The Competition/Coupe Sport Lightweight badge is back…again. Meet the new M4 CSL, the 405kW turbocharged flagship version of BMW’s popular performance coupe.
BMWM relaunched one of its most revered nameplates for the second time in two decades for the performance division’s 50th anniversary, with the new 2023 BMW M4 CSL.
The application of the CSL (now Competition Sport Lightweight) badge to the M4 is only the third time in history, after the ‘E9’ 3.0 CSL coupes from the 1970s and the ‘E46’ M3 CSL from 2004 – and distinguishes a stripped down, tuned BMW model designed for the race track.
Attracting the L in M4 CSL is a 100kg weight saving, thanks to the removal of the rear seats (which alone reduces 21kg), among other improvements – although at 1625kg it is 80kg heavier than a standard version of the previous generation 2014 -20 M4, and 285kg heavier than the E46 M3 CSL.
Weight has also been saved thanks to carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the bonnet, boot lid and roof (11 kg saved), reduced sound insulation (15 kg), lighter M Carbon front bucket seats (24 kg ) and a titanium rear silencer that saves 4 kg. .
New 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, lighter carbon-ceramic brakes and “special” springs and spacers save 21 kg overall, with an additional four kilograms in “detail modifications” to the grilles front, rear lights, floor mats and automatic climate control system.
Differentiating the M4 CSL from its standard on-road siblings is a hardcore carbon fiber body kit, featuring a new front splitter, extended side skirts and modified diffuser, plus a ‘ducktail’ spoiler ” on the boot lid and a new ‘lightweight’ front grille inserts.
Red accents are applied to the grille surround, splitter, skirts and brake calipers, while a stripe package can be offered as an option, with red detailing on the roof and bonnet. BMW M 50th Anniversary badging is standard, while Frozen Brooklyn Grey, Alpine White or Sapphire Black paint is available.
A new pair of laser headlights are also fitted, with yellow daytime running lights inspired by racing cars including BMW’s own M4 GT3 – as well as last year’s special edition M5 CS sedan – as well as new rear lights incorporating woven LED light wires, a road-first car.
Under the hood is a familiar 3.0-liter twin-turbo “S58” inline-6 shared with the regular M3 and M4 ranges, although the increased boost pressure increases outputs to 405kW and 650 Nm – up to 30 kW, which are the highest outputs of any mid-size BMW car.
Despite the emphasis on saving weight, drive is sent to the rear wheels via a eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission, which weighs 25kg more than BMW’s six-speed manual – although the three-pedal gearbox can’t handle the CSL’s higher torque output.
However, rumors suggest that a limited-run M4 “GT/H” (GT/Tribute or GT/Homologation) is in the works for a launch later this year, pairing a version of the M4 CSL’s engine with a manual transmission. , new forged wheels, and various comfort features removed.
BMW claims a 0-100 km/h time of 3.7 seconds for the M4 CSL, and a 0-200 km/h time of 10.7 seconds, towards an electronically limited top speed of 307 km/h.
Under the body, chassis upgrades include unique engine mounts, reworked suspension and steering geometry, new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, variable-ratio steering and adaptive dampers that deliver a drop of ride height of eight millimeters compared to an M4 competition.
The arches are filled with 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged alloy wheels – identical diameters to the regular M4 Competition, although they are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup track tires 2R as standard, with 275/5 front and 285/30 rear profiles.
Carbon-ceramic brake discs are fitted as standard. Increasing chassis rigidity is a larger brace under the hood, as well as additional underbody support.
With the help of a retuned 10-level M traction control system, the M4 CSL is the fastest production BMW on Germany’s Nurburgring circuit, with a time of seven minutes and 20.207 seconds on the official track of 20.832 km.
Around the oft-cited 20.632km layout before 2018, the CSL clocked a seven-minute lap in 15.677 seconds, 12 seconds faster than its predecessor, the 2016 M4 GTS track special, and two seconds faster than a Porsche 911 Current Turbo S.
Inside, the lightening continued with the aforementioned full carbon M front bucket seats – a step beyond the carbon buckets available in the standard M4 – plus a rear seat deletion, with space for racing helmets (or other luggage) in place of the second row. .
Although the front benches reduce 24kg compared to a standard M4 seat, they are not intended for road journeys; the height can only be adjusted with a screw linkage in a workshop, and the angle of the backrest is fixed in place.
As with all recent CS-badged BMWs, the M4 CSL gets a new center tunnel which, in the name of saving weight, replaces the console box with an abundance of carbon fiber trim, a small cuffs for infotainment and gear selectors, and a small open storage compartment.
Drivers grab an Alcantara-wrapped, carbon-fiber accented steering wheel, and are greeted with upholstery that mixes black leather and Alcantara, with red accents on the stitching, seat bolsters and deck-mounted CSL plaques. headquarters.
Despite being a special track, the M4 CSL doesn’t compromise on luxury, offering a 10.25-inch center screen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless phone charging, display head-up, automatic climate control and automatic parking as standard or as an option.
Available safety features include autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, parking sensors and cruise control – although the latest system doesn’t offer adaptive radar tech, like the larger one. M5 CS.
Manufacture of the 2023 BMW M4 CSL due to start in July, with just 1,000 examples to roll off the production line – an increase over the 803 ‘F82’ M4 GTS models built in 2016 and the 150 ‘E92’ M3 GTS cars in 2010, but down from the 1383 ‘E46’ M3 CSL.
It’s unclear if any are bound for Australia – although the car is built in right-hand drive, expect a handful to find their way into the driveways of the luckiest BMW buyers.
However, they’ll need deep pockets, as prices in the UK will start from £128,820 (AU$228,000) – around 65 per cent more than a standard BMW M4 Competition, which is priced at $165,500. plus travel costs.
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