For only the third time in 50 years, BMW has launched a car featuring the iconic CSL badge – behold the new BMW M4 CSL. Released as part of BMW M’s 50th birthday celebrations, the wide-nostriled machine has received the wonderful ‘more power, less weight’ treatment to make it the most hardcore M4 yet. While the M4 CSL promises epic road-going and track performance, it will still take more than some red lipstick to win us over to those kidney grilles. Sorry BMW.
BMW’s iconic CSL badge stands for ‘Competition Sport Lightweight’, and it’s that last word that makes cars bearing the acronym so unique and desirable. The folks at BMW M have managed to shave an impressive 100kg off the regular M4, with the M4 CSL weighing in at 1,625kg. It may not be as lightweight as the iconic E46 M3 CSL, which weighed just 1,385kg, but the 100kg reduction will undoubtedly be noticeable behind the wheel.
To bring down the weight figure, carbon fibre has been applied liberally to the new M4 CSL. The lightweight material has been used for its roof, bonnet and boot lid, while a new carbon fibre centre console and a pair of carbon bucket seats have been added to save 28kg alone. Standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes, new alloy wheels, lightweight sound insulation and unique suspension components further reduce the car’s weight by 71.3 kilos.
Powering the M4 CSL is a reworked version of the original M4’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine, which now produces 542bhp – 29bhp more than the M4 Competition. The turbo boost pressure has been dialled up from 1.7 to 2.1 bar, while additional power gains come as a result of an ECU remap, a new exhaust system with a titanium silencer, and stiffer performance-oriented engine mounts. The result of BMW M’s tinkering and refinement is a Nürburgring lap time of just 7:15.667, making the M4 CSL the fastest BMW to ever lap the iconic race track.
Unfortunately, there’s no manual option for the M4 CSL, with BMW’s eight-speed automatic gearbox being the only offering. The M4 Competition’s xDrive set-up is ditched for rear-wheel drive, though it’ll still reach 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds with launch control and sticky tyres equipped and power on to a top speed of 190mph.
Just 1,000 M4 CSLs will be built, with only 100 cars allocated to the UK. If you can look past those kidney grilles, prices start from £128,820, so you’ll need deep pockets if you’re looking to add it to your garage. However, this is one new car that stands a good chance of actually going up in value.