By: Dave Abrahams
Munich, Germany - Scarcely had the fanfare died down on BMW Motorsport driver Marco Wittmann's second DTM Drivers' title in three years than the M guys came up with this limited-edition commemorative special, the M4 DTM Champion Edition. And we do mean limited: just 200 examples worldwide, at a cool €148 500 ex factory.
But let's take a closer look at what you get for the equivalent of R2.34 million rand.
Never before has one of its limited-edition road cars been this closely linked to motor racing, says BMW M president Frank van Meel; it's intended as a track-day special as well as a collector's item.
Motorvation is provided by the same water-injected turbo straight-six as in the M4 GTS, delivering 368kW (51kW more than a standard M4) and 600Nm (up 50Nm on the production version) thanks to the cooling effect of the water vapour on the combustion chambers - a technique first used by BMW on its radial aircraft engines during the Second World War.
In this application, it's good for a 0-100km/h take-off run in 3.8 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 305km/h.
The bonnet, roof, instrument panel bracket and rear diffuser are carbon fibre, the end silencers and quad tailpipes are titanium; the DTM Champion Edition rolls on special racing-spec alloy rims shod with 265/35 R19 front and 285/30 R20 rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup gumballs over carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
It also has individually adjustable dampers, mechanically calibrated like a those of a superbike for preload, compression and rebound damping, so you can get each corner of the car individually set up just how you like it for a given circuit.
It will only be available in the official 'alpine white' BMW M racing livery with its iconic three-colour stripes in pale blue, royal blue and dark along the shoulder lines of the body and over the roof.
The special aero kit has also been designed to echo the look of the DTM cars with lots of clear-lacquered carbon fibre, including the front splitter, the aero flicks ahead of the front wheel arches, the mirror housings, side skirt attachments and rear diffuser - as well as a big rear wing rigidly mounted on the boot lid.
The rear seats have been replaced by a white rollover bar, the front seats by M Carbon bucket seats upholstered in a mix of merino leather and alcantara synthetic suede. The rest of the cabin is completely trimmed in alcantara, including the M Sports steering wheel with its grey '12 o'clock' marker.
The important stuff is all there, however, including satnav, aircon, adaptive LED headlights with glare-free auto high beam, organic LED tail-lights, parking sensors front and rear, and auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors.
BMW SA says the M4 DTM Champion Edition is 'under consideration' for release in South Africa. As soon as we hear more, so will you.