BMW-M4-GTS-inline-1

The BMW M4 GTS has been revealed as a 700-unit limited edition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3, which has been with us since 1986.

Described as the M division’s tech showpiece that elevates the M4’s potential to another level, this production car was accurately previewed by the Concept M4 GTS that made recent appearances at Pebble Beach in August and Sepang the following month.

“Special-edition models like the BMW M3 GT, BMW M3 CSL, BMW M3 GTS and BMW M3 CRT have a decades-long tradition in our mid-size line-up – and that continues with the BMW M4. They sharpen the character of the BMW M brand and embody an emotionally rich and exclusive driving experience,” says Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH.

BMW-M4-GTS-inline-2

“We’ve created a sports machine for the race track that delivers top-end dynamics and inspirational performance. It allows us to demonstrate what is possible today with a road-legal car. Owners can drive their 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,” he added. The M4 GTS laps the Nürburgring in 7.28 minutes.

The M3/M4’s 3.0 litre turbo inline six has been given water injection technology (tested by the 2015 MotoGP Safety Car, more details here) that raises output to 500 hp and 600 Nm from 431 hp and 550 Nm. Despite this, fuel economy and CO2 emissions of the standard car have been maintained at 8.3 litres per 100 km and 194 g/km. 0 to 100 km/h is completed in a mere 3.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 305 km/h.

The seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch gearbox’s Drivelogic shift programs and Launch Control have been retuned to match the engine’s bigger output.

bmw-m4-gts-0033

It’s not just more power but less mass as well, at just 1,510 kg. Rigorous weight-saving measures include carbon-fibre bucket seats; lightweight centre console, rear seat panelling and boot area partition (glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) shelf and rear panel in CF sandwich construction, saves around 40%); lightweight door and side panel trim, including door pull loops in place of solid handles. Out of view things too, like the CF instrument panel bracing tube.

Outside, the newly designed bonnet, roof and adjustable front splitter are shaped from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The adjustable rear wing, too, is cut from this light but durable material. It rests on CNC-machined aluminium mounts fixed to a CFRP boot lid. Teaming up with the CF diffuser, the wing reduces lift at the rear axle. The titanium muffler is 20% lighter and has an “emotionally rich soundtrack”.

The three-way M coilover suspension can be adjusted to individual tastes and demands of different race circuits. Track work will also benefit from M carbon ceramic brakes. Those striking rims are forged star-spoke 666 M Styling items in Acid Orange. They are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres – front 265/35 R19, rear 285/30 R20.

The CF bucket seats are around 50% lighter than regular M4 chairs, but North American market units are fitted with different bucket-style M sports seats (including lightweight backrests with cut-outs) in line with local registration requirements. An optional Clubsport Package includes a roll bar in Acid Orange behind the front seats, a race-spec six-point harness and a fire extinguisher.

Lastly, the headlights are LED adaptive and dazzle-free BMW Selective Beam units, but the L-shaped rear lights are OLED (organic light-emitting diodes, previewed by the M4 Concept Iconic Lights from CES 2015) units making their series-production debut.

OLEDs, which are just 1.4 mm in height are a new kind of light source that light up over their full surface with a very homogeneous effect – unlike LED units, which emit their light in the form of points. This opens up fresh possibilities for lighting concepts, as exhibited by the rather elaborate design of the M4 GTS’ rear lights.