The rarest and most expensive safety car in DTM history

Remember how BMW tested the M4 GTS camouflaged as a MotoGP Safety Car before unveiling it in 2015? Well, it turns out that the Germans were just trying to be sneaky. They were working on an actual pace car based on the limited-edition M4. The safety car in question will be used in the 2016 DTM season and was revealed with only a week ahead of the competitions’ debut at the Hockenheimring on May 7.

The specially equipped M4 GTS will pace the DTM field during the entire 2016 season, which includes nine events in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Russia, and Hungary. The GTS replaces the standard BMW M4 Coupe used in 2014 and 2015. The new safety car will be driven by Jurgen Kastenholz, the official DTM pace car driver since 2010.

"The BMW M4 excels through neutral handling, fantastic response and enormous power delivery starting at low engine speeds for optimum acceleration out of tight corners," said the 48-year old. "The new BMW M4 GTS will be even better. So I will have complete trust in the car from the word go – and this is absolutely essential to be able to lead a pack of 24 DTM racing cars quickly around the circuit during the caution periods."

The M4 GTS will lead a pack consisting of race cars based on the Mercedes-AMG C63, Audi RS5, and BMW M4.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M4 GTS Safety Car.

What makes the BMW M4 GTS Safety Car special

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car High Resolution Exterior
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To make the M4 GTS suitable for DTM race tracks, BMW installed the specific safety car light system with an LED light bar on the roof, LED flashers in the lower front bumper grille, as well as a flash mode function for the LED headlamps. Finished in Alpine White, one of four exterior colors available for the M4 GTS, the coupe kept its Acid Orange accents, but received "DTM Safety Car" stickers on the doors and engine hood.

While most road-going cars require substantial cabin modifications to become safety cars, BMW had to change very little thanks to the fact that the M4 GTS can be had with a roll cage from the dealer. The safety feature is included in the optional Clubsport Package and also adds six-point seat belts adapted for racing, and a fire extinguisher. As a result, the Germans only needed to add a radio system for interference-free communication between the safety car crew and the race officials.

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car High Resolution Interior
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The drivetrain is identical to the standard road car and brings together a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Output sits at 493 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of twist, an extra 68 horses and 37 pound-feet over the regular M4. The GTS needs only 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph and tops out at 190 mph, which is more than enough on a race track packed with powerful DTM-spec cars.

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Priced from $134,200 in the U.S. and limited to only 700 units worldwide, the M4 GTS is the rarest and most expensive vehicle to pace the DTM series.

BMW M4 GTS

2016 BMW M4 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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Launched for the 2016 model year, the BMW M4 GTS revived the "GTS" badge after five years. Limited to only 700 units, 300 of which will be shipped to the United States, the M4 GTS features a race-inspired exterior and a modified interior that doesn’t have rear seats and can be equipped with a roll-cage and a fire extinguisher. The coupe also comes with an innovative water injection system that pumps water directly into the plenums of the intake manifold, where it is vaporized, resulting in a lower compression temperature in the combustion chamber. The process allows the turbochargers to operate with increased boost pressure and better spark timing, which translates into more horsepower and torque. What’s more, the system reduces thermal stress on all performance-related components, prolonging engine life. The M4 GTS is priced from $134,200. The standard M4 coupe retails from $65,700.

Read our full review on the BMW M4 GTS here.

Press Release

Special models from the BMW M’s mid-range series with even better performance and radically designed for high-level driving dynamics have enjoyed a lasting tradition at BMW M Division for decades now. The latest example is the BMW M4 GTS, which is limited to 700 units (combined fuel consumption: 8.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 199 g/km)*. In order to provide formidable proof of this elite sports car’s outstanding performance qualities, BMW M has opted for a particularly spectacular way of drawing the public’s attention: The BMW M4 GTS is to become the official DTM safety car during the 2016 season.

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The demands on such a lead car at the most popular international touring car series are high. According to the DTM rules “the DTM safety car is designed and adapted for high-performance driving on race circuits and is powerful enough to maintain the speeds at which other vehicles also participating in the event can be driven without an adverse effect on their racing capabilities.” In other words: the DTM safety car must be capable of setting a speed at which DTM drivers are able to keep, inter alia, the tyres and brake systems of their racing cars within an ideal temperature range.

BMW M4 GTS: impressive r acetrack performance ex works.
The BMW M4 GTS already fulfils these requirements in the production version. Under its bonnet it boasts the award-winning, 3.0-litre engine taken from the BMW M3/M4. Thanks to innovative water injection technology, it was possible to increase engine power output by 51 kW/69 hp to 368 kW/500 hp. Maximum torque was increased from 550 Nm to 600 Nm. Hence, the BMW M4 GTS (ECE kerb weight: 1,585 kg, power to weight ratio: 3.0 kg/hp), which was consistently developed according to the lightweight construction principle, is the most agile, radical and best-handling model in the series. It sprints from a standstill to the 100 km/h mark in a mere 3.8 seconds, reaching a top speed of 305 km/h (limited).

The tyres of the type Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 in the sizes 265/35 R19 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear, which come as standard and were specifically designed for the BMW M4 GTS, contribute to the car’s outstanding handling characteristics. They are mounted on weight-optimised, forged and burnished M light alloy wheels in Acid Orange and feature an exclusive 666 M star spoke styling.

2016 BMW M4 GTS DTM Safety Car High Resolution Exterior
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Moreover, the mandatory safety features for the DTM safety car are already fitted: in the form of the optional Clubsport Package – available for the BMW M4 GTS at no extra cost – including an Acid Orange roll bar located behind the front seats, 6-point seat belts especially adapted for racing and a fire extinguisher. Therefore, to render the car suitable for DTM racetracks, it was only necessary to install the specific safety car light system with an LED light bar on the roof, LED flashers in the distinctively designed front apron as well the flash mode function for the LED headlamps. Clearly visible “DTM Safety Car” stickers and a radio installation for interference-free communication between the safety car crew and the race control were also added.

DTM safety car driver looks forward to his new racetrack vehicle.
Jürgen Kastenholz has been the official DTM safety car driver since 2010. After driving the BMW M4 Coupe DTM safety car for the last two years, he is looking forward to his new car, behind the wheel of which he will sit for the first time at the start of the DTM season in Hockenheim (6 to 8 May 2016). “The BMW M4 excels through neutral handling, fantastic response and enormous power delivery starting at low engine speeds for optimum acceleration out of tight corners,” says the 48-year old. “The new BMW M4 GTS will be even better. So I will have complete trust in the car from the word go – and this is absolutely essential to be able to lead a pack of 24 DTM racing cars quickly around the circuit during the caution periods.”

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