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Friday Mailbag: The M4 GTS was a waste

Yes, you’ve made it to Friday. The reward this week is a mailbag on the M4 GTS. Could it be the worst “special” car BMW M has made? Let’s find out. Oh yes, email me your questions! Question Hey Mike. I’m in the market for an F8X, and was surprised to find that the M4…

m4-gts

Yes, you’ve made it to Friday. The reward this week is a mailbag on the M4 GTS. Could it be the worst “special” car BMW M has made? Let’s find out.

Oh yes, email me your questions!

Question

Hey Mike. I’m in the market for an F8X, and was surprised to find that the M4 GTS is pretty attainable regarding price. Is there something wrong with this car that I’m missing? Should I grab one?

– Mary

Answer

Mary, there’s nothing particularly wrong with an M4 GTS. Billed as a a race car for the road, it had crazy things like water injection and a roll cage installed from the factory. But if you check the value on the used market, it’s depreciated to the point where some M3 CS and M4 CS cars are worth the same. Let’s find out why.

M4 GTS
A giant wing and special OLED taillights are marks of the GTS.

What was special about the M4 GTS?

On paper, the GTS was a cool car. To differentiate it from the standard M4 Coupe, the M4 GTS got:

  • Unique wheels with Fire Orange highlights (style 666), though they would later become available on regular M4s, minus the orange.
  • Water injection
  • More boost—21.6 psi versus 17.2 in the regular M4
  • More power, up 44 to 493 horsepower
  • Standard carbon ceramic rotors
  • A carbon-fiber vented hood, roof, strut brace, driveshaft, rear wing, front splitter, and rear bulkhead.
  • Interior trim from a BMW i3, of all cars.
  • A painted roll cage that deletes the rear seats
  • Lighter-than-normal sport seat with manual adjustments
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires
  • Adjustable spring perches that can lower the car 0.8 inches
  • Auto climate control deletion
  • Unique tail lights

All of that, but the GTS still weighs in at 3,550 pounds, the same as a regular M4 with a DCT transmission.

Is the M4 GTS fast?

Yes. If Ring times matter to you, this car will do a lap in 7:27.9, and can hit 60 in 3.4 seconds. That’s impressive, but Nissan GT-Rs, Dodge Viper ACRs, even a regular old Porsche 911 Turbo – all faster. And many don’t require the sacrifice in comfort the GTS does.

And if you’re wondering, a new G82 M4 CSL does the deed in 7:15. That’s a heavier car by about 100 pounds, so it goes to show you just how much more capable the new chassis is (and how much more power it’s actually making).

M4 GTS
The GTS is faster than a regular M4, but not by that much.

How rare is the M4 GTS?

Only 700 were produced worldwide, with 300 earmarked for the US. That makes it a very rare car indeed. And yet…

How much should I pay for one?

As always, we look to auction sites to see what current values are.

Bring a trailer shows 13 examples, with a high of $109,000 (It was brand new with 32 miles on it), and a low of $70,000. The average looks to be about $85k. Other sites show similar prices.

When new, the GTS cost $134,200. Take the average of $85,000, and that’s a depreciation hit of 37%.

I see an M4 CS for $72,000 on Cars & Bids. That had a base of $112,00 new, showing the same amount of deprecation as the GTS.

Seems like being rare hasn’t helped the GTS cause.

Is it at all related to the M4 GT4?

Well…they have four wheels…two doors…

I’m kidding. Sort of. The M4 GT4 is a real race car that is not read legal. It has slicks, bare metal in the cabin, a fuel cutoff switch, and plexiglass for windows. There’s really nothing the two cars have in common aside from the badge and body. The GTS is much closer to a stock M4 than a GT4.

M4 GT4
The GT4 and GTS share good looks and round wheels.

So what’s the problem with this thing?

Though it’s hard to pin it on one, we can look at a few causes:

  • The GTS came out as a pre-LCI model. Post-LCI cars always do better on the market.
  • The regular M4 model was already very fast. As a basic example, a CS would get to 60 in 3.7 seconds. You would not notice the 0.3 seconds missing in the GTS.
  • The F8X chassis was already rough. The GTS certainly did not enhance livability.
  • BMWs typically do better at a price point below $100,000, with the M5 being the lone example of a model that sells well despite its cost.
  • A 911 GT3 RS is a better car. It costs about $40,000 more, but gives you a much more visceral feel. It’s also a lot faster.
  • M4 Competition models received similar wheels, while the CS gave the M4 a similar treatment for less money.
  • That water injection system was weird. I wouldn’t trust it as the car ages.
  • I think any G8X has eclipsed it in performance, value and comfort.

The car was not received well when it was released by many, and that reputation has seemed to stick.

Should you buy one?

All that said, the car has reached the point where it’s bottoming out along the depreciation curve, much like M cars before it. I don’t know if it will ever reach the appreciated pricing of a rare E92 M3, but now might be the best time to buy one if you covet it.

My advice for you here Mary, is to try a regular M4 or CS first and see how you like one of those. Then get in a GTS. You may find the sacrifices required to own the car don’t add up to the additional speed or cost.

M4 Coupe
You may like the standard M4 better.

Want your car reviewed?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email! 

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