This is hardcore Styled and tuned F82 M4 GTS. The BMW M4 GTS F82 might be the pinnacle of road-going BMW performance machinery but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any room for improvement and some modding, as this stunning example goes to show. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Mike Kuhn.
EPIC F82 M4 GTS Styled and tuned monster
For a very long time, if you wanted to buy yourself a road-going race car that was fully track-ready, you bought a 911 GT3 RS; Porsche’s highly-coveted extreme machine ruled the roost for years, with no one else really offering anything comparable. The most hardcore M3 previously available was the E46 CSL but even that was relatively soft and cosseting compared with the full-on, stripped out, race car approach of the GT3 RS. Then, one day, BMW’s M engineers decided that they’d had enough of Porsche lording it over everyone else and they were going to do something about it and that something was the E92 M3 GTS.
Launched in 2009, just 150 examples of the ultimate M3 were created and it was really something special, with a stripped-out interior complete with rear seat-delete, roll-cage, lightweight windows, lightweight door cards and centre console, all of which helped to shave 75kg from the standard car’s weight, while the S65 V8 was enlarged to 4.4-litres and now made 450hp and 325lb ft of torque, fed to the rear wheels via a seven-speed M DCT gearbox with revised shift settings. It looked the part, with its Fire orange paint, black wheels, aggressive front splitter and vast rear wing and performance was electrifying. We were lucky enough to spend some time behind the wheel of the GTS and it was an incredible machine that sounded insane and felt so monstrously fast; Porsche purists will argue that GT3 RS did everything better, but sitting behind that epic V8, feeling the full force of the thrust it could develop and listening to that howling exhaust note, you really wouldn’t have cared. When the M4 was announced and subsequently launched, the motoring world waited and wondered if BMW would once again unleash a hardcore GTS variant and we needn’t have worried because, in 2016, the M4 GTS was launched.
Like its predecessor, the M4 GTS took the hardcore, stripped-out race car for the road concept and ran with it, making for another epic machine. Under the bonnet, BMW’s M engineers had turned up the wick on the twin-turbo S55, adding water injection which allowed them to safely ramp up power to 500hp, backed up with a hefty 442lb ft of torque which, combined with the 30kg weight saving over a stock DCT M4, meant a 0-62 time of just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 190mph, while the titanium exhaust delivered a spine-tingling soundtrack.
On the outside you got an aggressive front splitter, carbon diffuser, a high-rise rear wing, those eye-catching alloys and that carbon bonnet that everyone wants. Inside, meanwhile, there were lashings of carbon and Alcantara, lightweight bucket seats (in Europe, at least) and a roll-cage, completing the race car look and feel. While BMW was a bit more generous with production, building 700 cars in total, the M4 GTS was not cheap at £120,500 so anyone lucky enough to pick up one of these stunning collector’s pieces is surely likely to tuck it away from the world, barely drive it and, of course, under no circumstances mod it. In that case someone needs to tell Amir Khoshnevis that he’s doing it all wrong…
You know when teachers tell you to stay in school? Well, Amir took their advice and now he’s an eye doctor (and self-confessed serial start-up junkie) and, judging by the fact that he’s driving around in a modded M4 GTS, we reckon he’s doing pretty well for himself though we can’t imagine the young BMW-obsessed Amir could ever have imagined things working out quite the way they have. “I’ve been a BMW fan since early childhood,” he says. “My very stylish uncle in Iran imported an E24 6 Series Coupé and I was hooked! Then a cousin of mine took me for a ride in his new E30 M3 when I was a teenager and I knew I would always be an M fan after that. BMWs represent the perfect blend of style, performance, driving feel, and youthfulness. BMW makes cars that make people feel alive… not just stuffy and pretentious. The M division really gets that! Incredible performance but everyday driving capabilities… something lacking from other manufacturers,” he enthuses and after reading that if we weren’t already BM fans we definitely would be now. While BMW motoring pleasure didn’t happen straight away (“My first car was a horrible brown ’80s Toyota Camry and I’m still recovering from that trauma in high school…”) when he did pop his BM cherry he did it with some style; “My first BM was a ’97 E36 M3 Saloon, black on Saddle interior, manual, loaded! I set a goal to buy an M3 as soon as I had graduated from optometry school (and had a position, of course),” and it was followed by a string of modded M3s, including a Jerez E90, E92 and a white F80 M3 with Sakhir leather that we featured in our Jan ’16 issue and which underwent quite the evolution after its moment in the spotlight. “I rebuilt it and wrapped it Gloss Yellow and my Instagram blew up! The ‘BEEM3R’ became a phenomenon… literally posted everywhere on the net. Truly one of the best-built F8x Ms to date, if I say so myself. I decided to sell her for… the M4 GTS,” he says with a smile. So why the decision to switch?
“The mystique, exclusivity (1 of 300 in the US), history, rawness of the car from manufacturer, styling… it all felt right,” he grins. “The car was in New Hampshire and the original buyer had backed out. I had put out a call to all contacts looking for one and they called me with the offer. It was still in production in Germany.” Now, even with such a prolific modding history, when presented with a machine of the M4 GTS’ calibre even Amir didn’t want to touch it: “The plan was to not mod it and buy another car to mod. That didn’t last long,” he laughs.
Being an M4 GTS, there’s only so much you can do as it basically comes premodded from the factory by BMW, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement and a bit of customisation and individualisation, which is exactly what Amir has done with his GTS and while the mods are subtle, the effect is striking. With BMW having kindly equipped the M4 GTS with a set of KW Clubsport coilovers, offering all manner of adjustment, Amir didn’t need to concern himself with any sort of suspension upgrades and simply got the stock suspension lowered down to track height, eradicating the arch gap and instantly enhancing this M4’s street appeal. One thing the GTS was afflicted with was a lack of stance, in the traditional sense of the word, with the wheels tucking into those swollen arches and that look was never going to do so a set of 15mm spacers was applied front and rear and that now gave this GTS the sort of pumped-up, planted stance that it needed. The next thing on Amir’s shopping list was wheels because while the original items were certainly unique, all that orange detail on them was a bit much and didn’t really do them any favours and a build of this calibre deserved something a bit more special. For his first set, Amir ordered up a set of one-of-a-kind GTS-inspired black and orange ‘Pac-Man’ wheels from Brixton Forged, running a 20” front and 21” rear combo and while they looked good and stayed on the car for a while, they were never going to be around forever for one simple reason: “I’m always thinking about new wheels! Nothing impacts the look of a build more than the choice of wheels,” says Amir and he is of course right and that wheel addiction meant that another set was inevitable, which brings us to the wheels the GTS currently wears. They are BBS RT88s, 20s all-round, with Platinum centres, polished stepped lips with a brushed clear finish and Acid orange centre caps and they look so utterly awesome and suit the GTS so well. They take all those styling cues from BBS’ iconic racing wheels and modernise them, creating a contemporary wheel that works so well on a motorsport build and we love them.
Amir now moved under the bonnet and turned his attention to the engine and the bay. With 500hp on tap he wasn’t looking to squeeze any more power from the S55 as far as remaps are concerned but what he has done is added an Eventuri intake kit, finished in orange Kevlar and carbon fibre, which looks spectacular. To keep that orange theme going Amir has also added a whole selection of colour-coded hardware and highlights, with numerous anodised fasteners throughout the engine bay and orange details on the engine cover, and it’s little touches like this that make all the difference. We like the fact that Amir has taken the grey and Acid orange colour scheme created for the car by BMW and made it his own by expanding on the orange elements through, and that includes the interior. Stock, the GTS cabin already feels seriously special, dominated by that orange roll-cage, but here too there for room for both improvement and customisation and Amir has most definitely added his own touch to proceedings. First of all, carbon: lots and lots of carbon everywhere; where the standard car uses a surprising amount of plain black trim, Amir has upped his interior game and fitted a carbon gear selector with carbon surround along with carbon steering wheel trim. Then come the Acid orange highlights, framing those carbon slivers on the steering wheel and then there are the rather sexy orange gear shift paddles by Autotecknic, which just look so good.
Now you might think that, surely, there’s nothing to be done with the exterior because the M4 GTS is positively overflowing with unbridled aggression but, for Amir, there was a little something missing. Along the car’s flanks he’s added carbon side blades, which enhance the whole motorsport look, while at the rear sits an indecently sexy carbon diffuser.
The GTS does come with a carbon diffuser as standard but the OE item lacks a little visual clout; the 3D Design item that’s been fitted in its place, however, delivers the sort of drama this car deserves. The small triple fins of the standard diffuser are replaced by a pair of larger items, the rear edges treated to a custom flash of Acid orange, and the whole diffuser array includes side fins that extend past the bottom of the rear bumper and it really finishes off that rear a treat. Finally, we come to that rear spoiler, not exactly small and shy as standard but, for Amir at least, lacking a little visual impact so he’s taken the stock aerofoil and mounted it on a pair of Acid orange risers, which lift the wing about twice as high above the boot lid as the stock struts and it’s an awesome finishing touch to this sensational build.
“A set of 15mm spacers was applied front and rear and that now gave this GTS the sort of pumped-up, planted stance that it needed”
As with some of the best builds, Amir’s mods aren’t outrageous or excessive, but everything he’s added to his GTS has just enhanced its looks, amped up the aggression and really emphasised that race car nature of the beast. You can’t ever really call aggressive carbon aero or Acid orange spoiler risers subtle but all the mods blend so well with the original car’s aesthetic that if you didn’t know otherwise you’d swear they were standard. It goes to show that even on a car as outrageous and full-on as the M4 GTS, BMW has to show some self-restraint, which is great news for those looking to take their GTS all the way to 11. Amir’s not done yet though, we know that much for a fact because between us shooting his car and getting it into the magazine he’s wrapped it matt black and fitted another set of wheels. But, you know what? While we respect Amir for continuing to exercise his creative muscles and evolving the car further, for us he hit the sweet spot with this incarnation and we’re glad to have it in these pages looking this way. Of course, this is not a static build, it’s an ongoing project and that means it’s likely to change yet again before too long, perhaps new wheels, a fresh look, maybe even that big turbo that Amir casually mentions as his perfect money-no- object mod. Whatever he decides to do, wherever he takes his M4 GTS, the very fact that he’s bought one and is modding it is what matters to us; we love the even more awesome machine he’s created from an already awesome machine, and that’s no mean feat.
This GTS is pure aggression. Striking roll-cage is standard issue. Carbon and Acid orange trim plus Acid orange Paddles. Eventuri intake in carbon and orange Kevlar. Numerous Acid orange highlights throughout the engine bay make all the difference. 20” BBS RT88s suit the GTS so well.
“They are BBS RT88s, 20s allround, with Platinum centres, polished stepped lips with a brushed clear finish and Acid orange centre caps and they look so utterly awesome”
DATA FILE BMW F82 M4 GTS
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.0-litre straight-six S55B30, Eventuri intake system in orange Kevlar and carbon fibre, engine bay hardware upgrades in Acid orange by Down Star. Seven-speed M DCT gearbox
CHASSIS 9.5x20” ET20 (front) and 10.5x20” ET35 (rear) BBS RT88 wheels with Platinum centres, polished lips with brushed clear finish and Acid orange centre caps, 265/30 (front) and 295/25 (rear) Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, 15mm spacers, stock KW Clubsport coilovers
EXTERIOR Full body paint protection film by Detailed Designs Auto Spa, 3D Design carbon fibre side blades and rear diffuser, IND Distribution rear wing risers in Acid orange
INTERIOR IND Distribution carbon fibre gear selector, gear selector surround and steering wheel trim, Acid orange steering wheel trim highlights, Autotecknic Acid orange paddle shifters, fire extinguisher
THANKS Chris Rentfrow at Hendrick BMW, the team at IND Distribution, my style guides Genc (@omgt3) and David (@amguice)