 GTS has been wonderfully designed for that purpose. A lap timer that records data and helps the driver see vital elements of his/her lap around the track is fitted. This can be shared via social media too. Besides software geared for track driving, the M4 GTS’ rear wing and Coilover suspension are adjustable to suit the driver’s preferences on the track. The M Drive menu is a beefed up version of the system you get in all new BMW’s that allows you to set the car up for Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. This M Drive menu is way more specialised, though, allowing the driving to change and set various details on the M1 or M2 button on the steering wheel. Some of these changes include, the steering (via the Servotronic System button), accelerator characteristics (via the M Motor dynamic Control system) and the damping of the car. All settings can be optimised for track and road use.

The looks:

The BMW M4 GTS is a distinct M car regarding aesthetic appeal. The cars’ front splitter, rear wing, orange rims and special paintwork make you look and look again. Frozen Dark Grey, Sapphire Black and of course Alpine White are three of the colours you can choose from. The M4 GTS’ head lights are also one of a kind, using Organic LED technology that is also a first from BMW. A Clubsport Package adds a role cage to the car and six point harnesses on the seats. The car rides on 19-inch wheels in the front and 20-inch wheels in the rear, which are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres.

Verdict:

The BMW M4 GTS is an incredible feat from BMW, once again they have produced a car that makes people who can’t afford it, hate those who can. The numbers are limited to 700 units, and the majority of those are going to the USA. Hopefully, we will see a few of the M4 GTS’ seeing their way to South Africa. If not, YouTube and overseas car shows will have to do. (shedding tears)