BMW M4 CSL — now you’re talking!

Riley Riley

BMWs by and large all exhibit a certain sameness these days.

Let’s face it, in the quest to create more SUVs, some Beemers have become visually challenged.

The rot set in with the launch of the front-wheel drive 2 Series Tourer back in 2015, a clear break with tradition on many levels.

Not so the new limited edition BMW M4 CSL, a car created with a single object in mind — driving it to the limit on a race track.

With 405kW of power, lightweight design, two-seat configuration, model-specific chassis upgrades and features selected specially for the job at hand — the M4 CSL is ready to rock.

The model-specific power unit is based on the same high-revving, six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo that can be found in the fully blown GT3 race car.

Maximum power is 405kW at 6250 rpm while peak torque of 650Nm is produced between 2750 and 5950 rpm.

Drive is relayed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

It does the dash from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h  in 10.7 seconds.

Impressive but not as impressive as the time it posted for the Nürburgring, the fastest ever for a production BMW.

On the 20.6km variant without the straight at section T13, it stopped the clock at just 7 min:15.677 sec.

Its official and notarised lap time for the 20.832-kilometre circuit (the complete lap) was 7 min. 20.207 seconds.


“CSL” stands for “Competition, Sport, Lightweight”, a reference to role weight-minimised design plays in achieving success in motorsport.

The first BMW 3.0 CSL developed by BMW Motorsport took out the European Touring Car Championship on its first attempt in 1973.

Marking 50 years of BMW’s M division and the first CSL, the M4 CSL follows in its tracks and the tracks of other successful special editions from earlier generations of the BMW M3/M4, most notably the BMW M3 CSL from 2003 and the BMW M4 GTS unveiled in 2016.

BMW M has been able to keep the restrict the special edition’s kerb weight to 1625kg, 100kg less than the M4 Competition Coupe and a power-to-weight ratio of 4.01kg/kW.

Fitting M Carbon full bucket seats saved 24kg, while another 21kg were saved by removing the rear seats and seat belts, integrating a partition and making the associated modifications to the luggage compartment.

Chassis changes, including the addition of extra-lightweight M Carbon ceramic brakes and special light-alloy wheels, springs and struts, lowered the figure by around another 21kg.

Switching to ultra-lightweight sound insulation saved around 15kg, while the use of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP)  for the roof, bonnet, boot lid and centre console, deducted some 11kg.

A titanium rear silencer cuts more than four kilos from the weight of the exhaust system.

Detail modifications to areas such as the kidney grille, rear lights, floor mats and automatic climate control shave another four kilograms.

The body of the BMW M4 CSL is painted in exclusive Frozen Brooklyn Grey metallic, teamed with exposed carbon-fibre surfaces and red accents.

Laserlight headlights bring another head-turning accent to the front end, coloured yellow rather than white, bringing to mind GT race cars.

Their glass covers of the LED tail lights have intricate light threads woven into them which are illuminated using laser technology.

Model-specific suspension sees a drop in ride height of 8mm compared to the M4 Competition.

Individually tuned axle kinematics and model-specific wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars optimise steering precision, transmission of lateral control forces when cornering, spring and damping response and wheel location.

Adaptive M suspension is standard with electronically controlled dampers, electromechanical M Servotronic steering with variable ratio and M Carbon ceramic brakes.

The standard-fitted M Traction Control function with model-specific track tuning lets the driver set individual intervention thresholds for wheel slip limitation.

On dry surfaces, stages 1 to 5 help the driver to execute controlled drifts.

Stages 6 to 10 are based on the application developed for touring car racers and make allowance for both surface conditions and tyre temperature to maximise traction and directional stability.

Also standard are forged M light-alloy wheels in an exclusive cross-spoke design, with 19s at the front and 20s at the rear.

These are fitted with high-performance tyres specially developed for the special-edition model: 275/35 ZR19 (front) and 285/30 ZR20 (rear).

The M-specific control/operation system includes the M Setup button for direct access to numerous vehicle settings and two M buttons on the steering wheel for storing preferred configurations.

Standard equipment also features the M Drive Professional system including M Drift Analyser and M Laptimer, plus the M Mode button for activating the ROAD, SPORT and TRACK settings.

Production of the M4 CSL will begin in July, with only 1000 examples to be built.

Here in Australia it will be priced from $303,900, with introduction set for the fourth quarter of 2022.


CHECKOUT: BMW’s forgotten funsters

CHECKOUT: Lego spotlight shines on BMW M RR

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *