The M3 CS is undoubtedly the star among BMW’s road cars attending the 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend but there’s another special street-legal M in Florida these days. As a matter of fact, this M4 CSL serves an active role by performing Safety Car duties during the grueling endurance race. We got up close and personal on the track with the Competition Sport Lightweight.
Much like the M3 CS introduced Frozen Solid White to the Individual portfolio of special paint jobs, the M4 CSL ushered in Frozen Brooklyn Grey. In this case, it’s combined with International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) branding that goes along quite nicely with the car’s standard red accents of the badges and stripes. Eagle-eyed viewers will also notice the anniversary roundels unveiled last year to celebrate 50 years of M.
It goes without saying this isn’t one of the 1,000 cars BMW is making for customers, so it’s either a prototype or an M4 CSL built specifically to serve as a Safety Car. Either way, we’re noticing it has the previous-generation infotainment. It wasn’t until earlier this week when the company announced it will install iDrive 8 in all 4 Series models with cars manufactured from spring, so the CSL uses the old setup.
Touted as being the “re-edition of a legend,” the limited-run coupe is built strictly with two seats and rear-wheel drive whereas its sedan sibling, the M3 CS, keeps the rear bench and adds xDrive into the mix. It’s substantially lighter than the saloon while having the same 543-horsepower configuration of the S58. This twin-turbo, 3.0-liter engine has been massaged to deliver an extra 10 hp for the 3.0 CSL where it routes power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.
2022 gave BMW enthusiasts not only the 3.0 CSL and M4 CSL, but also the new M2, the first-ever M3 Touring, and the hugely controversial XM plug-in hybrid SUV. 2023 is off to a strong start with the M3 CS and we’re expecting more exciting models from the “world’s most powerful letter.” By the way, BMW M had record sales last year, with the i4 M50 surprisingly being its most popular product.