BMW M Legacy
BMW M, speak these letters near any self-respecting petrolhead's ears, and watch them perk up like that of a German Shepherd, after it finds out it is time for walkies.
Responsible for creating some of the most iconic performance cars on the planet, the boffins over at BMW M have been ensuring cars like the M3 continue to leave an iconic legacy, with each new incarnation.
In 2014, the F80-generation of the M3 was launched, alongside a brand-new model in the M line-up; the F82-generation M4. Essentially, the M4 was a 2-door, coupé version of the M3, as from 2014 the M3 was exclusively a 4-door.
Upon launch, the all-new BMW M4 cost circa £56,000. Not bad for a brand-new M car with over 400bhp. However, the real M enthusiasts and car fanatics of this world knew BMW M had more in store for the M4. And just like the M3, enhanced, special edition M4 models could not have been far off in the M pipeline.
BMW M aficionados did not have to wait long, as in 2016 the somewhat obvious predictions came to fruition, and BMW M gave us the M4 GTS. At just under £121,000 new, the GTS was over double the price of a regular M4. Below, we find out why.
The standard M4 was no shrinking violet, and was a brilliant car straight out of the box. So, at over double the price, the M4 GTS had to be something special; it was.
Only 700 examples of the M4 GTS were made worldwide, with just a mere 30 examples coming to the UK. This was quite fitting, as the M4 GTS was made to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary BMW M3. With rare BMWs being hugely sought-after, often appreciating, even after they depreciate first, the M4 GTS looked set to follow the appreciating trend, like the M3 history it celebrates.
First impressions that set the GTS apart from the standard M4 are racing-car spec enhancements. Most notably the colossal rear-wing to aid downforce, along with the aggressive carbon fibre front splitter, roof and bonnet. Oh, and not forgetting the acid-orange, forged staggered wheels measuring 19-inch on the front and 20-inch on the rear, wrapped in hardcore, super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
M4 GTS models came in a choice of four colours. A rather cool Frozen Dark Grey Metallic (pictured), along with Alpine White, Mineral Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.
M is for Motorsport
M stands for motorsport, and although the regular M4 perfectly blends everyday livability, with the motorsport ability to get pulses racing when required, the M4 GTS is a different story.
It looks like a road-legal racing car, and goes like one too. Power has been increased to 493bhp, despite using the same award-winning inline 6-cylinder 3.0-litre turbo out of the standard M4. However, it now has 68bhp more. This has been accomplished by a trick water injection system that cools intake temperatures, allowing the M division to turn the boost pressure up on the engine.
Power is deployed to the tarmac via a seven-speed DCT twin clutch gearbox, complete with textbook M car rear-wheel drive for the ultimate driver's car experience.
It feels much more serious than a regular M4, more hardcore, and ultimately more special. The roar from the titanium exhaust is a nod to other special edition M models gone before it, giving the GTS a distinct sound, which can only be described as symphonic.
Statistics speak for themselves
Uprated power, enhanced racing car looks and special tyres are joined by other GTS extras. The keen-eyed will have spotted the roll cage to improve rigidity and enhance safety; this is a hardcore M car after all. It's also in the same acid-orange colour, making somewhat of a statement about the car's motorsport DNA even further.
Inside, you do not get door handles, you get door pulls like a proper racing car, along with alcantara everywhere and more carbon fibre detailing. There is even a full-on, LED shift light, M Performance racing steering wheel available, for even more drama, and of course to give owners the full-on racing experience, and to show off to passengers of course.
It will hit 62mph from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds, and go on to 190mph, but the GTS has much more about it than straight line speed. The carbon fibre weight-saving measures have meant that the GTS is rather rapid on a race track too. This is evident in the GTS being a staggering 24 seconds faster than the regular M4 around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The overall 27kg weight-saving from carbon fibre reinforced plastic showing just how worthwhile it is. And to be honest, carbon fibre always looks great, especially on serious cars like this.
The iconic legacy continues
With a rich legacy of M cars, the rare and unique BMW M4 GTS joins past legends such as the E30 M3 Sport Evolution (top right), E36 M3 GT (second top right), E46 M3 CSL (second top left) and E92 M3 GTS (top left).
The photo demonstrates an M collection that would have any BMW M enthusiast in ultimate content, and was set up to celebrate the M4 GTS launch, in marking the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3. The very first E30 M3 (top right) is a perfect example of how an original can appreciate in value, with all the other models holding strong values in today's market.
The M4 GTS has depreciated slightly since its release in 2016, but we believe low-mileage examples will only continue to rise over time, especially with electric cars growing ever popular.
Just like a classic, the M4 GTS will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the finest M4 models ever created. Is the GTS deserving over its price over a standard M4? Of course it is.
Discover your own BMW M car with Stratstone
At the moment, we are delighted to actually have two low-mileage examples of the BMW M4 GTS. A striking Black Sapphire example, along with a crisp Alpine White alternative, both in immaculate condition and available now at our Stratstone Leeds BMW retailer. Contact them today if you would like to know more about either of these stunning cars.