The BMW M4 CSL carries the weight of its iconic three-letter designation, reminiscent of the revered E46 M3 CSL. However, the M4 CSL faces the challenge of surpassing its predecessor’s legendary status. Straying from the historical comparison, this modern iteration impressively sheds 100kg through the use of carbon ceramic brakes, lighter wheels, and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic components.
The exterior showcases distinctive red accents, yellow daytime running lights, and a nod to racing heritage. Inside, the rear seat bench is replaced with indentations for helmets, contributing to a weight reduction of 21kg. Carbon fiber bucket seats further lighten the load. Performance-wise, the S58 twin-turbo inline-six gains 39bhp, achieving 542bhp and a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds.
Chassis enhancements include new aluminum strut braces, adjusted springs, dampers, and camber angles, resulting in a more agile and responsive driving experience. The downside is a notably firm ride, although customizable modes offer some relief. The CSL’s handling potential varies with tire options, and our test car featured Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S rubber.
While the engine’s increased power is evident, the higher turbo boost pressure introduces noticeable lag. The noise level is elevated due to reduced soundproofing, the absence of the rear seat bench, and a new titanium exhaust. The eight-speed automatic gearbox delivers aggressive upshifts, though some may miss the previous DCT.
The M4 CSL, with its two-seater configuration, comes with a hefty price tag of £128,820. While it offers a sharper driving experience, it may not justify a £50k premium over the M4 Competition. However, the classifieds reveal intriguing options at a lower price point, making the CSL more appealing for those seeking a unique driving experience.