BMW M4 GTS 2017 – The Car That Transforms An Ordinary Driver Into A Pilot
Twenty Three. That’s how many M4 GTS models have been allocated to South Africa and before you’ve had a chance to pore over the specs approvingly, brace yourself for the news that they’ve all been sold.
What was the rush for? M4 GTS is the leanest, orangest and heavily aero-kitted M4 you can legally own without possessing a racing license. Priced at a staggering R2,134 500, the GTS is the one-car solution social track day drivers have been looking for.
No rear seats because that’s where the roll cage goes and even the front ones are slimmed down to a wispy body-hugging size. Aluminium doors tugged close via fabric loops and hollow-spoked rims circling carbon ceramic brakes provide a cornering and stopping combo light enough to juggle.
More power, less weight, more excitement
The recipe is simple. Take an M4. Dial up the power (by almost 70bhp) and the torque (by 37lb ft) – mostly due to water cooling of the engine’s intake manifold. This lowers the intake air temperature and allows for more turbo boosting of the (twin-turbo) 3.0-litre six.
This water-cooled induction is a production-car first (though it’s been used in racing). A small water tank in the boot needs to be topped up, on average, every five or so petrol refills. A pricey (and handsome) new titanium exhaust system also helps boost power. It certainly improves the music, although the enhanced soundtrack is all exhaust, not the lovely howling suck of induction that past M cars have serenaded us with.
The BMW M4 GTS: head-turning style
Buy a GTS and the world will know you’ve bought a very special M4. Its gold wheels (below), small aeroplane-sized (adjustable) rear wing, deep gold-ringed front spoiler and, on our Clubsport version test car, gold painted roll cage, all advertise that here’s car designed for Silverstone not driving to Sainsbury’s or cruising through South Kensington.
Personally, I find it all too Midlands tuning shop rather than Munich thoroughbred in style, but then I’ve never much liked tarted cars.
The racy exhaust note also advertises its track breeding, complete with bark, snarl, cough and extra loud bellow.
It sounds, and looks, fast.
It goes fast, too. Claimed 0-62 is 3.8 seconds, top speed 190mph.
For track days, the M4 GTS takes some beating. It’s pricey at £121,780 – more than double the normal M4 – but this is a far more special car. As it’s limited edition it will also hold (and probably increase) its value. The UK allocation of 30 cars, out of a global pool of 700, has already sold out.
Though fast and capable – and tactile! – it feels like a car that could use more development, still work in progress. This is unusual for a BMW. It’s also feels too raw and hard-edged. So while the normal M4 is too soft, the GTS version has swung too far the other way.
|Price when new:||£121,780|
|On sale in the UK:||Now|
|Engine:||2979cc twin-turbo straight six, 493bhp @ 6250rpm, 442lb ft @ 4000rpm|
|Transmission:||Seven-speed paddle shift dual clutch, rear-wheel drive|
|Performance:||0-62mph 3.8 sec, 190mph, 34.0mpg, 199g/km CO2|
|Weight / material:||1510 kg, steel/aluminium/carbonfibre|
|Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):||4671/1870/1383mm|