24 seconds. Just think about how long that is for a moment. Even at the 12.9-mile Nurburgring, that’s a bloody significant amount of time, and yet, that’s not far off how much faster BMW has managed to make this M4 GTS than the standard M4. The lap time in question is 7 minutes and 28 seconds, so just what has BMW done to the M4 to make it so fast? Quite a lot, it turns out.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six is now rocking a water injection system, which injects a fine spray of water into the intake manifold, instantly evaporating and significantly lowering the temperature of the intake air, as well as reducing the risk of engine knock. This then means that the turbocharger boost pressure can be upped, all leading to a massive hike in power: no longer does the 3.0-litre produce a paltry 424bhp, it’s now good for 493bhp and 443lb ft of torque.
The water is stored in a five-litre tank in the car’s boot, which under ‘hard track driving’ would need refilling along with every tank of fuel, but under less strained circumstances, it should last a lot longer.
The GTS dispatches 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds - down from 4.1 seconds - while its top speed is 190mph. It’ll apparently do over 34mpg on the combined cycle, but if you get anywhere near that, you probably should have bought a 420d instead.
On the inside, there’s a pair of carbonfibre bucket seats which - along with a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic bonnet and other lighter bits - drop the overal weight by 80kg to 1510kg. There’s also a roll cage in the back, part of the Clubsport package: a no-cost option for wannabe Bruno Spenglers, which also comes with six-point harnesses and a fire extinguisher.
The GTS gets a new set of specially-designed, three-way adjustable dampers, while the anti-roll bars have been beefed up to deal with the extra power. Since buyers are likely to be of the ‘track day bro’ persuasion, fade-resistant carbon ceramic discs are fitted as standard, with six piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear.
Making the M4 GTS look suitably outrageous is a socking great rear wing, plus wheels with ‘Acid Orange’ accents. The rear wing is three-way adjustable, working with a two-way adjustable front splitter and carbonfibre rear diffuser. The wheels are forged, and measure 19 inches at the front, and 20 inches at the rear. Like your rubber nice and sticky? You’re well catered for, as they’re all wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
If you’re thinking all of this is going to be rather expensive, you’d be right. Just like the old E92 M3 GTS, the M4 is double the cost of the garden variety M4 at a rather staggering £121,770. Still, you’ll have something very rare - just 700 are being made, only 30 of which are coming to the UK - and if the older M3 specials like the E46 CSL and E92 GTS are anything to go by, it’ll end up being something of a collector’s item.
The M4 GTS goes on sale in March next year, and will make its public debut later this month at the Tokyo motor show.