Specification for the BMW M4 GTS reads like a run-sheet for how to beat the competition at the sports coupe game that has put the M Division under increasing pressure.
Designed to celebrate 30 years since the birth of the M3 (yes, we know, it is called M4) the GTS follows the badging of the previous, E92 iteration as track-focused limited edition, this time of 700 units worldwide.
It may be all party poppers and licks of orange paint, but when Mercedes-AMG announced a 3.9sec 0-100km/h for its new C63 coupe, things became serious. The M4 GTS now claims 3.8sec 0-100km/h.
When Alfa Romeo came out and said its Giulia lapped the Nurburgring in 7min 39sec, M Division eyebrows crinkled. The M4 GTS now laps the famous German track in 7min 28sec.
The M Division has used ‘water injection’ technology to raise the boost pressure of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder without affecting cooling. A five-litre water tank sits in the boot of the M4 GTS sprays tiny amounts of vapour into the intake manifold chamber to cool temperatures by up to 25 degrees. The tank needs to be refilled at every racetrack fuel tank refill, or every fifth fuel tank refill during harder driving.
Outputs shift from 317kW to 368kW (at 6250rpm) and 550Nm to 600Nm (between 4000rpm and 5500rpm). A seven-speed dual-clutch is the only transmission option.
Carbonfibre reinforced plastic is used to saturation point, with the bonnet saving 25 per cent mass, and front splitter, adjustable rear spoiler, instrument panel bracing tube, rear diffuser and propeller shaft all made of the strong, lightweight material.
M bucket seats with three-point harness and door trims with pull straps each weigh half their respective units in the regular M4 coupe, while an Alcantara-clad centre console sheds 30 per cent weight.
Gone are the rear seats, replaced by glass-fibre-reinforced plastic rear shelf and bracing panel down 40 per cent in weight. A no-cost Clubsport package adds a roll cage painted in Acid Orange for a particularly cool touch.
Finishing off the weight saving is a 20-per cent-lighter titanium sports exhaust that meets with three-way adjustable coilover suspension and carbon ceramic disc brakes to round out the major chassis changes. Tweaks to the electro-mechanical steering are said to deliver “no elastic section” in the column.
Multi-spoke alloy wheels are slightly larger at the rear (20-inch with 285mm Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 rubber) than the front (19-inch with 265mm tyres of the same variety).
Particularly in matte grey with that big wing, subtle splitters and vaguely retro multi-spoke wheels in orange, the M4 GTS looks like a fitting continuation of some of the great limited edition models such as the M3 CSL.
That E46-gen edition came to Australia, but the more recent M3 GTS didn’t – BMW Australia is awaiting local confirmation, but we of course hope the answer is a yes, even considering the price. Price? In the UK the M4 GTS will cost £122,000 and that’s double the price of a regular M4, meaning around $300K here – or Porsche 911 GT3 money.
Sometimes birthday candles can sting you…