BMW M4 CSL Debuts As A Stripped Down 542 bhp Track-Focused Coupe
- B58 in-line six develops 542 bhp and 650 Nm.
- M4 CSL weighs about 100 kg less than the rear-wheel drive M4.
- Production limited to 1,000 units.
BMW M has revealed its latest high-performance model in the new M4 CSL. The coupe marks the revival of the iconic CSL badge that was first used by BMW in its homologation special 3.0 CSL from the 1970s and the E46 M3 CSL from the early 2000s (discounting the concept only 3.0 CSL Homage). Compared to the standard M4 and M4 Competition BMW has made several changes both cosmetically and under the skin making the hardcore M4 CSL both lighter and more powerful.
Starting with the weight, the CSL is about 100 kg lighter than the standard rear-wheel drive M4. Weight-saving measures come in the form of extensive use of carbon fibre and carbon fibre reinforced plastic in the bodywork and cabin, lighter weight brakes and suspension components, lightweight M alloy wheels, and no rear seats. The familiar B58 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line-six engine gets an upgraded boost pressure among other tweaks to belt out 542 bhp - up from the Competition's 503 bhp - and 650 Nm. Unlike the standard M4, the CSL is rear-wheel drive (RWD) only with power sent to the axle via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. BMW claims a 0-100kph time of 3.7 seconds, down from the RWD M4 Competition Coupe's 3.9 seconds though the M4 Competition xDrive hits the mark in 3.5 seconds owing to its better traction.
The CSL also gets its own unique suspension set-up with a new cast aluminium front strut brace, bespoke springs, dampers, and wheel cambers. The car also sits 8mm lower to the ground.
The M4 CSL gets several upgrades to both enhance downforce and cooling. The oversized BMW kidney grille gets minimal louvres to maximise airflow into the compartment, while newer vents along the lower bumper further help channel air into the engine bay and brakes. Additional vents on the bonnet are designed to help vent heat. New side skirts, rear bumper and rear spoiler round out the design changes.
Inside, the M4 CSL is a strict two-seater with the rear seat deleted to save weight. The CSL gets BMW M carbon-fibre bucket seats which help save about 23kg of weight. The seats lack any frills such as electric adjustability and can only be manually slid forward and back without the need for tools. There is storage space for helmets behind the seats. The dashboard and centre console too feature the extensive use of carbon fibre. Six-point racing harnesses are an add-on option.
You still get BMW's Live Cockpit Professional system with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch central touchscreen with M-specific graphics, a range of driver assistance systems and even a heads-up display. Unique to the CSL is a 10-level traction control system with stages 6-10 based on motorsport applications for maximum grip and stability.
BMW has said that it will only be making 1,000 units of the M4 CSL with production set to commence next month.