Is the BMW M4 CSL the Best 4-Series Car Ever?
BMW loves to tease us with special editions of its cars. The company’s M upgraded cars are legendary performance beasts, its Alpina cars add even more plushness to its luxury cars, and the Competition x KITH versions will turn any of us into track day heroes. But for 2023, the CSL Couple version of the BMW M4 may be the one to drool over.
What does CSL mean on an M4?
Since the 1970s BMW has created ultra-special versions of its best cars for enthusiasts. The CSL label was first stuck on a BMW in 1973 with the 3.0 CSL, which most called the “Batmobile BMW” because of its aerodynamic fins and splitters. It was a racecar turned loose on the street. In the 1970s BMW wasn’t as addicted to acronyms and x’s, and CSL simply meant “coupe sport leicht” in German. Today, BMW tells us the CSL stands for “competition, sport, lightweight.”
Though the acronym has changed a bit, the mission of the new M4 CSL is the same: add lightness to a road car and make it something that will feel more like a racecar. It has a carbon hood, a carbon front splitter, a carbon hood, and trunk lid, and front seats that have been carved out into skeletons to shed extra weight. We didn’t mention the back seats because they’ve been removed, too. Overall, the company lightened the car by 240 pounds.
How much will the BMW M4 CSL cost?
Take a deep breath. The M4 CSL starts at $139,000, which is nearly $90,000 more than a regular 430i. That’s a lot of scratch for a coupe that doesn’t even have back seats. But, when you’re trying to set a personal best lap time at Road America or Laguna Seca, this is the one to show up with.
Of course the upgrades are more than the motor and cosmetics. You do get a set of carbon ceramic brakes, like an F1 car’s, and ultra-lightweight wheels. It also has a different version of the M Steptronic transmission that can handle the car’s 479 lb-ft of torque.
How many M4 CSLs were made?
Production began last summer at BMW’s Plant Dingolfing in Germany, and they only made 1,000. The market for a two-seat, track-focused, ultra-light car is small, and BMW knows that. But it also tried to keep the number small to protect the exclusivity of this rare beast. It’s made alongside the regular 4-Series cars.
Is the M4 CSL the fastest BMW?
If you’re on the Nurburgring, it’s the fastest. The M4 CSL set the fastest lap time of any road-ready BMW ever. That’s saying something. But it does have a 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that makes an astounding 543 horsepower. While the engine is impressive, the suspension has also been re-worked and the CSL sits 8mm lower than the standard car. It’s top speed, according to BMW is 191 mph.