PressClub United Kingdom · Article.
THE NEW BMW M4 GTS: MOTORSPORT EXPERTISE DELIVERS THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE
Tue Oct 06 23:01:00 CEST 2015 Press Kit
• Fastest series-production BMW road car ever • 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds, yet still offers 34mpg on Combined Cycle • World debut of BMW organic LED lighting technology • Limited production run of 700 cars, with 30 coming to the UK • On sale in March, 2016 and priced at £120,770 OTR
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Ultra-desirable, lightweight performance models have always been part of the BMW philosophy. These limited-edition M-badged cars always deliver the ultimate in sports-oriented design, power with efficiency and precise driving dynamics. Today, that family lineage welcomes its latest member – the all-new BMW M4 GTS.
Quite simply, it is the fastest production road car the brand has ever offered to customers. Developed and tested extensively at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it has recorded a lap time of 7mins 28 secs – almost 30 seconds quicker than a standard M4.
Unique exterior design elements demonstrate the performance credentials of the car, and include the world premiere of BMW’s Organic Light with LED (OLED) lighting technology on a series-production model. Inside, the rear bench has been completely removed to save weight, leaving two carbon-fibre sports seats.
Under the bonnet is an enhanced version of the 3.0-litre six-cylinder twin-turbo petrol engine, tuned to deliver 500hp. The result is a car which accelerates from zero to 62mph in only 3.8 seconds, and has a top speed limited to 190mph.
With its intelligent lightweight design, the new BMW M4 GTS has a kerb weight of only 1,510kg. It has been engineered to provide a truly authentic motorsport-derived driving experience, agile and potent in every way. With precision handling and unprecedented levels of feedback, it is focused on track use, but meets all global regulations for use on public roads.
The car’s one-year production run will see just 700 examples built worldwide, with UK sales of 30 units. That equates to four per cent of the total, making Britain the fourth-largest market.
The M4 GTS will make its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show on 28 October. Production will begin in March 2016 with launch scheduled for June 2016. The UK price is £121,770 OTR .
0 – 62mph Seconds
Top Speed Mph
M Cars: Setting the pace in the sports car class over five decades
Founded in 1972 under its original name of BMW Motorsport GmbH, BMW’s performance-oriented M division has a proud and successful history of limited-edition models. That began in 1988 with the launch of M3 Evolution, and continued with the BMW M3 Sport Evolution (1990), the BMW M3 GT (1995), the BMW M3 CSL (2003), the BMW M3 GTS (2010) and the BMW M3 CRT (2011).
With a new naming strategy in place for the mid-size coupé, the lineage continues with the new BMW M4 GTS. It is a car for passionate and enthusiastic drivers, a state-of-the-art showcase of the engineering expertise of the M team. Boasting powerful, motor sport-inspired looks and high-performance innovations in powertrain, chassis and lightweight construction the M4 GTS has its sights set squarely on the race track. A lap time of 7 mins 28 secs minutes around the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife is a clear statement of its exceptional abilities.
Limited to 700 units, the largest market will be the USA, accounting for 43 per cent of production. This car marks the first time that a high-performance special edition in the M3/M4 model range has made available in the important North American market.
Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH, commented: “Special-edition models like the 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 GTS.
He continued: “These cars 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.”
The engine: the beating heart of every BMW M car
The BMW M4 GTS uses the award-winning six-cylinder in-line M TwinPower turbo engine from the BMW M4 Coupé. However, innovative water injection technology has been utilised to give the 3.0-litre unit a substantial power boost. It relaxes the thermal constraints on power and torque, and has already proved itself on race tracks around the world this season, on board the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car.
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 unburnt fuel and ‘engine knock’. Consequently, it allows 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.
Water for the system is housed in a 5-litre tank in the car’s boot. Under hard track driving, it would need to be topped up every time the vehicle is refuelled, but under normal operating conditions the intervals are much longer. Even with fast motorway driving, it will only need attention every fifth refuelling stop. Otherwise the system is maintenance-free, for maximum everyday practicality.
The BMW M4 GTS is the first production road car to be fitted with such innovative technology. It raises the engine’s output significantly from 431hp in the standard car to 500hp, and increases torque from 550Nm to 600Nm. The zero to 62mph time drops from 4.1 seconds to 3.8 seconds. Fuel economy remains unchanged at 34mpg, CO2 emissions increase marginally to 199g/km and the BMW M4 GTS complies with the EU6 emissions standard.
Capable of 7,600rpm and with peak power at 6,250rpm, the engine offers linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range. The M TwinPower Turbo package comprises two fast-responding mono-scroll turbochargers, high-precision injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS continuously variable camshaft timing. The valve and camshaft timing work in tandem to seamlessly control intake valve lift. The result is smooth and efficient power delivery, very sharp response and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
The engine is mated to a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT), which selects the optimum ratio for every driving situation. It means no interruption to the flow of power to the rear wheels. The driver can also select gears manually using either shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever. Equipped with three Drivelogic shift programs – engaged using the Drivelogic button on the centre console – each offers a different gear-change speed and alters the rpm points at which the shifts take place. Both DriveLogic and the car’s Launch Control technology have been re-tuned to complement the engine’s increased output.
Lightweight design at every opportunity
Intelligent lightweight construction has allowed BMW’s M engineers to limit the car’s DIN kerb weight to just 1,510kg. That means an outstanding weight-to-power ratio of 3.0kg/hp, creating the perfect platform for a highly dynamic driving experience. The rigorous weight-saving measures extend through both the interior and exterior. For example, changes include carbon-fibre bucket seats; a lightweight centre console, rear seat panelling and boot partition; and special lightweight door and side panel trim, which includes M striped door pull loops in place of solid handles.
The same commitment extends to details which are out of view. For example, the instrument panel bracing tube is made from carbon fibre, while the bonnet, roof and front splitter are constructed from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). All lightweight components play an important role in lowering the centre of gravity and further improving axle load distribution.
With its muscular contours, prominent three-dimensional styling and dramatic splitter – complete with Acid Orange and exposed carbon fibre detailing – there is no mistaking the BMW M4 GTS. It paints a picture of uncompromising sports performance and highlights the car’s superior performance.
The splitter divides the air, channelling part of it deliberately under the car to optimise aerodynamics. It can be set in two different positions, for road and track. Other characteristic design elements, such as the familiar twin circular Adaptive LED headlights, and the eye-catching front grille with M double slat bars in black, have been reworked to create real presence on the road.
Hallmarks such as the striking M division exterior mirrors with twin-stalks and the powerdome bonnet are there. Made from CFRP, it weighs 25 per cent less than an aluminium equivalent and features a large air vent for cooling and reduction in front-end lift.
The flanks feature many M car signatures. The long bonnet, long wheelbase, set-back greenhouse and short overhangs are emphasised by contemporary design elements such as the muscular wheel arches and dramatic surfacing. Also present are the M gills, finished in high-gloss black like the kidney grille surround, which house breathers to optimise airflow. Viewed in profile, the dark-coloured, clear-coated CFRP roof and sweeping roofline gives the BMW M4 GTS an aggressive and low-to-the-road look.
Unmissable at the rear is the striking spoiler. It’s attached to the boot lid by two intricate aluminium struts, for high stiffness and low weight. It can be adjusted through three positions, one for road driving and two others that can be selected according to individual preference on the track.
The car features a titanium quad-pipe exhaust system. Each pipe has a diameter of 80mm and a laser-engraved M emblem. Key to the appeal of any performance car is its exhaust note, and the BMW M4 GTS is no different. An emotionally charged and unmistakable BMW M sound is audible over the entire engine speed range.
The exhaust pipes are framed by a rear apron and flank the exposed carbon-fibre diffuser. It works with the car’s other aerodynamic features to optimise airflow, improving downforce and road-holding.
The wheels are another visible treat which set the M4 GTS apart. The forged M light-alloy wheels (19-inch at the front, 20-inch at the rear), feature a distinctive star-spoke design in Acid Orange and polished surfacing. They’re fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35 R19 at the front, 285/30 R20 at the rear). Developed specifically for the BMW M4 GTS and integrated into the design of the suspension right from the drawing board, they play a role in the car’s outstanding mechanical traction and feedback through corners.
The flawless ergonomics and clear driver focus of the BMW M4 GTS interior are evidence of the car’s design brief to deliver top-class driver enjoyment. The interior architecture takes its cues from motorsport and includes two carbon-fibre bucket seats as standard, providing excellent lateral support and comfort over long distances. They also weigh 50 per cent less than those in the standard M4.
Seat covers are finished in Merino leather with contrast stitching, anthracite-coloured Alcantara and M stripes on the backrests. The M sports steering wheel, also covered in anthracite-coloured Alcantara, has a perforated stripe in contrasting Acid Orange at the top to mark the central position.
The new centre console of the BMW M4 GTS is asymmetric in design and lightweight in construction. Like the handbrake lever gaiter, it’s covered in anthracite-coloured Alcantara with edging in dark grey contrast stitching. The interior door panels and rear side panels include lightweight design elements produced specially for the BMW M4 GTS. Door handles have been replaced by pull loops to save weight.
The rear seats have been replaced by an innovative glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) shelf, combined with a rear panel made from a carbon-fibre sandwich construction both covered in anthracite-coloured Alcantara. Lowering the car’s weight and centre of gravity, they ensure exceptional rigidity.
Chassis and driving dynamics: unbeatable precision and feedback
The BMW M division specialises in developing cars that combine precise steering, excellent controllability even in extreme driving situations, and outstanding agility. The new M4 GTS continues the brand’s commitment to cars which offer a refined driving experience, combined with superb traction and stability.
First and foremost, dynamic driving depends on mechanical systems which combine low weight with high stiffness. Specially designed for the BMW M4 GTS, the three-way M coilover suspension features adjustable compression and rebound settings, with independent adjustment of low-speed and high-speed compression. This allows the suspension to be customised to the characteristics of different tracks. Moreover, the anti-roll bars and support mounts are closely matched to the significantly increased engine power, producing exceptional control and predictable handling.
Like the BMW M3/M4, the BMW M4 GTS is equipped with lightweight aluminium control arms, wheel carriers and axle subframes. Just on the front axle, this cuts weight by 5kg 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.
At the rear, all control arms and wheel carriers on the five-link axle are of forged aluminium, which reduces the unsprung mass of the wheel-locating components by around three kilograms compared with a conventional design. The racing-derived rigid connection between the rear axle subframe and the body – dispensing with rubber bushings – improves wheel location and tracking stability.
Outstanding performance from personalised driving dynamics
Drivers of the BMW M4 GTS can choose their own personal combination of drive settings, focusing on an extreme track performance set-up or a more tempered approach for road use.
The three-way M coilover suspension – specially tuned for this model – can be adjusted to individual tastes and therefore also to the demands of different race circuits. The electro-mechanical steering system was developed in-house by the BMW M division. It electronically adjusts the level of power-assist according to road speed, providing optimal steering characteristics at all speeds. The Servotronic button on the centre console offers three different settings, each with its own specific profile: COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+.
Characteristics of the electronic accelerator pedal can be customised using the M Motordynamic Control system. For track use, priority can be given to instantaneous and explosive power delivery, while on the road, a more measured response is possible. Different shift characteristics for the seven-speed M double-clutch transmission can be selected using the Drivelogic button on the centre console.
Via the M Drive menu, two sets of preferred personal configurations can be programmed into the M1 or M2 steering wheel buttons for instant access. These personalised settings for all the relevant systems can then be activated while driving at a single touch.
In keeping with its outstanding performance potential, the BMW M4 GTS is equipped as standard with lightweight, optimised, ultra-high-performance M carbon ceramic brakes. These are designed for an enhanced track capability and longer life.
Visually, they can be distinguished by their gold-painted six-piston (front) or four-piston (rear) brake callipers with coloured M logo. They boast excellent controllability, outstanding deceleration and stable, fade-resistant performance. Being much lighter than a conventional brake system, they also contribute to the all-round reduction in weight.
Other features helping to add an extra edge to the driving dynamics include the rear differential’s hollow lightweight output shafts and the Active M Differential. To optimise traction and stability, the latter uses an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip system, adapted to the enhanced performance capability of the BMW M4 GTS. The differential is proactively controlled with extremely high precision and speed. Its control unit is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system and takes into account accelerator pedal position, wheel speeds and vehicle yaw.
M Dynamic Mode (MDM), a special DSC setting, can be activated whenever drivers want an extra-sporty driving experience. Whereas DSC focuses on correcting understeer or oversteer, MDM allows more wheel slip for controlled drifting. This mode caters to the more skilled drivers, although – unlike DSC OFF mode – the system still intervenes if the vehicle reaches a critical stability threshold. The DSC system and the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) have been configured to take account of the BMW M4 GTS’s increased performance and its newly developed three-way coilover suspension.
World-first lighting technology
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. The L-shaped flat design measures just 1.4mm in height, and has the ability to trigger individual light modules separately. This opens up fresh possibilities for a characteristic and distinctive BMW lighting design, both in daylight and during the hours of darkness.
At the front of the car are the familiar twin circular Adaptive LED headlights with corona rings to ensure the best possible illumination of the road surface. They combine cutting-edge LED technology with dazzle-free high beam assistant called BMW Selective Beam allowing the beam to follow corners and part around cars in front to provide optimum visibility in all conditions.
The BMW M4 GTS underlines its impressive dynamic calibre with a range of carefully selected and exclusive equipment fitted at the factory. As well as the high-quality Alcantara/Merino leather interior trim, the car comes with BMW Navigation Professional, air conditioning, Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Selective Beam, Park Distance Control (PDC) at the 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 is fitted as standard. This includes M door sill finishers, M footrest, M gearshift lever, M-specific circular instruments with white graphics, plus an M sports steering wheel with chrome-finish gearshift paddles.
Three colours are available for the exterior paintwork. As well as the exclusive Frozen Dark Grey metallic, customers can also choose from Sapphire Black metallic and Alpine White.
Owners who want to further enhance the race track credentials of their M4 GTS can fit the optional Clubsport package. It includes a roll cage in Acid Orange behind the front seats, race-specification six-point harness and a fire extinguisher. It is available at no cost.
Further individual touches can be added as optional extras. These include BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific display, BMW Online Entertainment and Internet to allow in car connection to online music streaming and internet access.
Meanwhile, the M Lap-timer app is the perfect tool for the BMW M4 GTS at its principal hunting ground – the race track. It records driving data for precise analysis and to help drivers improve their performance. The data can be shared with friends or acquaintances via social media.
Finally for UK vehicles, the optional Carbon Fibre Interior Performance Package can be specified which adds the unique BMW M Performance Alcantara steering wheel with OLED race display and carbon trim as well as the additional Carbon Fibre trim around the DCT Gear Selector. The OLED race display is the perfect complement for the BMW M4 GTS with two-toned LED gear-shift displays to the left and right of the wheel accompanied by the central OLED display which displays Race, Sport or EfficientDynamic mode controlled by wheel mounted buttons. Features such as a stop watch and g-meter are included and up to 50 lap times can be stored as well as the driver’s best score for speed and lateral and forward acceleration. The Carbon Fibre Interior Performance Package is available for £1,090.