January 7, 2016
BMW is world renowned for their performance cars. Their M power engineers are almost unbelievable; they make sedans that compete with super cars. M3s are considered to be the benchmark at which car handling is compared. The M3 E90 Saloon (5th generation M3 (2007-2011)) was faster as a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (2006-) around the Top Gear test track. This year BMW thought that normal M Power was not enough; so they made a 700 model limited edition M4 GTS. The car has already recorded a blazing lap time around the Nürburgring. At 7:28 minutes it beats quite a few supercars; including the McLaren MP4-12C. Normally I would be keen on pointing out that the M4 has four seats… but this one does not, just a giant roll cage and presumably a 1.3 gallon water tank near or below that. However, the BMW M4 GTS is a Limited Edition monster, only 300 will reach US shores (for the first time). Those that do; have one objective, to get their owners safely to the nearest track; then making all the other cars and drivers feel inadequate. Which should not be hard for the first production car to ever be water injected, and the genius that bought it. Some might be wondering why it is the first production car to ever be water injected; it does not even sound that impressive; all cars have water in them. Upon further explanation; some of those very same people, might say that is lame to spray water into an explosion, but it’s actually the coolest… literally. Cooler air for an engine, is like an apple a day, for a person. It gives them both a boost of energy while also prolonging wear and tear. Colder air is denser and more saturated with oxygen; which produces more power without any more stress (increasing efficiency). That is why more contemporary automakers are adding turbochargers to even their most basic cars. Adding a fine mist of water into the intake manifold cools the air and explosions (through vaporization) within the pistons. This means that the air is less turbulent and more readily recycled (spinning the turbo turbine). So the question remains, why is this the first car to receive this moisture treatment? Honestly, it is pretty precise and difficult; it is not like hooking up a spray bottle to one’s intake manifold; there are actually quite rigorous calculations involved. Every spritz into the manifold has to take into consideration every temperature in the system (oil, water, and ambiance) and the speed at which pistons are moving to determine how much water could be introduced without leaving any within the chamber. For the same reason fording a river in a Gallardo is a bad idea; it could hydrolock the pistons, or cause rust once upon a time. It should be noted that the normal M4 is rather impressively cooled as well. The entry level (for this guy at $65,000) M4 Coupe has an indirect intercooler, a track inspired side mounted water cooler for hot and cold water circuits and an electric cooling pump that cools the turbine bearing mounts when the car is idling. Furthermore, those 700 people will enjoy improved weight saving, steering dynamics and borrowed racing technology. The M4 GTS will illuminate the streets with first of their kind (for BMW) Organic-Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). This limited edition M4 GTS should make 700 of even the most average BMW drivers look like Speed Racer. Including the fact that they have to keep on top of their water consumption. At the very least, those OLED might look a little like Audi… which could be worse.