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First drive: BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition in SA

2017-06-01 11:09

TRACK DAY WEAPON: The M4 Champion Edition gains the same water-injected straight six engine from the GTS, power is a claimed 368kW/600Nm. Image: Supplied

Sean Parker

Port Elizabeth - It seems BMW is intent on churning out special, limited-run M4 models.

We’ve already driven the hard-core GTS in SA, and reported on the forthcoming CS and now this, the DTM Champion Edition (CE), essentially a GTS with 'M' motorsport livery celebrating the automaker's 2016 DTM title.

I had a brief encounter (sadly a little too brief)  with the GTS in September 2016 but mercifully BMW allowed the media more than a handful of laps with the CE at Aldo Scribante. 

Sold out

Let's get this out of the way - you can’t buy a CE anymore, only 200 were built and the 15 units earmarked for Mzansi are all sold. 

Under the skin of the CE, is essentially the same stripped-out, no nonsense lightweight track day beast like the GTS, however it sport's a fixed wing and front-splitter. 

Importantly, it retains the water-injected 3.0-litre six cylinder turbocharged engine which churns out a raucous 368kW/600Nm. 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 3.8 seconds and it runs out of puff at 305km/h. 

Click on the right arrow to view the gallery of the M4 DTM Champion Edition

Track time

The driving experience is intoxicating. One can imagine the DTM Edition displaying a naughty grin before unleashing a banshee-esque scream from its six cylinders scream as I hurtle towards the first corner of the Eastern Cape circuit. 

The front-end feels lively and pointy, turn-in is precise but as soon I get back onto the throttle I can feel the rear of the car attempting to come around. 

It’s a seriously rapid car, and one that thankfully has a soundtrack to match. The sports seats, material door pulls and roll cage give one a clear indication this car is more at home on a track circuit. 

After three laps of pushing the CE to dizzying speeds all I wanted was more time with it. It’s a pity all have been sold, at R2.3-million each. 

If you manage to spot a CE in traffic, you can identify it by its M-coloured tattoos, gorgeous 20” wheels from the GTS (now in black) wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber and a carbon roof, bonnet and diffuser. 

Hang on a minute, you’ll hear it before you see it. 

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