After a three-year hiatus, Frank Van Meel returned at the helm of BMW M in late 2021 to steer the M ship as it heads toward an electrified future. The journey is about to start with the XM plug-in hybrid SUV, but in the meantime, the Bavarians are doing what they know best – traditional sports cars. The M4 CSL finally debuted this week after a lengthy teaser campaign, and now, the M division’s head honcho guides us through the third-ever Coupe Sport Lightweight.
As Frank Van Meel explains, there is more to the track-focused machine than its bump in power and impressive weight loss. Parts of the comprehensive aerodynamic package are noticeable from every angle, even more so at the front where the beefy spoiler lip has pronounced winglets with striking “M4 CSL” red logos.
The redesigned kidney grille is as large as before, but now with a meaner look while providing improved cooling to match the inline-six’s greater punch. As a nod to BMW race cars of yesteryear, the M4 CLS boasts yellow daytime running lights. It’s not the first modern car from Bavaria to have them as the M5 CS also came with yellow DRLs.
At the back, the aero kit includes a ducktail spoiler influenced by the M3 E46 CSL. While the M4 GTS came with OLED taillights, its direct successor does things differently by featuring. It’s the first production BMW to have glass covers incorporating intricate light threads woven into them, illuminated using laser tech.
Compared to an M4 Competition, it sits closer to the road by 8 millimeters (0.3 inches) on bespoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged wheels. These have a cross-spoke design and come wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires.
With a lap time of 7 minutes and 20 seconds, the two-seater coupe is the fastest production BMW ever around the Nürburgring. It also has the highest top speed of any M car, reaching an impressive 191 mph (307 km/h) when pushed to the maximum.
Those interested in getting the ultimate M4 (until the modern-day 3.0 CSL arrives) better act fast as production is limited to just 1,000 cars for the whole world.
Source: BMW M / Instagram