Fireproof pants at the ready: BMW reveals the M4 GTS

Rival to Porsche 911 GT3 boasts 493bhp

BMW M4 GTS price, spec and on sale date

GRAB YOUR fireproof pants, slip on some pixie boots and scrub the visor of your crash helmet – if you’re into fast cars, you’re going to like the BMW M4 GTS.

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Aimed at drivers who would rather be taking Silverstone’s Copse Corner flat-out than grinding nose to tail around the M25, the M4 GTS will be limited to a production run of just 700 cars and cost £121,770 in the UK.

If you’re tempted, you’d better pick up the phone quick: just 30 examples of the race-ready machine will be available in the UK – disappointing, given that more than 300 are destined for American drivers.

BMW M4 GTS price, spec and on sale date

Still, that does ensure exclusivity for those quick enough to catch the fastest M4 available. Like the standard car, it has a 3-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine, but a new water injection system cools the temperature of the intake air, allowing the turbos to operate at higher pressure.

A five-litre tank stored in the car’s boot holds the water. BMW says it will last about as long as one tank of petrol when you’re going flat-out at a track day, or about five tanks of fuel during normal road driving.

BMW M4 GTS price, spec and on sale date

The extra turbo pressure raises peak power from 425bhp to 493bhp, and torque from 405 Ib ft to 442 Ib ft. If that water tank runs dry, the driver’s left with a car that is no more potent than a standard M4 and – despite BMW’s claims of it being stripped-out and track-ready, with no back seats – is slightly heavier too.

BMW M4 GTS interior

Nonetheless, performance is impressive. The GTS powers from 0 to 62mph in 3.8 seconds and can go on to 190mph. It has set a 7min 28sec lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, almost 30 seconds quicker than a standard M4.

The GTS has a number of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic components, and the two racing seats have a carbon-fibre structure. As in its predecessor, the M3 GTS, the internal door handles have been replaced by fabric straps.

BMW M4 GTS door straps

Keeping the M4 GTS in check is an adjustable rear wing about the size of a camp bed, a bulging bonnet that feeds air to the engine, lightweight 20in alloy wheels (with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres) and a titanium exhaust system. Racing-car-style suspension is adjustable, and the brakes have carbon-ceramic discs, which can cope better with high temperatures.

Production starts in March and deliveries of UK models begin in June.

“I honestly haven’t enjoyed driving a vehicle as much as this for months.” Jeremy Clarkson reviews the BMW M4.