It’s a shame the DTM series doesn’t get more coverage in the UK, with close competition between 4.0-litre V8-powered coupes sounding like a rather attractive package. The fact it’s on BT Sport might not help, along with the love for our own British Touring Car Championship. Yet, despite somewhat of an unknown over here, BMW UK is going to be offering the M4 DTM Champion Edition.
Built to celebrate Marco Wittman taking the 2016 DTM drivers’ title, this special edition seems to be a thinly disguised version of the M4 GTS which everyone went crazy for this year. In fact all the GTS goodness seems to be there – water-injection for the 3.0-litre straight-six turbo sees peak power of 493hp, along with torque of 443lb-ft. Yes, that’s identical to the GTS, as is the 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and 190mph top speed.
In fact the roll cage inside, the big wing on the boot lid, and even the canards and splitter at the front end, are all taken direct from the GTS. Even the wheels are the same, save for being painted Orbit Grey, rather than featuring the wonderful orange details of the GTS. In short, if you can live with BMW Motorsport stickers and having to explain who Marco Wittman is, then this really is a GTS by another name.
You do also get benefit from standard satellite navigation, LED headlights, parking sensors, and even auto-dimming mirrors. Despite sharing a name with a race car, this isn’t a stripped out special, even if it does feature only two seats and an Alcantara steering wheel. Final UK specification is subject to confirmation, as is the actual list price for the DTM Champion Edition. For reference, the M4 GTS retailed for almost £122,000 in the UK – more than double a regular M4. Given the demand for the GTS, and probably something to do with that weak pound sterling, we’d expect that list price to be pushed even higher for the DTM version.
This isn’t the first time that BMW has built special editions to celebrate motorsport victories. In 1989 BMW produced ‘Roberto Ravaglia’ and ‘Johnny Cecotto’ editions of the then current E30 M3. Cecotto also, greedily, gained his own E34 M5 model in 1991, which was built along with the ‘Jo Winkelhock’ special edition. Sadly we can’t substantiate the rumours that Honda was planning a unique ‘Gordon Shedden’ Civic Type R model, but was cancelled due to the car featuring an inane desire to force other traffic off the road.
The DTM Champion Edition is on sale now, meaning you better start brushing up everything about Marco Wittman if you want to impress your local BMW dealership enough to get you on the list.