Part of what has always made BMWs the “Ultimate Driving Machines” is that they don’t have to be the most powerful or the lightest. They don’t have to stand out in one particular field or another. The package as a whole is what sets them apart — the sum of all parts, in this case, is greater than each part individually.
The new BMW M4 GTS embodies this idea perfectly. At 493 horsepower, it’s more powerful than the standard M4 (425 horsepower), but it falls well short of other track-focused vehicles, like the 505 horsepower Camaro Z28 and the 526 horsepower Mustang GT350R. At 1,510 kilograms (about 3,300 pounds), it undercuts the normal M4 by 256 pounds, but it’s heavier than the 3,142-pound Porsche 911 GTS.
However, put these things together and magical things happen. BMW says the M4 GTS lapped the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 7:28 minutes (the normal M4 does it in 7:52, the company says). Built to commemorate the M3’s 30th birthday, the company is only making 700 units in total, with just 300 tagged for the U.S. Although the normal M4 runs about $65,000, expect the GTS to run well into the triple digits based on exclusivity alone.
The GTS uses the same twin-turbo six-cylinder found in the normal M4. However, it bumps up power and torque with a water injection system, which works by cooling the combustion temperatures — in turn, allowing for improved fuel economy, less risk of engine knock, and more importantly, allowing the engineers to raise the compression ratio.
Outside, the GTS is distinguished most obviously by the huge rear wing. There are also orange accents throughout — the rims, front splitter, and in the interior. GTS badges adorn the rear decklid, just in case there is any confusion.
Power is filtered through a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission. The three-way M-branded coilover suspension is “specially tuned for the BMW M4 GTS” and “can be adjusted to individual tastes and therefore also to the demands of different race circuits.” Zero to 60 happens in 3.7 seconds, and the top speed is pegged at 189 miles per hour.
Alcantara trim, a roll bar, a fire extinguisher, and special M sport seats compliment the inside. BMW used 19-inch rims up front, with a 20-inch set in back that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
The GTS is, truly, the complete package. It’s BMW’s M division distilled in a single car. It’s crisp, clean, and there’s nothing in, on, or around it that doesn’t need to be there. From here, it’ll be the drivers’ responsibilities to ensure that these cars don’t become pampered garage queens — and treat them with the respect deserving of the Ultimate Driving Machine.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.