You can’t get a Honda Civic without paying ADM (Adjusted Dealer Markup) at the moment. While things are starting to get better for customers, there are dealers across the country that are just stacking tens of thousands of dollars on top of list prices. And it’s especially true for special models. So it isn’t surprising to see BMW M4 CSL’s at some dealerships around the country (we don’t want to name names) sell for around $200,000. But the question is: could that possibly be the investment?
It’s actually difficult to answer. There’s no doubt that the M4 CSL will eventually be worth more than its MSRP, even if it takes a few years. As a limited-run car with the “CSL” name, it will certainly appreciate in value over the years. However, that might not happen so quickly. The last-gen BMW M4 GTS suffered a bit of a price drop a few years after its release. Sure, there were some flippers who made money on them right away but after the hysteria surrounding the M4 GTS died down, it depreciated. It’s only now that the M4 GTS is seeing impressive appreciation. So it’s possible the M4 CSL suffers a similar fate.
There’s also the question of desirability. The M4 CSL is a great car but it has incredibly controversial looks, which might reduce its collectability a bit. There’s also the fact that it uses a normal automatic transmission, which lacks the excitement of either a manual or the M4 GTS’ dual-clutch. There’s no doubt the M4 CSL is desirable but how desirable will be the question.
Here’s the problem, though. The M4 CSL doesn’t have to just appreciate to become worthy of its initial investment. It needs to appreciate a lot. At its current price, with dealers asking $50,000 on top of its MSRP, it will have to appreciate that much just to break even. And even if it appreciates $60,000-$70,000, that’s still only around $10,000-$20,000 of real appreciation because, remember that ADM has no impact on the car’s value. And no one wants to spend $200,000 on a collector’s car in hopes that they make enough back to buy a base-model Hyundai Elantra. Essentially, the buyer has to be willing to lose $50,000 of profit on the car.
And it’s not as if buyers have the luxury of waiting it out. If you’re looking at a Honda Civic Type R, you can wait until the media hype dies down, so dealers come down on prices. But the BMW M4 CSL is limited to 1,000 units worldwide, so not every dealer is going to give one up for MSRP. Of course, there are some good dealers that will sell them for fair prices but good luck finding one near you.
In ten years, will the M4 CSL be worth more than $200,000? Almost certainly. Will it be worth so much more than $200,000 that it’s worth buying one at that price right now? I guess we’ll find out.