BMW M is celebrating the E30 M3’s 30th anniversary with a limited edition M4 GTS. Why the M4, you ask? Because the F82 M4 is the coupe version of the current F80 M3, so you can say the original M3 coupe’s spirit lives in the M4.
The M4 GTS was previewed earlier in a concept form, and it was said to have an increased amount of power courtesy of the water injection system. And increased they did. What the innovative system does is spray water into the intake manifold plenums to cool down the air entering the engine so that the engine can run on a higher boost pressure.
As a result, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six now produces 500 hp and 600 Nm of torque, 75 hp and 100 Nm more than the standard M4. Mated to a recalibrated seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT), the M4 GTS rockets to 100 km/h from standstill in 3.8 seconds, while the top speed limiter has been lifted from 250 kmh to 305 km/h.
Another reason the M4 GTS is quicker off the line than the standard car is the weight reduction program it went through both inside and outside, shedding at least 60kg from the total kerb weight. Let’s start from the inside first. The most visible change is the pair of carbon-fibre bucket seats (half the weight of the standard seats in the M4) and the deletion of the rear bench.
The door handles on the inside too were replaced with a basic strap. Lighter materials are used for the centre console, side panel trims, rear seat panelling and the boot area partition. Even the instrument panel bracing tube is made from lightweight carbon fibre.
On the outside, the use of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the roof and the boot on the standard M4 is expanded to the bonnet, the adjustable front splitter, the adjustable rear wing and the rear diffuser. The latter duo are not merely for showing off purposes, but work in tandem to keep the backside planted on the tarmac. Meanwhile, titanium is used for the muffler for a 20 percent weight saving from the stock muffler.
The whole car sits on an adjustable three-way M coilover suspension, over a set of lightweight star-spoke 666 M Styling forged wheels wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 measuring 265/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear. Peek over the Acid Orange wheel spokes and you’ll see a set of track-optimised lightweight M carbon ceramic brakes.
Also carried over from the concept car is the fancy rear lights. They are made up of paper-thin organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) which not only looks good, they’re also more compact and use less power than the normal LED tail lights. LED is still used for the headlamps though, and they’re fitted with BMW Selective Beam and Adaptive Headlights technology.
The M4 GTS is set for its public debut at the upcoming 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and production will be limited to just 700 units. It will be available in four colours: Sapphire Black, Mineral Grey, Alpine White, and Frozen Dark Grey. A Clubsport Package is also available as an option, where BMW M will equip the M4 GTS with a roll bar in Acid Orange behind the front seats, a race-spec six-point harness, and a fire extinguisher.