First rumbles of the BMW M4 GT4 surfaced as early as late 2016 before making its real-world debut in the midyear, in time for its track-side premiere at the Nurburgring 24H endurance race though it did not compete.
Now, it’s available in Australia with the first delivery already being made to the factory-backed BMW Team SRM, who will be fielding the car at the Australian GT Championship and the Bathurst 12 Hour in February.
The M4 GT4 is, simply put, the race version of the BMW M4 that can be bought outright and ready to race immediately having been developed to conform to a wide variety of FIA regulations that cover multiple non open-wheel racing series, costing a cool $300,000.
It borrows plenty from the BMW M4 GTS, the track-focused and limited-run version of the F82, but features about 20 percent new and/or different components. Naturally, there’s much less sound-dampening material and barely an interior in the conventional sense.
It’s a stripped-out, zero luxury racing car, after all, and more of the car’s construction makes use of carbon fibre reinforced polymers. Additionally, there’s racing wheels and tyres, and much more aggressive aero package, regulation roll cage, larger carbon brakes, an air jack system and hardier suspension components to withstand the punishment of non-stop track use.
What was carried over, however, is essentially all the oily bits. Mounted in front is the same S55 twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six that should produce more than 335kW, though an exact figure was not disclosed.
For reference, the M4 GTS on which it’s based produces 368kW and 600Nm at its respective peaks. There’s a good chance that it’s been left in a lowered state of tune to guarantee greater endurance. Drive is sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a 7-speed M-DCT dual-clutch transmission with some special motorsport-oriented calibrations thrown in.
On receiving their own M4 GTS, BMW Team SRM boss and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Steve Richards said: “It's been a 12-month build-up since BMW first had the prototype running, and it's everything they said it would be. It's so easy to run. When we picked it up from the airport, I drove it onto the trailer. Everything about it is simple; it's perfect for an amateur racer to put on the trailer, head to the track, have a drive, and then put it back in the shed. It's a very user-friendly, low-overhead car.”
"It's great to drive," he added. “Its corner speed is fantastic. There were some Supercars and some Carrera Cup cars running during the test, and through the corners the M4 GT4 was as fast, if not faster, than anything else. I'm really pleased with the car. I didn't expect anything less, but it's always nice to drive a new car and experience it first-hand.”