2016 M4 GTS: Mike Ura
2016 F82 M4 GTS #K578851
3.0-liter S55 turbocharged inline six-cylinder, 493 hp/443 lb-ft
August 25, 2016
Frozen Grey metallic
Mike Ura (since 2016)
Very few special-edition M cars have reached the US, making the 2016 arrival of the fully track-ready M4 GTS a landmark occasion. Only 700 were produced, with 300 offered to select US customers like Mike Ura. A BMW enthusiast since getting his first 2002 in college, Ura has been known to drive his BMWs far and wide, entering his M1 and i8 in HPDE and concours events around the country. When the M4 GTS was announced, Ura jumped at the opportunity to order one as a replacement for his Z4 M Coupe track car.
After an excruciating wait—his car was finished on August 25, but BMW NA wanted to deliver all 300 cars at once—he got his GTS from Classic BMW in Plano, Texas on November 1, just two weeks before the Lone Star Chapter’s last track day of the year at Circuit of the Americas. “I put a thousand miles on it in one weekend, then took it back to Classic BMW for the first service, had them install a five-point harness, the Euro fire extinguisher, carbon fiber wheels and Cup tires, then took the car to COTA.”
Ura and fellow GTS owner Lance White put 350 track miles on the car over three days. “We completely shredded the tires!” Ura says he’s since lowered the car while adding more negative camber at the front to save rubber. “It’s as low as it can go and still be safe on the street with all of those carbon bits.”
The GTS may be street legal, but the street isn’t its true metier. “It’s not a practical daily driver. It’s a fun back-road driver, but it’s not fun to drive long distance. It’s fun on the track.”
The GTS inspired Ura to enroll in a BMW CCA Club Racing school at Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas. “This is where the GTS shines. In an HPDE, you’re following the line, but when you’re trying to pass somebody you’re off-line. The car responds so well to off-camber or imperfect weight-transfer situations.”
That’s something only a few drivers will get to experience. For the rest of us, catching a glimpse of one of these ultra-rare M4s will have to do. That never gets old, even when said GTS lives in your garage.
“The back end of the GTS is one of the most beautiful sights on a modern BMW, with the perfect stance on those huge, wide tires,” Ura says. “And I love the Acid Orange roll bar, and the front end with the scoop accented in orange. It really is such a cool car.”