At last! The long-awaited performance-supercharged sports Coupe that had the BMW enthusiasts anticipate in excitement is coming. Hosted at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance during Monterey Auto Week in California On August 13th, 2015, the Concept version of the soon-to-be released M4 GTS premiered with all its glory and horsepower.
The legendary Forerunner – M3 GTS
Renowned for its success in the long-standing history of World Championship races, the BMW M has attained numerous winnings with their notorious BMW M3. Nearly three decades of refinement in craftsmanship, and relentless dedication for technology progression, the BMW M Division has produced legendary models which repeatedly taken titles at the racetracks. From the iconic BMW E30 M3 Evolution to the limited edition M3 CRT, each version delivered sensational driving experience that strikes powerful responses.
“The BMW M3 is an icon and internationally synonymous with the highest level of dynamics,” Dr. Kay Segler of BMW M GmbH had expressed when the M3 GTS made its public appearance, “Our aim was to develop a model variant that would prove its outstanding potential both on the road and at club sport racing events. The BMW M3GTS is pure M feeling, embodying the brand values in a highly concentrated form.”
Looking back at 2010, there was the proclaimed “most powerful version of the high-performance BMW M3 Coupe” – the M3 GTS. It was a glimpse of BMW’s aspiration to bring true track potential sports Coupe to the streets, and bestow it with full-fledged daily drive competence.
The M3 GTS came with a flashy orange exterior, power amped tuning, and a race roll-cage. It was a well-received limited edition with a ticket price of 115,000 euros exclusive of taxes and fees. What your money gets you is the high-revving S65 4.4 Liter V-8 engine equipped with the GTS exclusively calibrated 7-Speed M Dual Clutch Transmission, enhanced suspension, and refined aerodynamics. The prevailing supercar delivered 450 hp at 8,300 RPM and a maximum torque of 325 lb-ft. At the time, it was the highly sought after limited production that fans desired, however it was only available in Europe and not sold in the North America market.
The Upcoming Power Show – M4 GTS
The “GTS” stands for “Gran Turismo” in Italian, translating into “Grand Touring” in English. The “S” stands for “Sports” (there are several variations of the abbreviations available.) Essentially, “GT” represents high-end performance vehicles fit for racing the “Grand Tour” (hence the term “Turismo”), and thus vehicles in this class obtain the name “Grand Tourer”. A widely known type of “GT” would be luxury Coupes that are either 2-seaters or in 2+2 seating formats (2 front seats with 2 very limited spaced back seats that are typically not meant for passengers.)
M4 GTS is the essentially the street legal version of the racetrack machine that retains the best from both worlds. The extraordinary model has the fully loaded, track-inspired capability with the practicality and driving comfort possessed by any modern BMW models. Although no official specifications have been publicized as of yet for the production model, but just from the concept preview, we can already anticipate exciting new heights in innovation.
At first glance, the aerodynamically engineered built has definitely gotten our attention. Let’s begin with the adventurous color choices. The almost traffic-cone like fluorescent Acid Orange accents on the exaggerated front splitter beneath the enlarged front air intake makes a bold statement with the overall Frozen Dark Grey Metallic exterior paint. Same shade of orange also streaks the custom 666 M forged light-alloy wheels, with 9.5 J x 19-inch front wheels and 10.5 J x 20-inch rear wheels.
The distinctive low bearing and aerodynamic physical properties confirms the car’s focus on speed and balance. From the bonnet (front hood) to the extensively enhanced, manually adjustable rear spoiler and front splitter (a flat piece of modification usually affixed to the bottom of the front bumper), light weight Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced-Plastic is heavily utilized to achieve ideal weight reductions.
With the debut of a new concept, come new innovative technologies. A few noteworthy features were unveiled with the first appearance.
Water Injection System
Earlier this year in 2015, BMW M celebrated the 17th anniversary of being the “Official Car of MotoGP” with a special assembled BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car. MotoGP is categorized as a class of Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. It is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing. The same Water Injection Technology that debuted with the M4 MotoGP Safety Car is adopted by the M4 GTS engine system.
The Water Injection Technology is a configuration that is designed to further maximize performance and increase efficiency as well as life-span of the combustion engine while minimize energy consumption. This technology boosts both output and torque by lowering the overall combustion temperature as much as 45° F. Thus, thermal stress on the TwinTurbo engine and its components is significantly reduced. The system works by injecting water mist into the plenums of the intake manifold and cools the combustion chamber as water vaporizes. The outcome translates into earlier injection timing, higher compression ratio, and improved fuel consumption.
Enhanced System Cooling
The engine of the M4 GTS is fine-tuned to further strengthen the power potentials of the TwinTurbo assemblage. System temperature is constantly monitored and optimized under any driving state. In addition to the pioneering Water Injection and the intelligent designs of the elaborated intakes, intricate temperature management system is in place to stabilize and ensure consistent and optimal operation temperature.
In addition to the main radiator as well as the high and low temperature circuits, turbocharger and transmission are equipped with dedicated radiators to stabilize temperature of the engine compartment. Furthermore, the turbochargers are cooled by indirect intercooler and supplementary electric water pump.
Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) Tail Lights
After the initial unveiling of the Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) concept in Beijing, China during April 2014, BMW presented the new Concept Organic Lights technology in the M4 at the 2015 annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new rear lighting system features a distinctive “L-shape” which gives off a wider, bolder, and more distinctive visual which well compliments the overall power concept of the brand new BMW M4 GTS.
OLED involves no precious resources in its production. The organic materials are utilized to produce an evenly lite surface instead of a single point of light source which reduces overall vehicle emission and is extremely energy efficient. An accentuated three-dimensional Light is produced from a very thin 1.4 millimeter semiconducting layers of organic substance for both the rear lights and directional indicators.
One of the major advantage that OLED possesses is the ability to aluminate individual sections of the lighting unit separately to create various effects in different driving modes. For example, under normal drive, the L-shaped tail lights will appear as an evenly illuminated wide band where a larger section of the OLED will be activated. SPORTS mode on the other hand illuminates the tail light as sharp and intense looking light “strips” fitting the racing characteristics of the M4 GTS.
Counting Down to the Production Version Release
Rumors regarding the official North America production of M4 GTS have been flying for quite some time. Contributor from the popular forum Bimmerpost had already leaked news about M4 GTS US model found in a Las Vegas dealership’s ordering system. Logically the model to be sold in US will be slightly tamed to pass the US regulations before it hits the production line, and availability in US dealership estimates to be around summer of 2016. Those of us whom have been drooling over it may finally have our wishes granted.