The BMW M4 GTS is considered to be the pinnacle of performance for the current F80/F82 BMW M3/M4. It’s the car that BMW seemingly threw all of its technological and motorsport prowess at, the hardcore, stripped-out track-day special variant of the M3/M4. However, many fans and enthusiasts have been a bit underwhelmed at its performance, handling and dynamics, leaving some enthusiasts to say that they’d rather have the standard BMW M3 or M4. So Top Gear recently did a drag race between the M4 GTS and the BMW M3 Competition Package, the latter being a far more normal M3.
Both cars are built on the same chassis, both use essentially the same engine and both are very fast. Though, there are some big differences between the two. While both cars have what is effectively the same 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 engine, the M4 GTS uses water-injection to make 493 hp, which the M3 Comp Pack makes do with just 444 hp. Despite the M3 Comp Pack having better suspension than the standard car, the M4 GTS sits on manually-adjustable coilovers that are far superior. The GTS also weighs quite a bit less and sits on Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, which are incredibly grippy. So it seems that the M4 GTS should smoke the M3 Comp Pack in a drag race.
At the start, that’s not the case. In fact, the M3 Comp Pack gets a pretty big lead on the M4 GTS off the line. Though, that’s mostly due to the M4 GTS turning its rear tires into smoke, rather than speed. The GTS struggles to find traction, no matter the setting, and suffers because of it. By the time the GTS’ wheels find grip, it starts to fly, though.
While the M3 Comp Pack made a valiant effort, it simply doesn’t have enough power to outlast the more powerful, and lighter, M4 GTS. In the quarter-mile, the BMW M4 GTS just takes the win, by the tip of its nose. However, if it had gotten a better start, it would have won by a large margin.