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2018 BMW M4 GTS review

The BMW M4 is extremely popular for it's thrilling performance, so we take BMW M's latest ultimate creation for a drive and put it to the test.

Introduction


If you want to go very fast, turn a lot of heads and buy into a premium badge, then the BMW M4 is a safe choice. It’s extremely capable, good to drive and, as a result, is extremely popular. However, if that isn’t enough for you – if you want to turn the dials to 11 and go just a little bit faster and turn just a few more heads – then there is something for you from Bavaria: the M4 GTS.

Fitted with a huge spoiler, large front lip and ‘look at me’ metallic orange alloy wheels, it’s there for those who find the standard M4 a little too subtle. It’s not just all show and no go though, as it also boasts a power increase from the standard car’s 425bhp to 493bhp. This is mainly down to the car’s use of water-cooled induction.

It also gets carbon ceramic brakes, a roll cage and even a fire extinguisher. And for those who think these extras may come with just a small premium over the M4, you should look away now – the GTS weighs in at a hefty £120,500, more than double the standard car’s cost.

Performance

Powering the BMW M4 GTS is an uprated version of the standard M4’s 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, here developing 493bhp and 600Nm of torque. The result is 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 190mph.

This is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which sends power to the rear wheels — sorry enthusiasts, no manual here still, although it’s seriously quick to change gears which makes for faster lap times if you’re at the track.

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Ride & Handling

The standard M4 is a somewhat spiky thing to drive. Give it a chance, and it’ll happily snap into oversteer. The GTS is just the same – though even more aggressive. Thankfully, there are different levels of traction control to choose from, but even with these set the car will happily step out — especially in the wet.

The steering has plenty of weight to it – a little too much perhaps in its sportiest setting – but it means you can accurately place the car exactly where you want it. The front end is impressively eager to turn in and means that you devour country roads at a considerable pace. The ride is firm, make no mistake about that, but it means that the GTS exhibits no body roll whatsoever throughout the corners. Once there’s heat in the tyres the GTS has pretty much all the grip you could want – and more besides.

The whole package is tied up by a titanium exhaust. The standard M4 was criticised for being too quiet, just too subdued. This addition, however, turns it into a completely different animal. In Sport or Sport Plus mode it’s downright antisocial, with pops and bangs accompanying throttle lift-offs even at low speeds.

Interior & Equipment


It’s not exactly a revolution inside the M4 GTS, remaining remarkably similar to the M4, but there are some key changes to distinguish it as a track-focused model. There’s carbon-fibre moulded seats, a fire extinguisher and a roll cage for extra rigidity — with orange highlights finishing the look.

You’ll also find no interior door handles here, just simple cloth pulls – though interestingly air conditioning and satellite navigation are still included. Those sat in either of the front two seats do have plenty of space though, despite the heavily bolstered seats hugging you in tightly.

Unfortunately, the GTS is immediately docked points in terms of practicality thanks to its lack of rear seats. The boot is still a usable size at 445 litres, however, which means that it’s easily large enough for a few weekend bags.

Verdict

It’s a truly exciting experience to get behind the wheel of the GTS, but is it worth the £60,000-odd premium over a standard M4? Perhaps. Whereas the standard car could be driven every day, the GTS could simply be too uncompromising and harsh, and this is likely to put people off who are in the market for a car for a daily driver. If you want something that can take on the track unlike anything else with a license plate though, this could just be the car for you.

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The stats

Model: BMW M4 GTS

Price: £120,500

Power (bhp): 493

Torque (Nm): 600

Top speed (mph): 190

0-60mph: 3.6 seconds

MPG (combined): 33

Emissions (g/km): 199

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