First UK Drive: BMW M4 GTS
We get behind the wheel of the simply animalistic BMW M4 GTS and see if it is a thoroughbred, hardcore coupe.
What is it?
For head turning curbside appeal and a ferocious noise from the exhausts, the BMW M4 GTS is hard to beat. It's engaging to drive and turns the volume up to 11.
If the standard M4 is just a bit too subtle looking for you, the GTS adds its huge 'look at me' rear wing and a front chin spoiler that sticks out like a spoilt child's lip.
They aren't just there for show though, and really add to the performance, increasing power from the standard M4 from 425bhp to 493bhp. But these extras don't come cheaply; in fact they're pretty eye watering with the GTS costing from £120,500, more than double the standard car's cost.
What's under the bonnet?
The GTS has exactly the same 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six from the standard M4. However, thanks to a water-cooled intake manifold, the overall intake temperature is lower, allowing for more turbo boosting and power. The sprint to 60mph takes just 3.6 seconds, and it'll top out at 190mph. Plus a new titanium exhaust gives the car a truly incredible note while on the move.
What's the spec like?
The M4 GTS costs £120,500 – a huge sum of money, especially for a car that looks fairly but half the price. However, it's limited to just 700 cars worldwide, making it a special edition car. This means it is also a superb investment piece.
Rivals are few and far between. However, the Mercedes C63 is similar in terms of its performance and sheer speed but lacks the dynamics of the BMW. Then there's the Porsche 911 GT3 – the performance car benchmark. It perhaps lacks the theatre of the BMW but has just as much performance and feels exceptionally agile.
What's it like to drive?
The GTS is very aggressive, even more so than the standard M4. Thankfully, there are different levels of traction control to choose from, but even with these set the car can be a bit lary, especially in wet conditions.
The steering feels weightier at speed – perhaps too much in its most racy setting. The front end is impressively eager to turn in, and means that you devour country roads at a considerable pace. The ride is pretty firm, but it makes the car feel like a racer for the road.
The previously mentioned titanium exhaust ties up the whole package and makes the car beyond anti-social as it pops and bangs at almost any given speed, and at times making pedestrians jump.
AOL Cars Verdict
The M4 GTS is a real celebration of what can be done when BMW's engineers are left to create a car that isn't restricted in terms of practicality or overall comfort. It's fast, noisy and a real occasion, but the GTS is simply a little too uncompromising to drive every day. That said, with just 70 cars coming to the UK out of the total worldwide allocation, it's a rare thing indeed – and one that is perhaps allowed to be just a little hard-edged as a result.