Special models from the BMW M’s mid-range series with even better performance and radically designed for high-level driving dynamics have enjoyed a lasting tradition at BMW M Division for decades now. The latest example is the BMW M4 GTS. BMW M has opted for a particularly spectacular way of drawing the public’s attention: The BMW M4 GTS is to become the official DTM safety car during the 2016 season.
28th April 2016. Special models from the BMW M’s mid-range series with even better performance and radically designed for high-level driving dynamics have enjoyed a lasting tradition at BMW M Division for decades now. The latest example is the BMW M4 GTS, which is limited to 700 units (combined fuel consumption: 8.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 199 g/km)*. In order to provide formidable proof of this elite sports car’s outstanding performance qualities, BMW M has opted for a particularly spectacular way of drawing the public’s attention: The BMW M4 GTS is to become the official DTM safety car during the 2016 season.
The demands on such a lead car at the most popular international touring car series are high. According to the DTM rules “the DTM safety car is designed and adapted for high-performance driving on race circuits and is powerful enough to maintain the speeds at which other vehicles also participating in the event can be driven without an adverse effect on their racing capabilities.” In other words: the DTM safety car must be capable of setting a speed at which DTM drivers are able to keep, inter alia, the tyres and brake systems of their racing cars within an ideal temperature range.
The BMW M4 GTS already fulfils these requirements in the production version. Under its bonnet it boasts the award-winning, 3.0-litre engine taken from the BMW M3/M4. Thanks to innovative water injection technology, it was possible to increase engine power output by 51 kW/69 hp to 368 kW/500 hp. Maximum torque was increased from 550 Nm to 600 Nm. Hence, the BMW M4 GTS (ECE kerb weight: 1,585 kg, power to weight ratio: 3.0 kg/hp), which was consistently developed according to the lightweight construction principle, is the most agile, radical and best-handling model in the series. It sprints from a standstill to the 100 km/h mark in a mere 3.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 305 km/h (limited).
The tyres of the type Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 in the sizes 265/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear, which come as standard and were specifically designed for the BMW M4 GTS, contribute to the car’s outstanding handling characteristics. They are mounted on weight-optimised, forged and burnished M light alloy wheels in Acid Orange and feature an exclusive 666 M star spoke styling.
Moreover, the mandatory safety features for the DTM safety car are already fitted: in the form of the optional Clubsport Package – available for the BMW M4 GTS at no extra cost – including an Acid Orange roll bar located behind the front seats, 6-point seat belts especially adapted for racing and a fire extinguisher. Therefore, to render the car suitable for DTM racetracks, it was only necessary to install the specific safety car light system with an LED light bar on the roof, LED flashers in the distinctively designed front apron as well the flash mode function for the LED headlamps. Clearly visible “DTM Safety Car” stickers and a radio installation for interference-free communication between the safety car crew and the race control were also added.
Jürgen Kastenholz has been the official DTM safety car driver since 2010. After driving the BMW M4 Coupe DTM safety car for the last two years, he is looking forward to his new car, behind the wheel of which he will sit for the first time at the start of the DTM season in Hockenheim (6 to 8 May 2016). “The BMW M4 excels through neutral handling, fantastic response and enormous power delivery starting at low engine speeds for optimum acceleration out of tight corners,” says the 48-year old. “The new BMW M4 GTS will be even better. So I will have complete trust in the car from the word go – and this is absolutely essential to be able to lead a pack of 24 DTM racing cars quickly around the circuit during the caution periods.”