BMW M4 GTS – officially the fastest BMW road car EVER!

We have known it was coming since last August, when the world’s automotive press was shown the concept. But despite the warning, the new BMW M4 GTS still manages to shock and awe us, particularly when you look at the performance figures, which makes it the fastest production road car that BMW has ever built – EVER!

The M4 had a tough act to follow, but managed to advance the genes of the outgoing 2010 M3 GTS. Like its hairy-chested predecessor, the all-new M4 is a stripped back two-seater that will be built in limited numbers – very limited, in fact, with just 700 slated for production. At a tad under US$190,000 it will be a little too much for most, when you consider that it is after all just a junior exec, but then they are not built for mere mortals – they are built for people who will look at the engineering specs and for those who like to live on the wild side of life. And this new beasty from Bavaria does look very wild indeed.

The M4 GTS has the same 3-litre twin-turbo straight-six that the standard M4 has, but with one key difference – the GTS is fitted with the water injection system that BMW has been trialling in several of its offerings. Injecting water into an engine may sound a little counter intuitive to many, but what it achieves is a slightly lower final combustion temperature in the cylinder, which allows an engine to run at a higher turbo boost pressure with an earlier spark timing, without risking overdraft rupturing engine knock.

In theory it is simple, but in practise, a bit more tricky to accomplish. To run the water injection system, you need to stow a 5-litre tank of water in the boot, but this basically will give greater power and torque, and apparently increased efficiency. We’re sure that most of the 700 who get to own one of these wee-beasties won’t be too worried about fuel economy.

New owners should acquaint themselves with a friendly tyre shop as the increase of power from 425hp in the standard M4 is boosted to a staggering 493hp, but strangely all this extra power only gives a 0.3 faster time to 100 kph, with a factory claim of 3.8 seconds. Sounds like we are in rubber shredding territory. Top speed is limited to 305 kph like all BMW’s but this is almost 15 kph faster than anyone seemed to be expecting.

Brakes and chassis have been upgraded to handle the extra power, of course, and there is ample use of carbon fibre to bring the weight down and a dynamic spoiler that adjusts its position depending on the speed. If you want to view it, then you will need to get up to the Tokyo Motor Show later in October. And if you want to buy one, you will have to wait until next year when they are expected to hit the streets.

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