Every year, every automotive publication puts on its own version of car of the year awards. They all have their own unique names, their own unique ideas, and they’re own collection of cars. But they’re all mostly the same thing. Top Gear’s is called Best Performance Car and it has two components, the road and the track. This video is the track portion, in which TG took a ton of outstanding cars to the Autodrome Most, in the Czech Republic. One of the cars was the BMW M4 CSL.
Of course, there were other cars, too. The Lamborghini Huracan Technica, Maserati MC20, Porsche Cayman GT4 RS, McLaren Elva, Ferrari 296 GTB, and the Audi RS3 were there as well, just to name a few. Seems like stiff competition for the M4 CSL, especially on track where the supercars’ on-road downfalls are meaningless. On track, where you can forgive a supercar’s lack of comfort or practicality, the M4 CSL needs to be especially good.
So what did they think of the M4 CSL? Well, each car only got a little blur of screen time but, during the few moments it did have, the M4 CSL was called one thing—heavy. The M4 CSL isn’t exactly a porky car, tipping the scales at around 3,600 lbs. However, it is heavier than many of the cars in its price point and, more importantly, many of the cars in Top Gear’s competition. Having driven the M4 CSL myself, I can say that it certainly doesn’t feel like it lives up to the “Lightweight” part of its name. However, it’s so fast and so capable, I didn’t really notice on the road.
It will be interesting to see how the M4 CSL performs, relative to its competitors, once the results come out. The BMW M4 CSL has a lot going for it—it’s absurdly fast, it has insane mechanical grip, and its Michelin Cup 2 R tires are relentless. However, it is a bit too heavy, it borders on miserable to drive on the road, and it’s priced the same as cars like the Cayman GT4 RS. So can it actually hang with the established big boys, the cars that we already know and love? On-paper performance only goes so far, a car needs to be engaging and playful to be a great performance car and I’m not so sure Top Gear thinks the M4 CSL is either of those things.