Tag: GTS

We Drive the BMW M4 GTS

We all have moments in life when we have a  “pinch me” experience. For car lovers, it may be driving a specific car. This was the case for me recently when I was invited to the unveiling of the new BMW M4 GTS, which happened at the inaugural SA Festival of Motoring hosted by the Kyalami Racetrack. Seeing this jacked up M4 in the flesh was one thing, with its large front splitter, orange and silver wheels and large rear wing. The matte finish and gold trimming on it clearly differentiate this car between its “lesser” siblings. The aggressive styling and rear LED taillights are a real sight to behold. Although much more outlandish in design than other previous special M cars, the GTS is really something to look at. Getting the opportunity to drive it was another thing, though, something the “big people” at BMW confirmed we were going to do. Knowing you’ll have the opportunity to sample 1 of 23 cars coming to South Africa is a special yet daunting feeling. Even the car that was made available for us was already spoken for by a potential buyer.

What makes it a GTS

If you’re not a BMW fan boy like most car lovers, you may be interested in what separates an M4 GTS from a standard M4. First and foremost, there have been extreme weight saving techniques used to shed mass on the car. The car features carbon fibre seats,  a lightweight centre console and lighter doors with specialised loops instead of conventional door handles. The bonnet of the GTS has also been redesigned in carbon fibre as well as the front splitter. The result is a car track ready car that weighs 1510kg’s.

The M4 is also a two seater only as the rear seats have been removed and replaced by a role cage. Powering the GTS is a beefed up version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine found in the standard M4. A figure of368kW and 600Nm is what the car produces through the standard M DCT gearbox. This power boost is mainly thanks to the water injection system which allows for cooler air combustion in the intake. Heat is a big factor for high-performance engines such as these, so a cooler air coming in increases performance, something the water injection system allows.

Aerodynamics also play a major role in these vehicles so the large front splitter as well as the “table top” rear wing increase down force and airflow. That means that at high speed, the M4 GTS is now more planted than ever, providing you with a more focused car on the track. Depending on your preferences, the suspension can be adjusted through the three-way M-Coilover system, giving you a customisable setup.

Sitting in this car alone is an experience because you’re in a fixed position. The racing bucket seats only moves backwards and forwards, much like the seats on the iconic M3 CSL which launched over a decade ago. Speaking of the M3 CSL, this was a car many enthusiasts had as wall poster. I’ve always wanted to drive one but haven’t been afforded the opportunity yet. Hopefully, my time spent in the M4 GTS will tide me over until then.

Getting behind the wheel:

Starting up a car you’re potentially only going to drive once in your lifetime is a memorable moment. Placing my hands on the Alcantara steering wheel, hearing the sound of the engine and accelerating for the first time made me immediately draw the conclusion that this was no ordinary M4 with no power. A 0-100 time of 3.8 seconds is what makes you realise that is car is a serious piece of kit. It’s raw, excitable, and slightly intimidating all at the same time. The steering system is direct and very accurate and the breaking system is immensely strong. Because of the weight saving measures, there is less sound deadening, which has created a race car feel to the car. The hisses of turbochargers, squealing of carbon ceramic brakes and pops of the exhaust create an ecstasy behind the wheel. BMW required us to be accompanied by their trusted “stig” who heads up the BMW driving academy, but he was in no way inhibiting during the experience.

After my session in the car, I longed for more time to really exploit its capabilities. It’s the kind of car you would want to build a relationship with. One can only imagine what the possibilities could be once a driver has learned what the limits of the M4 GTS are. That being said, I can confidently say that the time spent developing this car has not gone in vain. From the outside in this version has been redesigned for its purpose to find apex after apex. It’s striking to look at and visceral to drive. It’s the ultimate BMW M4. A price tag of R2.2 million is hefty but so is the privilege of owning a future classic. This will be the M3 CSL of the next generation. Only this time I can say I’ve driven it.

The Latest Porsche 911’S receive the GTS touch.

The first ever Porsche Carrera GTS  was born in 1964, when Baron Antonio Pucci and Colin Davis won the famous Targa Florio race, spending over seven hours driving at the absolute limit. To win a race like this, a car needed to have the performance characteristics to succeed, but also the safety and comfort features for a driver to concentrate under such an environment.

Today, the GTS or Grand Turismo Sport Porsche, now represents a sportier driving experience. The GTS variant provides a more aggressive look and racier trimmings with an increase in power.

A few days ago, Porsche announced the latest GTS models to the 911 range. The Carrera, Carrera 4 Coupe and Cabriolet variants as well as the Targa 4, all have the privilege of the donning GTS badge.

What is the Difference?

All GTS models will feature more power, 355 kW or 450 BHP to be precise. This is 22kW/30BHP more than the 911 Carrera S. Along with the increase in horsepower, the car also has an increase in torque, with the GTS providing an extra 48Nm, bringing the total to 526Nm. This extra power enables GTS models to hit 100kph in under 3.5 seconds with PDK.

Further to this, PASM – Porsche Active Suspension System in standard on all GTS models. Apart from the performance benefits, PASM also lowers the ride height by 10mm to add to the GTS’ extra sportiness.

Exterior

A GTS model would not be complete without the exterior elements. A black front-end spoiler lip, tinted rear taillights, rear grille strips in Satin Black and Gloss Black and different rear exhaust tips, separate a GTS model from the other 911 variants in the range. That’s not all; a GTS model also features 20 inch Black Satin Wheels, Sport Design mirrors and black GTS badges to complete the aesthetic appearance. On Targa models, the Targa bar is also finished Black Satin for the first time. It is also worth noting that the rear spoiler on GTS models now extends further, to provide aerodynamic benefits.

The attention to detail on the new GTS models go way beyond than before. A light or dark trim strip is present between the taillights to differentiate between rear wheel drive or all wheel drive models.  Rear wheel drive variants feature the dark strip and all wheel drive has the light strip.

Interior

On the GTS, sports seats are standard with a combination of Alcantara and leather. This follows through with the rest of the interior, as the steering wheel is also finished in Alcantara, along with the gear lever and armrest. Anodised black brushed aluminium also plays a role in the interior design. Standard on the GTS is the Sport Chrono Package, with the stopwatch present on the middle of dashboard of the GTS’ interior.

Overall

In our opinion, the new 911 GTS variants look fantastic. The additional black elements are subtle, and the vehicle looks very sleek and clean in its appearance. As subtle as these changes may be, they give the model an extra edge over the other 911 models. The same follows through with the changes on the interior, it’s subtle, classy and beautifully finished off with a deep red tachometer. The “average joe” may look at this car and not realise what variant of 911 this is, but this car is not for the “average joe”. It’s understated as most Porche’s are, but for those aficionados who know what this model is about, they will understand what the GTS represents and will be able to pick it out from the rest of the range. Those who own the standard 911 may consider contacting their dealers soon before many models hit the streets, because as the old adage goes “jealousy makes you nasty”.

Pricing on a 911 GTS is as follows:

911 CARRERA GTS: R1.695.000

911CARRERA GTS CABRIOLET: R1.842.000

911 CARRERA 4 GTS: R1.820.000

911 CARRERA 4 GTS CABRIOLET: R1.966.000

911 TARGA 4 GTS: R1.966.000