Despite being slightly overshadowed by the BMW M3 Touring, the M4 CSL is still one of the most exciting new BMWs of the modern era. For starters, it brings the iconic nameplate back from a nearly 20-year hiatus. The last CSL model was the E46 M3 CSL from 2003 and it is still considered by some to be the finest driving BMW in history. So this new car has a lot to live up to.

In terms of speed and performance, the new M4 CSL won’t have any trouble living up to the name. With a 543 horsepower straight-six engine, rear-wheel drive, and tons of aero, it’s seriously quick. It even recently became the fastest production BMW to ever lap the Nürburgring, so it has the performance credentials to hang with the other Bimmer to share its nameplate. However, there will be questions of feel, feedback, and driver engagement that won’t be answered until the media can drive it.

Photos by

The M4 CSL’s looks will also be part of its legacy, whether that seems fair or not, as you can see in this new photo gallery from Le Mans. Its spiritual predecessor, the aforementioned M3 CSL, is still one of the best looking Bimmers in history. This new car is always going to face the controversy of its kidney grille design. Admittedly, in ten years maybe we all look back on the grille as a forward thinking design that was ahead of its time. However, at the moment, it’s still widely criticized, which will certainly weigh on its legacy, at least in its immediate future. Which is a shame because the rest of it is good looking. The M4 has had a good overall shape since its debut and it only gets better, thanks to the CSL’s ducktail spoiler.

Of course, if it’s brilliant to drive, none of that will matter. So let’s hope that, when we actually get our hands on it, the M4 CSL will live up to the legacy of its name.

[Photos by]