The new BMW M4 GTS is being billed as the pinnacle of the 4 Series range. It’s a stripped-back model optimised for use on the race track while still remaining road legal.
Now the M3 Coupé has been replaced by the M4, it's down to the latter to take up the track-focused baton, and the result is the BMW M4 GTS.
As you'd expect, there's been an improvement in performance. The 0-62mph sprint is over in just 3.8 seconds, making it the fastest production BMW to date. That's half a second faster than the standard M4, and also marginally faster than the BMW M6 Competition pack, which manages 3.9sec. The GTS's top speed is derestricted, and stands at 190mph.
One reason for the increased acceleration is the introduction of a new water injection system for the GTS's twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine. A five-litre tank with compressor in the floor of the boot is filled with distilled water, and at high revs this is injected as a fine, cooling mist. This is a first for any production BMW.
Remapping and redevelopment of the engine has also helped BMW to achieve the power figure. Despite the power boost, combined fuel economy remains at 34mpg.
Even amateur drivers will be able to appreciate the changes, according to M4 GTS product manager Christoph Smieskol. “You feel the additional torque,” he said. “It is something you really sense in the car, especially in the higher revs, above 5500rpm. You can really feel the additional punch in the car.”
The power output is slightly less than the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupé’s 503bhp. However, BMW says the power-to-weight ratio was one of its main focuses and the car is lighter in several key areas.
The most notable weight loss comes from the cabin because the rear seats have been removed. Up front there are two fixed carbonfibre bucket seats, stripping out around 20kg. The Clubsport package, a no-cost extra, adds a roll-cage, fire extinguisher and racing harnesses in place of the M-striped three-point seatbelts fitted to the ‘standard’ GTS. Weight has also been saved by cutting back on noise cancelling materials and the car's door-cards.
The car features a large amount of carbonfibre, including the front bonnet and splitter, rear diffuser, roof and large, three-way-adjustable rear spoiler.
The carbonfibre-reinforced plastic bonnet saves around 3kg and the standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes around 8kg. All the weight-saving measures enable the M4 to shed 80kg, taking the total weight to 1510kg.
The M4 GTS also comes with plenty of other upgrades, including a completely new chassis set-up and three-way manually adjustable racing coilover suspension. The car also has a sports exhaust system made of lightweight titanium.
The previous car’s ‘polarising’ orange paintwork has been eschewed, in favour of the ‘Frozen Grey’ colour, with orange highlights on the dash, wheels, front splitter and roll-cage harking back to the M3 GTS. It is also available in black or white.
The rear lights are bespoke to the M4 GTS, employing a 3D OLED system, while the headlights are adaptive LED units. Adding to the unique sporting appeal of the M4 GTS are the black-gloss grille and side grilles.
Despite the exclusive nature of the car, little in the way of personalisation is available, aside from protection glass, a £890 head-up display and internet connectivity with online entertainment.
The wheels of the GTS are unique, being forged lightweight wheels measuring 20in at the rear and 19in at the front. They are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, developed specifically for the GTS range and first used on the M3 GTS. Carbon ceramic brakes are also factory fit on the M4 GTS – a £6200 option on the standard M4.