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M cars hold a special place in the hearts of BMW fans. Understandably so, that little M badge typically means the most unhinged, performance-oriented variant of a BMW vehicle. Better yet, the M4 super coupe is back for 2025 with the twin-turbocharged, 543-horsepower BMW M4 CS. However, even with tire-torturing power and weight savings compared to the M4 Competition, it’s not the M car we’d pick. Not with the swivel-eyed BMW M2 on the scene.

The 2025 BMW M4 CS is the latest addition to the 4 Series M car lineup but driver’s car enthusiasts might have more fun in the cheaper, smaller M2

BMW announced the arrival of the 2025 BMW M4 CS, an M car middle ground between the entry-level (if you can call it that) M4 Competition and the track-ready M4 CSL. For the new CS model, BMW extracted an extra 20 horsepower, bringing the output up to 543 ponies. However, even with volcanic power reserves, drivers seeking Freude am Fahren might be better off with the BMW M2.

Sure, the 2025 BMW M4 CS will outsprint the comparably diminutive M2. With its standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and 90-horsepower advantage over the 2 Series M car, BMW claims the M4 CS will hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds on its way to an 11.1-second quarter mile. That puts the M4 CS half a second ahead of the M2 in the sprint to 60 mph. 

A blue 2024 BMW M2 gets sideways on a track.
2024 BMW M2 | BMW

However, the M4 CS drops the enthusiast ball in a few capacities. First, the M4 model rides on an all-wheel drive platform, rather than the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) setup on the M4 Competition. That said, the M4 CS’s AWD system is rear-biased, so drivers will be able to find those familiar sideways shenanigans with a healthy dose of throttle.

Moreover, the 2025 BMW M4 CS packs an eight-speed automatic transmission. That means snappy shifts, as evidenced by the M4 CS’s impressive acceleration times. However, it also means fans looking for engaging driver’s cars might be better off with the 453-horsepower G87 BMW M2 and its available six-speed manual transmission. It’s an M car, after all. 

The new 2025 BMW M4 CS shows off its front-end styling next to a sunrise.
2025 BMW M4 CS | BMW

Finally, Car and Driver describes the latest M4’s steering feedback as “MIA,” meaning it’s missing altogether. It’s a bit tragic given the expectations that M cars are among the most engaging driver’s cars on the market. Then there’s the matter of the grille. 

Model0-60 mph¼ mileEngineStarting price
2025 BMW M4 CS3.4 seconds11.1 secondsTwin-turbo 3.0L I6$124,675
2024 BMW M23.9 seconds12.2 secondsTwin-turbo 3.0L I6$64,195