BMW M4 GTS gets world’s first water-injected engine

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  • October 8, 2015


Some driving enthusiasts fear that as cars become increasingly more advanced that driving purity will be sacrificed. The BMW M4 GTS dashes those fears to bits.

Although the car might look like a racier version of the German brand’s M4 coupe, little could be further from the truth. Because the car boasts two production car world-firsts: a water-injected engine in the front and organic light emitting diode (OLED) tail lights in the rear.

Let’s start up front. BMW engineers have taken their potent 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder and, for the first time in a production car, fitted it with water injection. Though the technology has been utilized and proven on the racetrack for many years, this is the first production car to include it. It has many technical benefits. Essentially, injecting water in the cylinder along with a tiny mist of gasoline allows the engine to run at higher rpm than without the water. And, as we learned during dieselgate, higher compression engines not only run more efficiently, they also generate more power.

Water injection ups horsepower output by 16% to 493 horsepower.

The result of adding water injection to the M4 motor is a 16% bump in horsepower and a 10% increase in torque, totaling 493 hp and 442 pound-feet. These performance figures will rocket the M4 GTS from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on the way to its top speed of 189.5 mph. All that power is routed to the rear wheels through the 7-speed M double-clutch transmission and the active M rear differential. Amazingly, the car is capable of generating all this extra oomph while returning similar fuel efficiency numbers as the ‘standard’ M4 coupe.

As for the rear-end tech, while not as mighty as the engine, the OLED lights are nonetheless impressive. Compared to LED lights common in high-end cars, OLED are incredibly thin and emit light across the entire surface, rather than from a single point. Not only does this mean the lights are 1.4 mm tall but they can light up modules individually, creating “fresh possibilities … and distinctive BMW lighting design -– both at night and daylight,” according to BMW.

BMW M4 GTS’ carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic rear wing.

The front and rear aren’t the only spots with cool features on the M4 GTS, the middle has some distinguishing characteristics, too. BMW was keen to cut weight on the GTS, so its carved several components from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), including the roof, hood, instrument panel, and that massive rear wing. It’s also deleted the rear seats and installed a new suspension that is not only lighter weight but also three-way adjustable. The total weight savings result is a curb weight of just 3,494 pounds — 36 pounds lighter than the standard M4. Designers finished the whole thing off with a dark matte paint scheme and added a touch of flare with the BMW M star-spoke wheels with Acid Orange highlights.

If you’re hoping to get your hands on a GTS, I have some good news. Though BMW will only be producing 700 examples worldwide, it will be rolling out 300 for the U.S. market first. So you don’t have to be wildly lucky to get your hands on one, just well connected. If I were you, I’d start making friends with your BMW dealer now-ish.

OLED tail lights give the BMW a distinctive light signature — day or night.

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