The keys, that looked like those of any other M Performance car, unlocked the muscular matte grey BMW. As the brake lights lit up, I knew something special was about to be awoken. The starter motor turned - seconds later, the twin turbo straight six roared into life (at 5 in the morning).
On Boxing Day, the 26th of December, I had the rare chance to get up close and personal with BMW's most potent M car to date - the M4 GTS. From afar, a normal human wouldn't be able to tell the difference - but upon close inspection, tiny details are revealed to the eye and give the impression that this isn't any normal 4 Series production car.
The front splitter, with their orange highlights, tell you that this isn't your average bolt-on performance kit. No, this bit of kit is moulded onto the body with purpose and speed in mind. And yes, if you're wondering, it is fully adjustable.
The bespoke rims were a stand out for me as it's not normal for BMW to showcase crazy colours like this. The name acid orange alone is something not many would expect from a car brand such as this, but this is a very good indication that BMW's M Division is keeping up with the trends and tastes of the world.
Making your way to to the back, you are greeted by a giant wing, familiar sight in GT3 racing as well as touring car championships, but not something you would normally find on a BMW production car. This helps the car grip to the road and increases downforce and stability through high speed straights and corners.
While the stock M4 gets a carbon fibre roof, the GTS gains a lightweight carbon fiber bonnet, which is vented to help channel all the engine's hot air that’s passed through the radiator away from the engine bay. This keeps temperatures under the hood as cool as possible.
The heart of the beast is the same twin-turbo 3 liter straight six found in the M4. It will scream to 7500rpm but while the normal M4 has to make do with 317KW, the GTS has been tweaked and fiddled to 368KW. This is also due to the new water injection system, the first to be used in a production car in almost 20 years. What this does is very clever. It simply sprays the inside of the engine with a fine mist of water to cool the car down now with more pressure and power from the engine, it still remains calm and cool and under no more strain than a normal M4 if not better.
0-100 real quick! Thanks to a diet, 27 kilograms have disappeared. The GTS is now capable of the average highway speed limit of 100 in 3.8 seconds, and topping out at a jaw dropping 305km/h. BMW has now officially lapped the Nürburgring, a testing circuit of sorts to test a cars speed and handling, in a whopping 7 minutes and 28 seconds. While that may not mean much to the average human it means lots in the car world. Put it this way, it's 24 seconds faster than the normal car and as fast as a Porsche Carrera GT!
The best angle of this car has to be the rear which slightly reminisces the old E46 M3 CSL, with its integrated boot spoiler. Look a bit further and you will see OLED tail lights, something I suspect we might see in future M Models.
The OLED tail lights are for me the most visually appealing features on the GTS, it gives the car more personality in the back and makes it stand out just that much more.
What's an M car without noise? Well BMWs got you covered there. Thanks to a more potent engine, a stainless steel power flowing exhaust has now been fitted to make even more noise. Listening to her idle was like hearing a very angry jungle cat rumble and growl.
Well done BMW, this car has taken me back to the old days where bold statements were a way of saying, we are hear to make the greatest hit of the era and not care about the competition. It's very rare these days where a brand can have a bit of creative freedom and create something a bit eccentric yet purposeful, but still send it into production. So to you BMW, I'll take my hat off.