If there was any Bavarian car that could possibly outshine the popularity of the BMW M2, it’s the BMW M4 GTS. The latest track-oriented sports car from the Bavarians, the M4 GTS, is the fastest and most hardcore car BMW has ever made. Its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 is still the same S55 unit from the standard BMW M4, however it’s been given a new water-injection system, which sprays an ultra-fine mist of water into the intake plenum. That drops the temperature of the combustion chamber, allowing BMW to increase boost pressure without risking engine knock.
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But that added power isn’t the only change for GTS-guise. It gains manually-adjustable suspension and aerodynamics, a titanium exhaust system, a stripped out lightweight interior, carbon fiber hood and lightweight 20″ wheels. All of that combines to make the M4 GTS a much more impressive driver’s car than the standard BMW M4. And it’s going to need to be if it wants to compete in Motor Trend’s 2016 Best Driver’s Car.
The last time the M4 competed in Best Driver’s Car, it didn’t fare so well. That’s because it’s far more of a road car than a track car and it can be a bit hard to handle. It also lacks the sort of feel and feedback that M cars have always been known for. But now the M4 GTS has a chance to redeem the M4 model line.
According to MT’s go-to racing driver, Randy Pobst, the BMW M4 GTS is far better of a track car than the standard car upon which it’s based. “I found the M4 to be a really enjoyable car on the track. Handles way more, handles way better than in the street car form. So it’s a real genuine step forward for the car.” said Pobst.
It’s still an M4, however, and needs to be driven with car and precision, or it can bite you. “And it has good power, and I found that I had to be a little careful in second gear because it had enough power to easily spin the tires, which I did on my first lap. Came out of Turn 11 sideways, but after that, by just being gentle and kind of smart with the throttle, the BMW put power down well.”
Overall, though, Pobst seems to like the M4 GTS. “Really enjoyable driving experience. The car is tight. There’s no sense of body roll or, you know, flopping or any of those kind of street car feelings you get on a track. Not here in the M4 GTS.”
The BMW M4 GTS is a great driver’s car, so it has a chance of winning, but I don’t know how big of a chance. It’s going up against some really great driver’s cars, such as the Mercedes-AMG GT S, Shelby GT350R and McLaren 570S. All of those cars are also more civilized than the M4 GTS on the street, which is a large part of how MT judges this competition. So it isn’t likely that the M4 GTS wins this competition, but it getting recognition form a proper racing driver is impressive.