The German journalists at Sport Auto orchestrated a track battle between the BMW M4 CSL and the GT4 to showcase the gap between the hardcore road car and the track-only machine. The magazine’s test driver Christian Gebhardt made the trip to France to the Dijon-Prenois circuit and hopped behind the wheel of both M4 flavors.

At €187,000, the M4 GT4 is a lot cheaper than the €415,000 M4 GT3 while commanding a premium of nearly €22,000 over the M4 CSL of which BMW is only making 1,000 examples. While no one is cross-shopping the CSL and GT4 considering you can’t drive the latter on the road, it’s interesting to see how much faster the purpose-built race car is in its natural habitat.

Testing both cars on the same day, Christian Gebhardt needed 1 minute and 25.20 seconds to complete a lap of the French track in the M4 GT4. He wasn’t that much slower driving the M4 CSL as he crossed the finish line in 1 minute and 27.56 seconds, meaning the Competition Sport Lightweight lagged behind by a little over two seconds.

The dynamic duo uses the same S58 engine, a twin-turbo inline-six engine dialed to 550 horsepower, although output in the M4 GT4 varies depending on regulation. The main difference between the two is weight since the race car tips the scales at just 1,400 kilograms (3,086 pounds) whereas the limited-run special edition for the road has a dry weight of 1,625 kg (3,582 lbs).

BMW is likely not done tweaking the M4 as the M boss told us a few months ago there is room in the lineup for a street-legal CS version to echo the M3 CS. In addition, the M4 is getting a fully fledged Life Cycle Impulse before 2025, with production reportedly extended until the second half of 2028. A lot could happen in five years.

Source: sport auto / YouTube