Last week, via an Oct. 7 press release, BMW introduced its 2016 M4 GTS – the first production road car in the world to feature a water-injection system. The system injects a tiny bit of water into the engine’s intake manifold. As the water evaporates, it draws energy from its surroundings and lowers the temperature of the intake air by up to 80 degrees F. According to BMW, this system helps boost gas mileage, lowers emissions and improves overall performance.
However, the water-injection system isn’t the only aspect of the GTS that boosts performance and increases fuel efficiency. BMW adds that the new GTS is 200 pounds lighter than previous models of the M4 because of its CFRP construction. Lower weight leads to greater fuel efficiency, which is critical in an automotive market constantly adapting to ambitious fuel efficiency standards. Europe has mandated a 40 percent decrease in CO2 emissions for fleets from 2007 to 2021. Since 2011, BMW has been using composites to meet that goal.
On the outside, BMW used CFRP to make the GTS’ bonnet, front splitter, bootlid and adjustable rear wing. The rear wing works together with the new carbon fiber rear diffuser and the front splitter to optimize the flow of air and reduce lift at the rear axle. According to BMW, this leads to greater high-speed stability. On the inside, BMW used CFRP to make the GTS’ bucket seats and the brace hidden behind the instrument panel. The bucket seats are about 50 percent lighter than the seats in the M4 Coupe. The backseat of the GTS also features a GFRP shelf and a rear panel in carbon fiber sandwich construction.
BMW says the GTS is a limited-edition model to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the launch of its original M3. Only 700 GTS models will be built. For more information on the GTS, go to http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicles/mseries/m4coupe/2014/showroom/bmw_m4_gts/m4_gts.html.