The BMW M4 is a superb driving machine. It’s one of the best sports cars currently on the market and one of the most fun. But can it improve, can BMW make it even better and more fun to drive? The answer is yes and BMW has already gone and done it in the form of the BMW M4 GTS.
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To make the BMW M4 GTS, the folks in Munich decided to take the standard M4 and crank it up to eleven. But it’s far more sophisticated than it sounds. BMW went through great lengths to make sure that the M4 GTS is faster and handles better than the standard car. Which is an incredible accomplishment, considering how good the standard M4 is.
First, BMW started with the engine.
The 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged engine in the standard M4 makes 425 hp. For GTS duty, BMW took that engine and added water injection and some forged internals, like the crankshaft. While that doesn’t sound all that significant, it makes a world of a difference. Water Injection, a world first on the GTS, significantly lowers combustion chamber temperature by spraying an extremely fine mist into it during combustion. This decrease in temperature, by up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, increases both power and efficiency while also reducing engine knock. With this system, power bumps up from 425 to 493 for GTS duty. That added power helps the GTS get from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, down two tenths from the standard M4.
But BMW wouldn’t just bump up the horsepower and call it a day. Oh no, the M4 GTS has a few more tricks up its sleeve. New, revised steering components and geometry give it sharper turn in and better feel. Forged aluminum control arms, mounted directly to the subframe without rubber bushings, help sharpen the handling even further. The aerodynamics have also, and obviously, been changed to give the M4 GTS much increased downforce as well as better looks. A racing spoiler is attached to the trunk lid by two CNC-milled aluminum supports, each consisting of an intricate strut arrangement that optimally combines high stiffness with very low weight. The rear wing can be adjusted through three positions – one for road driving and two others that can be selected according to individual preference on the track.
But don’t think that the new M4 GTS is just a track monster, as it’s designed to also be an excellent road car, as well.”Owners can drive their BMW M4 GTS to circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps, the Nürburgring or Laguna Seca – for clubsport events, for example – and then set lap times there that raise the bar to extremely high levels for road-legal cars,” says Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M.
The BMW M4 GTS features a three-way adjustable coilover suspension with mechanically adjustable compression and rebound settings, with precise independent adjustment of low- speed and high-speed compression. This allows the suspension to be customized to the characteristics of different tracks.
The GTS needs a proper steering system, so BMW has worked their magic to provide the best possible steering feel on the track. The steering torque curve has been further optimized by modifications to the front suspension kinematics and the incorporation of features such as asymmetric steering support mounts and a motorsport-derived, custom-designed, milled swivel bearing. This design allows optimized axle geometry for lateral dynamics and steering torque.
BMW M4 GTS is equipped with lightweight, optimized, ultra-high-performance M carbon ceramic brakes, which are designed for a further enhanced track capability and longer life. The brakes are made of carbon-fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC).
The swivel bearing also allows the use of 9.5 inch wide front wheels. BMW M engineers have retained the 19-inch front tires, while the rear axle makes use of 10.5 inch wide wheels running on 20 inch diameter tires. The front camber setting has been adapted to a minus two degree setting for increased cornering lateral forces.
BMW’s Active M Differential gets an upgrade as well. Its control unit is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control(DSC) system and takes into account accelerator pedal position, wheel speeds and vehicle yaw. All driving situations can therefore be precisely analyzed and an imminent loss of traction at one side of the vehicle is identified at a very early stage. When necessary, the system reacts with split-second speed to vary the locking action, which can be anywhere between zero and 100 percent. This prevents wheel spin on low-traction surfaces, on split- traction surfaces with a big difference in friction coefficient between the left and right rear wheels, on tight hairpin bends or during fast steering maneuvers.
Rigorous weight reduction measures include even the smallest details of the BMW M4 GTS, delivering a DIN curb weight of 3,329 pounds (ECE curb weight: 3,494 lbs). We heard that the carbon fiber hood of the M4 GTS weighs only 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lbs).
This Special Edition M4 GTS vehicle is fitted with different bucket-style M sports seats in Alcantara (including lightweight backrests with cut-outs). In between the seats, the BMW M4 GTS boasts a new, asymmetrically styled lightweight center console that shaves around 30 percent off the weight of the corresponding component in the BMW M4 Coupe.
A further weight-saving measure is the deletion of the rear seats. This area is now trimmed in glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP), with a carbon sandwich bulkhead to the rear. Both of these elements are designed for reduced weight, a lower center of gravity and maximum stiffness. The across-the-board lightweight engineering approach also extends to the door panel trim and rear side panel trim with modified design geometry and special lightweight construction based on renewable natural materials. Conventional door handles are replaced by door release pull loops, while Alcantara trim makes an appearance only on the armrests. The weight of the door panel trim has been reduced in half compared with standard components.
A central feature of the interior is the roll bar, which is made from high-strength steels and mounted behind the front seats. The U.S. version of the M4 GTS is likely to arrive without the roll-cage.
The rear lights of the BMW M4 GTS are the first of any series-produced vehicle to feature BMW Organic Light with OLED technology. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) generate their light using wafer-thin layers of semi-conducting organic materials. Unlike LEDs, which emit their light in the form of points, OLEDs light up over their full surface with a homogeneous effect.
Their flat design (they measure just 1.4 millimeters in height) and the ability to trigger individual light modules separately open up fresh possibilities for a characteristic and distinctive BMW lighting design – both at night and daylight.
Four color shades are available for the exterior paintwork. Customers can also choose from Sapphire Black metallic, Mineral Grey metallic, Alpine White and Frozen Dark Grey Metallic paint finish. BMW M4 GTS in a special edition is limited to 700 units worldwide, with 300 units of this high-performance Special Edition M4 available for the first time in the US market.