A year on from the launch of the BMW M4 Coupe, BMW M Division is presenting an initial preview of a high-performance model for use on the road and, above all, on the race track: the BMW Concept M4 GTS.
The move sees BMW M Division once again returning to its roots. The BMW offshoot, founded in 1972 as BMW Motorsport GmbH, not only caused a sensation with its iconic BMW M1 racing car, but developed the first turbocharged engine to win the Formula One World Championship and was the force behind what remains the world’s most successful racing touring car – the Group A BMW M3.
And so the new BMW Concept M4 GTS continues the tradition of BMW M3 special models already illuminated by the BMW M3 Evolution (1988), BMW M3 Sport Evolution (1990), BMW M3 GT (1995), BMW M3 CSL (2003), BMW M3 GTS (2010) and BMW M3 CRT (2011). Technology honed in race competition, a hike in power, a commitment to lightweight design and limited production numbers have ensured these sharpest examples of their type offer unbeatable performance coupled with an emotionally powerful and exclusive driving experience.
“While the BMW M4 Coupe embodies the ideal combination of motor sport genes and unrestricted everyday usability, the BMW Concept M4 GTS previews an emotionally powerful and exclusive special model conceived with an eye for trailblazing technology and a keen focus on the race track,” explains Frank van Meel, President BMW M Division. “Despite its outstanding track ability, it is still fully road-legal. This is racing technology for the road in the truest sense.”
The BMW Concept M4 GTS showcases new technologies destined to make their series production debut in a new model to be unveiled at a later date. For example, the BMW Concept M4 GTS features the innovative water injection system that has already provided a significant output and torque boost in the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car. In addition, the BMW Concept M4 GTS has rear lights with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology that give the high-performance model a whole new look when darkness falls.
The world premiere of the BMW Concept M4 GTS will take place over the course of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend in California on 13 August 2015, in the company of prize-winning sports cars from years gone by. Optimised down to the finest detail.
The BMW Concept M4 GTS builds on the BMW M4 Coupe’s dynamic and emotional use of forms. Yet its character as a high-performance special model, in which every detail has been developed to fulfil its purpose as a successful track machine, also comes immediately to the fore. The manually adjustable front splitter and rear wing – both in exposed carbon – ensure perfect aerodynamic balance and allow the BMW Concept M4 GTS to be adapted for both individual race tracks and for use on the road. Another example of the engineers’ rigorous adherence to lightweight design is the CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic) bonnet, which lowers the car’s weight and centre of gravity further still. A wide front air intake optimises airflow and minimises front axle lift.
The dynamic and exclusive presence of the BMW Concept M4 GTS is accentuated by the exterior paint shade Frozen Dark Grey Metallic, with the Acid Orange accent on the front splitter creating an effective contrast. The lightweight, forged and polished light-alloy wheels in 666 M styling also feature an Acid Orange accent. The 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10.5 J x 20 (rear) wheels are fitted with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35 R19 at the front, 285/30 R20 at the rear). The mixed-size tyres provide the ideal conduit for the stand-out dynamic attributes of the BMW Concept M4 GTS.
The engine powering the BMW Concept M4 GTS is equipped with the same innovative water injection system that has endowed the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car with a noticeable increase in output and torque.
The water injection system introduced by BMW M Division sees the engineers using the physical effect of water when vaporising to draw the required energy from the ambient medium. The water is injected into the plenums of the intake manifold as a fine spray. When the water vaporises, the intake air cools significantly. As a result, the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber – and therefore the engine’s tendency to “knock” – is reduced, enabling the turbocharged engine to use higher boost pressure and earlier injection timing.
This technology ensures an increase in output and torque, while at the same time reducing the thermal stress on performance-relevant components. All of which also enhances the stability and durability of the turbocharged engine. The BMW Concept M4 GTS therefore brings high-performance technology directly from the race track to the road. The strong performance potential of the turbocharged six-cylinder in-line engine already demands an exceptionally sophisticated thermal management system for the engine and ancillary units. To ensure optimal operating temperatures in all situations, the M Division engineers have developed a highly innovative and effective cooling system. It comprises a main radiator plus additional radiators for the high- and low-temperature circuits, transmission and turbocharger in order to keep temperatures stable. The turbochargers are cooled by means of an indirect intercooler, assisted by an additional electric water pump.
The BMW Concept M4 GTS is fitted with innovative rear lights featuring OLED technology. OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) are a new type of light source producing full-surface and homogenous illumination – in contrast to LEDs, which emit light to a single point. Their low installation height of just 1.4 millimetres and the ability to actuate individual light modules separately create fresh design scope in lighting concepts. OLED technology enables extra flexibility and forges an unmistakable appearance that signals exceptional precision.
OLED technology heralds a new era in light design and lighting concepts, and opens up new possibilities when it comes to a characteristic and distinctive light signature for BMW models – both for their daytime driving lights and during the hours of darkness.