BMW finally decided to do the right thing and reward its largest market. About time BMW and we still are never going to forgive you for the E46 M3 CSL and E92 M3 GTS. That said, this is an epic M car.
Why? Because it takes performance seriously. It isn't an M badge thrown on an SUV that will never see the racetrack or some lame special edition that amounts to some new paint like the 'Championship Edition' E92 M3. This car actually gets real Motorsport division attention and not marketing division attention.
Let's start with BMW reducing weight. They claim 3328 pounds. Does that 33XX number range sound familiar? It should because BMW originally claimed 3306 pounds for the F80 M3 and F82 M4. BMW missed that target badly and the F80 M3 came in at 3562 pounds which can go up depending on options. Something tells us this time the car will weigh close to what they are claiming but US cars no doubt will weigh more than European counterparts due to side impact crash regulations.
Even if the US car is heavier expect a drop from the standard F82 M4. That is a very good thing and if BMW manages to shave some weight off the nose they can finally get the car to 50/50 front to rear weight distribution as it should be. The included water injection system will add weight though.
Which brings us to the motor. Yes, the car has a water injection system for the S55 motor as previously reported. With the cooling and octane benefit BMW raises power to 500 horses no doubt with more aggressive tuning. As you know the S55 engine in the F80 M3 and F82 M4 is underrated and already at the 500+ horsepower mark so does this mean this figure is closer to 500 at the wheels than at the crank? We think it has to be. It would have been nice to see something along the lines of larger turbocharger or some hardware changes to the engine like E92 M3 GTS and E46 M3 CSL saw but in the turbo era this is how it goes. If we were to nitpick the car the lack of S55 internal hardware changes would be the spot to nitpick.
You combine the higher power with less weight thanks to the CFRP parts and titanium exhaust system along with the improved aerodynamics adding substantial downforce and you get a 7 minute and 28 seconds Nurburgring laptime. This blows every production BMW out of the water. It is not even close.
The vaunted E46 M3 CSL managed a 7:50 around the 'Ring and the E92 M3 GTS in the hands of Horst von Sauma only bettered the CSL by two seconds. The F82 M4 GTS is 20 seconds quicker than the E92 M3 GTS. If that is not evidence of a lot less weight and underrated power (on a track like the Nurburgring that loves power) we do not know what is.
Not enough can be said about the BMW claimed Nurburgring laptime. It equals the Porsche Carrera GT in the hands of Walter Rohrl. If Porsche's own test driver and rally legend who knows the Nurburgring better than anyone can do a 7:28 in a vehicle of the Carrera GT's pedigree and the M4 can match that we finally have a serious BMW performance car that blows everything else BMW has ever produced out of the water to an extraordinary degree.
You can read the full details and specifications from BMW in their M4 GTS presentation below but it is about damn time we got a car like this. By we, I mean American enthusiasts first and then BMW enthusiasts worldwide. Unfortunately it may be a bit too little and too late for some but at least it shows BMW can still produce when the M division is allowed to put in the effort.
Unfortunately, the M division demonstrates this level of capability rarely these days. 'i' mean that.