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Track-honed BMW M4 GTS is go

Light fantastic: BMW has used advanced lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre to trim the fat from its M4 GTS.

BMW green-lights lightweight M4 GTS for limited production run


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7 Oct 2015

BMW'S brutal M4 GTS concept is now a production reality, with the company announcing a limited global run of 700 units to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic M3.

The stripped-out version of the M4 was revealed as a concept at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance in California in August, but little has changed for the limited-edition production version.

BMW Group Australia general manager corporate communications Lenore Fletcher said that while the hard-core racer was yet to be locked in, the company was “very keen” to offer it as part of its Australian line-up.

“Given Australia's proclivity for performance vehicles, we are fighting hard to bring that vehicle here,” she said.

The expected numbers for a possible local allocation are not known, but given its limited edition status, it is set to become a collector's item.

BMW has developed the M4 GTS to be a track-focussed performance hero, using advanced lightweight materials and even removing the rear bench seat to keep the kerb weight at 1510kg, down from the 1537kg of the standard M4.

Under the sculpted bonnet is a tweaked version of BMW's inline six-cylinder 3.0-litre TwinPower turbo-petrol engine delivering 368kW at 6250rpm and 600Nm between 4000 and 5500rpm, which represents a 51kW/50Nm boost over the regular M4 Coupe.

BMW says the M4 GTS is the first production car to use water injection technology that was previewed by its M4 MotoGP Safety Car in March, and this system is responsible for the power and torque increase.

The system works by spraying water into the combustion chamber to lower the temperature of the incoming air, making it denser and producing a more powerful and efficient burn. By reducing the air temperature it acts like an intercooler.

The cooler combustion air reduces the chances of the engine overheating and overcomes denotation, as well as maximising engine performance.

Zero to 100km/h is taken care of in 3.8 seconds before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 305km/h. This is 0.3s quicker to 100km/h than the M4 that is already on sale in Australia, when matched with the same seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission.

The German car-maker says the GTS lapped the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7:28.00.

Fuel economy is 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres, the same figure as the regular M4.

Carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been used for the bonnet, front splitter, roof, rear spoiler and rear diffuser to keep weight down.

Further weight-saving measures include the use of aluminium buttress-style struts for the CFRP rear wing, ultra-lightweight titanium muffler for the sports exhaust system, and lightweight M forged and polished light-alloy wheels (19-inch up front and 20-inches at the rear).

Aggressive exterior touches include exclusive mixed-size Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, a unique front grille, 80mm tailpipes with laser-engraved M logo, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) tail-lights – a world premiere, according to BMW – and M carbon ceramic brakes with six pistons up front and four at the back.

Under the skin it gains three-way M coil-over suspension designed specifically for the GTS, featuring adjustable compression and rebound characteristics and tweaked anti-roll bars and support mounts.

Inside, the weight-saving continues, with M carbon-fibre bucket seats with unique Alcantara/Merino leather covers and coloured stripes, a lightweight centre console covered in Alcantara with contrasting dark grey stitching, and an exclusive M sports steering wheel, again covered in Alcantara with a perforated ‘12 o'clock marker’ in 'acid orange'. The same hue is found on the instrument panel, while the GTS also gains lightweight door panels, door pull loops with M stripes and glass-fibre reinforced plastic rear panelling with Alcantara where the rear bench usually goes. Equipment includes Navigation Professional, air-conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors, LED headlights with a dazzle-free high-beam assist and launch control.

If the GTS gets the green light for Australia, expect pricing to be a fair bit higher than the $149,900 plus on-road costs price tag of the M4 auto.

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