As Porsche Goes from Strength to Strength, The M4 GTS Waits in the Wings

The recent string of Porsche 911 GT3, Cayman GT4 and 911 GT3RS has been nothing less than compelling for enthusiasts, even BMW enthusiasts. Can BMW answer? For years Porsche has owned the hardcore sports car market in the US as BMW has simply had no answer. In Europe the M3 CSL and then GTS were the strategy. And as the years have passed the CSL (more than the GTS) has become something of a legend with a formula of high-stressed naturally aspirated inline six and some severe weight reduction. However comparisons between them and the Porsche GT models of the time weren’t kind to BMW and current day values make the Porsches the undeniable winners. Fast forward to 2015 and we’re about to see another hardcore sports car battle between the two automakers. And even better it’s a battle we’ll see on US soil.


Can the new M4 GTS compete with the 911 GT3 or Cayman GT4? At its heart the M4 is a 4 series born out of the need to seat four and offer impressive luggage capacity. Basically it has a lot stacked against it from a weight and overall size standpoint. However if there’s one thing that BMW M can do it’s bend the laws of physics with the help of suspension, aero and a high output inline six.

Autodesk VRED Professional 2014 SR1-SP7

Reportedly the M4 GTS we’ll follow the same overall approach that we saw with the E92 based M3 GTS; more aggressive front bumper, wing, no rear seats, racing buckets, half-cage (likely not available in the US just like Porsche’s GT cars), full adjustable suspension and more power. Under the hood the GTS will be fitted with a water-injection system and that BMW showed off earlier this year. Water injection will help cool the engine charge intake, especially useful under hard circuit use, reducing knock and potentially allowing the GTS to run more boost. How much more power? We’re guessing BMW will want at least 50hp more than the standard car. But can it compete with this?

Or more aptly this?

That will be the real answer. Sure there will be plenty of BMW devotees that will love the new M4 GTS. And a lucky few of them will even be able to buy it. But will it win over the larger automotive enthusiasts? Can it beat the Porsches?

Look for the GTS to be shown off at Pebble Beach this August with production starting in March of 2016.

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  • Surya De

    I am gonna start by saying no the BMW cannot compete with the Porsche.

  • An entirely different take. When I started tracking cars, most people ran something like a Fox bodied Mustang because it was cheap, made good power, and parts were plentiful and priced well. Older cars were all over the place, and only the rich boys ran new iron or something exotic like a BMW or a Porsche. To go fast, you had to either spend tons for an import, or spend less for a rough and tumble beater track car that was hot, uncomfortable, and very, very fast.

    Last week, at a Hooked on Driving event, in my session of about 40 cars, there were less than 5 older cars, and all the rest were new. Those that wanted to go really fast for thier money are driving C6/C7 vettes. If you’ve never taken one in a track, they are (especially the C7) just a set of R compound tires away from a full on race car. (Well. you need to add stickers too)! Those that like American power are driving some form of SRT. New BMWs were like jelly beans, with tons of 3s 4s and one 5 out as well. A couple of Porsches were there too.

    Truth is, these types of marketing races are less and less about what real people will drive, and more and more about making a position statement.

    But in the BMW/Porsche race, Porsche will always dominate. Why do I say this? They never, ever, ever stop improving the 911 (and now the Cayman/Boxter). BMW seems to never, ever, ever stop improving the sports sedan, but the efforts to challenge the 911 seem a bit disjointed. We get a special model here and there, but they don’t have the never-ending continous improvement that Porsche (or heck, even Chevy with the Corvette) with the real sports cars.

    The Z3 didn’t stick around long enough to get refined the way the 911 has, and the Z4 won’t last as long either.

    Don’t get me wrong, these special models will be great cars, and they will appreciate well. For collectors. But BMW and Porsche seem to go about their games in a bit different way, and because of that, I think Porsche will be king of the tracks, even if you can’t get much luggage into them.