For the last 30-odd years, special edition M cars have been tantalizing enthusiasts. From the E30 M3 Sport Evolution to the E92 M3 GTS, these rare vehicles offered more power, better aerodynamics and cooler interiors than their regular M car counterparts.
For U.S. M fans, however, “tantalizing” was tantamount to torture. We could read about these special editions but could never buy them through official channels, and neither could we import them privately in most cases.
Fortunately, that sad state of affairs is coming to an end. Following its world premiere at Legends of the Autobahn in August, a production version of the Concept M4 GTS—track-ready but still street-legal—will be coming to the U.S.
In fact, it was designed from the start to be sold in this country as well as in Europe.
“Absolutely!” says Carsten Pries, director of product strategy at BMW M. “The U.S. is by far our biggest market for BMW M cars, and therefore we definitely had this on our books, that we wanted to design the car in a way that it also makes it here to the U.S.”
U.S. regulations affect things like ride height and emissions, but they won’t preclude the M4 GTS from using the water injection system already seen on the M4 MotoGP Safety Car. Injecting a mist of water into the S55 six-cylinder’s intake tract reduces temperatures in the combustion chambers, allowing higher boost pressures from the twin turbochargers along with advanced ignition timing. Horsepower and torque both increase over the standard 425 hp/406 lb-ft; by how much, BMW isn’t saying just yet.
As a side benefit, water injection reduces “thermal stress,” which should increase the engine’s durability and longevity, a good thing on a car that’s destined for the track. And in case you’re wondering what happens if that 5.0-liter water tank runs dry, the computers will dial back boost and ignition advance, returning power to “normal” levels.