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The BMW M4 GTS gives BMW M GmbH a new and exclusive technological showpiece which elevates the potential of the BMW M4 Coupe to another impressive new level. With its powerful, motor sport-inspired looks and highperformance technology, the BMW M4 GTS has its sights set squarely on the race track. A lap time of 7.28 minutes around the legendary Nürburgring- Nordschleife, the world’s most exacting race circuit, is a clear statement of this special-edition model’s exceptional abilities. At the same time, the sharpest BMW M4 of all – like its BMW M stablemates – can also hold its own on public roads. BMW M GmbH is launching the BMW M4 GTS in a special edition limited to 700 units to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3, which has been in production since 1986. In so doing, it is highlighting the innovative flair of the BMW M engineers in developing trailblazing M technologies on the powertrain, chassis and lightweight construction front. The first highperformance special edition in the M3/M4 model range will also be available for the first time in the important North American market.
“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,” says Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “They sharpen the character of the BMW M brand and embody an emotionally rich and exclusive driving experience. We’ve taken a radical route with the set-up of the BMW M4 GTS to create 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 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.”
At the heart of each and every BMW M model is its engine. The BMW M4 GTS uses the multi-award-winning six-cylinder in-line turbo engine from the BMW M3/M4, but adds innovative water injection technology to give the 3.0-litre unit a substantial power boost. The water injection system raises the engine’s output significantly – to 368 kW/500 hp – and increases torque to 600 Nm (442 lb-ft), yet still keeps fuel economy and CO2 emissions at the level of the BMW M4 Coupe (8.3 litres per 100 km [34 mpg imp], 194 g/km). This makes the BMW M4 GTS the most agile, radical and dynamically potent model in the range. It races from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a mere 3.8 seconds and hits a limited top speed of 305 km/h (189.5 mph).
Intelligent lightweight construction allows the BMW M engineers to limit the car’s DIN kerb weight to 1,510 kilograms (ECE kerb weight: 1,585 kg). Its outstanding weight-to-power ratio of 3.0 kg/hp provides the perfect platform for a highly dynamic driving experience. The rigorous weight-saving measures extend through both the interior and exterior of the car. Inside, carbon-fibre bucket seats, a lightweight centre console, the lightweight construction of the rear seat panelling and boot area partition, and special lightweight door and side panel trim, including door pull loops in place of solid door handles, are clearly visible indications of the designers’ commitment to weight-saving. The rigorous application of lightweight design can also be seen in details that are out of view. The instrument panel bracing tube is made from lightweight carbon fibre. And on the outside of the car, the newly designed bonnet, roof and adjustable front splitter are also constructed from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The adjustable rear wing, too, is cut from this light but extremely durable high-tech material. It rests on intricate, CNC-machined aluminium mounts fixed to the CFRP boot lid which likewise demonstrate how every detail, no matter how small, has been honed to minimise weight. Teaming up with the diffuser – again, made from carbon fibre – below the rear bumper, the rear wing optimises the flow of air and reduces lift at the rear axle. The exhaust system has a titanium muffler, which allows a weight saving of 20 per cent. Its emotionally rich soundtrack fits the M profile perfectly and envelops the inside and outside of the car in the ambience of the race track.
The standard-fitted seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) selects the optimum ratio for every driving situation with no interruption in the flow of power as it makes its way to the rear wheels. The driver can also select gears manually using either shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever. The Drivelogic shift programs and Launch Control have been retuned to the engine’s increased output. The weight-minimised, exclusive M light-alloy wheels in star-spoke 666 M Styling are forged and polished, and come in Acid Orange. They are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (front: 265/35 R19, rear: 285/30 R20) which are adapted specifically to the BMW M4 GTS and therefore play a role in the car’s outstanding mechanical traction and feedback through corners.
The three-way M coilover suspension specially tuned for the BMW M4 GTS can be adjusted to individual tastes and therefore also to the demands of different race circuits. The lightweight M carbon ceramic brakes offer a welldefined pressure point and ensure outstanding deceleration even under sustained heavy loads, such as at the limit on the race track. The familiar two sets of twin circular headlights with four corona rings ensure the best possible illumination of the road surface. They combine cutting-edge LED (light-emitting diode) technology with BMW Selective Beam (dazzle-free high beam assistant) and Adaptive Headlights.
The L-shaped rear lights are just as distinctive as the design of the headlights. Indeed, innovative OLED rear lights will make their series-production debut in the BMW M4 GTS. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) 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. The flat design of OLEDs (they measure just 1.4 millimetres in height) and the ability to trigger individual light modules separately open up fresh possibilities for lighting concepts and exudes the presence of exceptional precision. As such, the tail lights underline the width of the rear end, lend the car an even more eye-catching and powerful appearance and ensure it cuts a stand-out figure in both the light and dark.
The carbon-fibre M bucket seats for the driver and passenger stick firmly with the lightweight construction theme inside the pure-bred, exclusive interior. They weigh around 50 per cent less than the sports seats in the BMW M4 Coupe, enable an ideal seating position and offer compelling longdistance comfort to go with their unbeatable levels of support. The exclusive Alcantara/Merino leather seat covering along with M stripes in the backrests, three-point seat belts and door pull loops highlight the profile of the BMW M4 GTS as a high-performance sports machine as well as the car’s standalone character. The M4 GTS is fitted with different bucket-style M sports seats (including lightweight backrests with cut-outs) for the North American market, in line with local registration requirements.
The exclusive material Alcantara is also used for the M sports steering wheel, whose “12 o’clock” marker underlines the racing character of the BMW M4 GTS. In place of a rear seat bench, the BMW M4 GTS features a glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) shelf and a rear panel in carbon-fibre sandwich construction. Both are covered in Alcantara, and together they enable a weight saving of around 40 per cent. The optional Clubsport Package can further enhance the affinity of the BMW M4 GTS with the race track. It includes a roll bar in Acid Orange behind the front seats, a race-specification six-point harness and a fire extinguisher.
Intelligent lightweight engineering, already a vital consideration for the BMW M4, has been taken to new and even more uncompromising levels on the BMW M4 GTS. The goal was to minimise kerb weight in order to give the new model outstanding driving dynamics, top-class agility and highest efficiency. Rigorous lightweighting extends to even the smallest details of the BMW M4 GTS, delivering a DIN kerb weight of 1,510 kilograms (ECE kerb weight: 1,585 kg). The low weight of the BMW M4 GTS improves not only performance but also dynamics and handling. Drivers perceive the benefits in the form of even more responsive steering, more precise cornering, shorter stopping distances and new levels of control when pushing the vehicle to its limits.
Like the BMW M4 Coupe, the BMW M4 GTS has a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof that is more than six kilograms lighter than a corresponding metal roof. Lightweight, robust CFRP is also used for the bonnet, which is approximately 25 per cent lighter than the aluminium bonnet of the BMW M4. Both these lightweight components play an important role in lowering the centre of gravity and further improving axle load distribution. In the BMW M4 GTS, BMW reaps the benefits of its many years’ experience in high-tech carbon construction. The use of CFRP continues under the skin as well, for example in components such as the instrument panel support.
The contoured roof line with the typical centre channel carries over into the boot lid, emphasising the very sporty personality of the BMW M4 GTS. The geometry of the boot lid, which is made of CFRP and plastic, is precisely designed to optimise the rear aerodynamics and to help direct air to the lightweight CFRP rear spoiler. The spoiler is attached to the boot lid by two CNC-milled aluminium supports, each consisting of an intricate strut arrangement that optimally combines high stiffness with very low weight.
Lightweight exposed carbon fibre is also on display in the adjustable splitter underneath the BMW M4 GTS’s front apron and in the rear apron diffuser. Exterior lightweight design measures continue with the exclusive forged, machine-polished, low-weight 666 M star-spoke wheels in Acid Orange and the M carbon ceramic brakes, both of which not only cut down on overall weight but also significantly reduce unsprung masses. The M engineers have also extended their uncompromising focus on lightweight engineering to the sports exhaust system, which features a titanium rear silencer. This high-end material combines light weight with robustness. The BMW M4 GTS’s sports exhaust system produces an authentic racing sound and is 20 per cent lighter than a stainless steel component.
Needless to say, lightweight engineering is not just confined to the visible areas of the body. For example, the BMW M4 GTS’s single-piece propeller shaft is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), which is even lighter than the corresponding component in the BMW M3/M4. The low mass and high stiffness of the CFRP tube means that the propeller shaft can be produced as a single-piece component, without a centre bearing. This achieves weight savings of 40 per cent over a conventional component, with a simultaneous reduction in rotating masses. This in turn results in improved powertrain dynamics and better response.
All weight-saving measures are designed with an eye to improved driving dynamics. A good example is the CFRP strut brace in the engine compartment. Weighing only 1.5 kilograms, it offers superior stiffness to a comparable aluminium component. At the same time it plays a key part in ensuring eager turn-in and excellent steering precision.
The many lightweight features in the interior of the BMW M4 GTS don’t just save weight, they also exude an authentic racing feel. The most conspicuous example are the special M bucket seats. The all-carbon seat bucket is very strong and also approximately 50 per cent lighter than the standard BMW M4 sport seat. In between the seats, the BMW M4 GTS boasts a new, asymmetrically styled lightweight centre console that shaves around 30 per cent 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-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP), with a carbon sandwich bulkhead to the rear. Both these elements are designed for reduced weight, a lower centre 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 pull loops, while Alcantara trim makes an appearance only on the armrests. The weight of the door panel trim has been halved compared with comparable standard components.
The BMW M4 GTS is powered by an M TwinPower Turbo engine capable of 7,600 rpm. Unusually high-revving for a turbocharged engine, it offers linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range. An innovative water injection system takes this six-cylinder in-line turbocharged unit to new performance heights by relaxing the thermal constraints on power and torque. The system has already proved itself on race tracks around the world on board the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car, the 2015’s lead safety car in the world’s top motorcycle racing series.
The engine develops its maximum power of 368 kW (500 hp) – an increase of 16 per cent over the BMW M4 – at 6,250 rpm. Peak torque has been increased by 10 per cent to 600 Newton metres (442 lb-ft), and is maintained over a very wide rev band (4,000 rpm to 5,500 rpm). The standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 3.8 seconds, on the way to a governed top speed of 305 km/h (189.5 mph). Despite the significant extra power, the engine also excels on fuel efficiency, matching the BMW M4 Coupe’s low EU combined fuel consumption of 8.3 litres/100 km (34 mpg imp), which corresponds to combined CO2 emissions of 194 g/km, and complying with the EU6 emissions standard.
The BMW M4 GTS is the first production road car to be fitted with an innovative and trailblazing water injection system. With this system, which further improves the full-throttle power and fuel consumption of the turbocharged straight-six engine, the BMW M engineers have utilised the principle that water absorbs energy from the surrounding air when it evaporates. Water is injected as a fine spray into the intake manifold plenum chamber where it evaporates, significantly lowering the temperature of the intake air. This reduces the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber, which also reduces the risk of knock, allowing the turbocharged engine to operate with higher boost pressure and earlier spark timing. The result is increased power and torque, and a substantial improvement in efficiency. Despite the extra power output, thermal stress on all performancerelated components is reduced. All of these features ultimately help to diminish wear and prolong engine life.
On safety grounds, the BMW M water injection system is equipped with a sophisticated self-diagnosis system. If the water tank runs dry, or in the event of a system malfunction, appropriate measures are taken to protect the engine. Boost pressure is reduced and the spark timing is retarded, allowing the engine to continue to operate safely at reduced power. Even when things are working normally, a variety of precautions are taken to keep the system fully functional. Every time the engine is switched off, all the water in the hose system is drained into the tank to prevent system components from icing up in sub-zero temperatures. The water tank is likewise frost-proof.
The turbocharged engine features a very rigid closed-deck crankcase design that makes it possible to develop higher pressure in the cylinder for improved power output. And instead of liners, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire arcsprayed coating, which results in a significant reduction in engine weight. A further technical highlight is the forged and highly torsionally rigid crankshaft which, as well as providing increased torque-carrying capacity, is also lighter in weight. The substantial reduction in rotating masses results in improved throttle response and acceleration.
On the track, the high performance capability of the BMW M4 GTS places extra demands on the engine oil supply system. In designing this system, the BMW M division has once again taken full advantage of its extensive motor sport experience. The aluminium oil sump is designed to limit the movement of the oil under the influence of strong lateral forces, while an oil suction pump and a sophisticated oil return system in the area of the turbocharger help to maintain stable oil circulation under extreme acceleration and deceleration. Oil is thus supplied continuously to all engine components in all driving situations, whether in everyday motoring or during hard driving on the track.
A typical performance car engine sound is provided by a rear silencer of lightweight, extremely robust titanium. The typical BMW M exhaust system design features four tailpipes, in this case each with an 80-millimetre diameter and laser-engraved M emblem. As well as providing a striking, emotionally charged and unmistakable BMW M sound over the entire engine speed range, the system also minimises exhaust back-pressure and gives precise feedback on engine load. The sound profile can be varied depending on which of the various preconfigured drive modes is selected.
The BMW M Division’s 7-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic (M DCT) sets standards in terms of smooth power delivery and track-ready design. In addition to automatic shifting, this highly advanced transmission also offers very fast manual shifting without torque interruption, using the steering wheel shift paddle. Manual mode also offers a specially configured Launch Control system that provides ultra-fast acceleration off the line, with optimal rev matching for the subsequent upshifts.
The Drivelogic program for the 7-speed M double-clutch transmission offers three selectable shift programs, which can be engaged using the Drivelogic button on the centre console. These programs differ in terms of engagement speed and the rpm points at which the gearshifts take place. The spectrum ranges from extremely sporty to somewhat more relaxed, yet still dynamic shifting. As well as improving acceleration, this also makes for improved efficiency. A further M function, Stability Clutch Control, provides assistance in sporty driving situations. It automatically disengages the clutch when necessary to prevent oversteer and so stabilises the vehicle.
The BMW M division specialises in developing cars that combine very precise steering, excellent controllability even in extreme driving situations and outstanding agility with a refined driving experience and superb traction and stability. All BMW M models – including the new BMW M4 GTS – unite excellent track capability that has been tested on the Nürburgring Nordschleife (North Loop), the most challenging racing circuit in the world, with high standards of everyday driveability. At the same time, the BMW M4 GTS’s enhanced performance and track capabilities are backed up by additional refinements on the chassis front.
First and foremost, an ultra-dynamic driving experience depends on suspension systems that combine low weight with high stiffness. Like the BMW M3/M4, the BMW M4 GTS is equipped with lightweight aluminium control arms, wheel carriers and axle subframes. On the double-joint springstrut front axle alone, this cuts weight by five kilograms compared with using conventional steel components. Play-free ball joints and specially developed elastomer bearings provide optimal, direct transmission of longitudinal and transverse forces. The aluminium stiffening plate, CFRP front strut tower brace and additional bolted connections between the axle subframe and body structure all make for a stiffer front end.
The steering system has also been adapted to the BMW M4 GTS’s trackgoing capabilities. The steering torque curve, always critical for a smooth steering feel, has been further optimised 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 allows the axle geometry to be optimised for lateral dynamics and steering torque, which again translates to enhanced driving dynamics.
The design of the new BMW M4 GTS creates a visual showcase for the impressive performance of the BMW M4 GTS and its special place within the BMW M product family. It paints a picture of uncompromising sports performance and highlights the car’s superior performance with vivid clarity. The exterior appearance of the new BMW M4 GTS thus accentuates the core elements of the BMW M design language and leaves no doubt as to its highperformance intent.
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 millimetres in height) and the ability to trigger individual light modules separately open up fresh possibilities for a characteristic and distinctive BMW lighting design – both in daylight and during the hours of darkness.
The flawless ergonomics and clear driver focus of the BMW M4 GTS interior are evidence of its design brief to deliver top-class functionality. Pure-bred, ergonomically focused but also exclusive, the interior architecture takes its cues from motor sport. Standard-fitted carbon-fibre bucket seats for the driver and passenger are an early indicator of the car’s individual character. And the racing seat configuration underlines the commitment of the BMW M4 GTS to maximising driving dynamics. The specific construction of the seats enables a very low-set seat surface and offers an ideal seating position with excellent lateral support and compelling levels of comfort over long distances. The high-gloss black, openly visible structure of the carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic in the seat backrests plays its part in the pared-down yet high-quality interior ambience – a feeling strengthened still further by the exclusive seat covers in Merino leather with contrast stitching in anthracite-coloured Alcantara and M stripes in the backrests. The M stripes on the standard-fitted three-point seat belts perform a similar function.
The M sports steering wheel, likewise covered in exclusive, anthracitecoloured Alcantara, represents a clear nod to motor racing and is exceptionally grippy. A perforated stripe in contrasting Acid Orange at the “12 o’clock” position on the wheel marks the steering’s central positon, which comes in handy when the driver is pushing hard on the track. The Alcantara-covered interior trim strip has a perforated GTS badge with Acid Orange highlighting. The new centre console of the BMW M4 GTS is asymmetric in design and lightweight in construction. Like the handbrake lever gaiter, it is covered in anthracite-coloured Alcantara with edging adorned with dark grey contrast stitching.
The interior door panels and rear side panels also include lightweight design elements produced specially for the BMW M4 GTS. These display a new, purist geometry and are made from renewable raw materials. For example, the handles normally found on the inside of the doors are replaced here by pull loops which, like the seat belts, also come in black and feature longitudinal stripes in the signature M colours. Together with the Alcantara covering used for the armrests only, the door trim deepens the stripped-back and purposedriven character of the interior. The omission of a rear seat bench takes this approach to another new level. The rear seat surfaces are replaced by an innovative glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) shelf, combined with a rear panel made in a carbon-fibre sandwich construction. Lowering the car’s weight and centre of gravity, while also ensuring unbeatable rigidity, once again took priority here.
BMW offers a Clubsport Package for the limited-run, special-edition BMW M4 GTS at no extra charge, underlining its motor sport ambitions. A central feature of the Clubsport Package is the roll bar, which is made from high-strength steels and mounted behind the front seats. Its Acid Orange paint finish provides another colour accent, and its influence is not confined to the interior; visible from the outside, it also helps shape the overall perception of the BMW M4 GTS and signals the car’s sense of purpose and racing intent. As well as providing additional occupant protection, the roll bar also serves as an anchorage point for the six-point harnesses. Also part of the Clubsport Package, these harnesses hold the driver and passenger securely in their carbon-fibre bucket seats, even in the heat of battle on the track. In this way they not only enhance the safety of the driver and passenger, but integrate them into the car to optimum effect. This, in turn, highlights even more clearly the benefits of the bucket seat shape in supporting the shoulders and pelvis through quickly taken corners. The advantages of these bucket seats are particularly noticeable on the race track, where they defy high levels of lateral acceleration to keep the driver and passenger secure in their seats. And that enables the driver to concentrate fully on utilising the dynamic potential of the BMW M4 GTS.
The BMW M4 GTS underlines its impressive dynamic calibre with a range of specifically selected and exclusive equipment fitted at the factory. As well as the high-quality Alcantara/Merino leather interior trim, this includes the BMW Navigation system Professional, air conditioning, Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Selective Beam (dazzle-free high beam assistant), Park Distance Control (PDC) front and rear, automatically dimming rear-view and exterior mirrors and BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim. A selection of signature BMW M equipment features such as M door sill finishers, an M footrest, an M gearshift lever, M-specific circular instruments with white graphics, an M sports steering wheel with Alcantara covering and a central position marker in Acid Orange, plus electroplated-look gearshift paddles, round off the overall package. Four colour shades are available for the exterior paintwork. As well as the exclusive Frozen Dark Grey Metallic paint finish, customers can also choose from Sapphire Black metallic, Mineral Grey metallic and Alpine White.
Further individual touches can be added to the BMW M4 GTS by specifying optional equipment details. Like the no-cost Clubsport Package, the BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific display – including information such as rpm or the gear currently engaged – helps drivers to focus all of their attention on the track and the next braking point. The optional BMW ConnectedDrive Services employ intelligent features, such as the Concierge Service, to help drivers book hotels or look for restaurants. Meanwhile, the BMW M Laptimer app is the perfect tool for the BMW M4 GTS at its principal hunting ground. This app records driving data on the track, enables precise driving style analysis and helps drivers to improve their lap times. The data can be shared with friends or acquaintances via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.
The BMW M4 GTS takes BMW M GmbH back to its roots. Founded in 1972 under its original name of BMW Motorsport GmbH, it has since caused heads to turn far and wide – and not only with the iconic BMW M1 racing car. It has also been responsible for the development of the first turbocharged engine to power a car to the Formula One World Championship title, and for turning the Group A BMW M3 into the world’s most successful touring car to date. Production of the first BMW M3 (E30) got under way in 1986, establishing in the process the template for an all-new class of car: high-performance machines dressed up as series-produced compact sedans and coupes. The BMW M3 – and now the BMW M4 – has since set the benchmark in its segment throughout its lifespan and across every model generation. Despite numerous attempts, none of its imitators have yet managed to dislodge the BMW M3/BMW M4 from the No. 1 spot on the wish lists of sporty drivers.
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