Happenings

Changing 4tunes – BMW M4 GTS Concept

BY Jonathan Lim

Two's company and three's a crowd; four's a party and five’s not allowed – if this saying is anything to go by, the latest special edition M car should be quite the hoot…

Over its 30 year history, there has been at least one pared-back, stripped-down, go-faster special edition for every generation of BMW M3, which have historically become the stand-out variant of each model: the E30 Sport Evolution, E36 GT, E46 CSL, E90 CRT and E92 GTS. Interestingly though, none of the above were ever made available in North America, which is something that's going to change with this, the new M4 GTS.

Officially, the M4 GTS is still a Concept, but don't let the moniker fool you; BMW's recent history is littered with dozens of 'concepts' that are nigh on identical to their eventual production versions – this latest one should be no different.

Like the E92 M3 GTS before it, the M4 GTS sports additional aerodynamic addenda to help cut lap times on the track, in the form of an adjustable carbonfibre front splitter and rear wing. The car's bonnet is also made out of the black weave, which will lower the centre of gravity and sharpen the handling. With the standard M3 and M4 twins drawing some flak from the European press for their snappy, unpredictable behaviour on the limit, perhaps it is these upgrades which will finally give the M4 the final bit of polish it needs.

The most exciting development in the M4 though, is to be found in the engine bay, as the twin turbo 3.0L straight-six features the same water injection technology as tested on the M4 MotoGP Safety Car. How it works is that it injects a fine spray of water into the engine's intake manifold, which cools down the air entering the engine. This increases the density of oxygen in the air, which creates a bigger bang in the cylinder, resulting in more power. Not only that, but the cooling properties of the water help reduce thermal stress on the engine, meaning owners can run the car harder and longer on the track before they need to start worrying about overheating.

BMW hasn't released official figures that tell exactly how much more power there is now, but certain insiders have hinted that the engine could easily handle a power output beginning with a '5'… This should make the M4 GTS a very interesting proposition indeed.