BMW M4 GTS is named official DTM safety car for 2016 season

Article by Christian A., on May 2, 2016

For a number of decades, BMW M Division has had a practice of creating special models using the mid-range series of the BMW M. These models were mainly designed to display better performance and have high-level driving dynamics.

The most current example of this tradition is the BMW M4 GTS. With only 700 units manufactured, the M4 GTS has combined fuel consumption at 8.5 1/100 km with combined CO2 emissions coming in at 199 g/km. To make sure that the public is able to see for themselves the outstanding performance qualities exhibited by this elite sports car, the brand chose a rather remarkable way of doing so. Specifically, for the 2016 season, the BMW M4 GTS will be the official DTM safety car.

To earn the privilege of being the lead car of what is considered the most popular international touring car series, the BMW M4 GTS has to meet high demands. As specified under DTM rules, the safety car has to be designed and even adapted to high-performance driving especially on the tracks.

In addition, the safety car should have enough power in order to maintain the speed necessary at which the participating vehicles can run without feeling any negative impact on their racing capabilities. Simply put, the DTM safety car has to be able to set a speed that DTM drivers can sustain. This entails having the tyres and the brake system operating within the ideal temperature range. Not surprisingly, the production version of the BMW M4 GTS already meets these demands.

Since 2010, DTM’s official safety car has been driven by 48-year old Jürgen Kastenholz. For the past two years, he has driven the BMW M4 Coupe DTM safety car. Kastenholz revealed that he is looking forward to drive this new car and will sit behind the wheel for the first time at Hockenheim from May 6 to 8, 2016, the official start of the DTM racing season.

According to Kastenholz, the BMW M4 shines due to a number of characteristics like fantastic response and neutral handling. It delivers amazing power delivery even at low engine speeds, he adds, helping optimize acceleration when driving out of tight corners. Kastenholz reveals that he has complete trust of the car once the go signal is given, an important attribute one needs in order to lead a group of 24 DTM racing cars running around the track during caution periods.

Exterior Design

The BMW M4 GTS can be fitted at no extra cost with the optional Clubsport Package. This package in fact already has the required safety features for a DTM safety car.

Different safety features include a fire extinguisher, the 6-point seat belts adjusted for racing, and Acid Orange roll bar placed at the back of the front seats.

However to make sure that it would be a fit for the DTM racetracks, a specific safety car light system that had an LED light bar on its roof is installed. Installed as well are the flash mode function for its LED headlamps and the LED flashers on the front apron that has been uniquely designed.

Visible on the vehicle are the stickers with the "DTM Safety Car" labels. Added to the BMW M4 GTS is the radio installation that allows for interference-free communication between race control and safety car crew.


Under the bonnet for instance is a 3.0-liter engine similar to the one inside the BMW M3/M4. With the use of the state-of-the-art water injection technology, the output of its engine is increased by as much as 51 kW/69 hp, going as high as 368 kW/500 hp.

Even peak torque was increased to 600 Nm from 550 Nm. In addition, the BMW M4 GTS was developed using the lightweight construction principle which results in it having ECE kerb weight at 1,585 kg with power to weight ratio measured at 3.0 kg/hp. This also makes it not just the most agile model of its series, but also the most radical and offers the best handling.

Maximum speed is at 305 km/h (limited) with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Fitted as standard and designed specifically for the BMW M4 GTS are the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres sized 265/35 R19 for the front with the rear sized at 285/30 R20.

These tyres also help the M4 GTS attain outstanding handling characteristics. The tyres have been mounted on the forged, burnished and weight-optimized light alloy M wheels which come in Acid Orange and sports the 666 M star spoke style.

Press Release

New high-performance special model BMW M4 GTS to be employed as a safety car at the DTM in 2016.

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.

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.

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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Topics: bmw, bmw m4, coupe, gts, safety car, dtm



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