BMW’s M4 CSL should be the most exciting Bimmer in the world at the moment. Not only is it the return of BMW’s iconic “CSL” nameplate but it’s also the fastest BMW ever around the Nürburgring. And yet, it’s almost completely overshadowed by the M3 Touring, which is far inferior in terms of performance. So Harry Metcalf recently tested the M4 CSL to see if it’s actually the most exciting new M car.
To make an M4 CSL out of a normal M4, BMW M had to turn the wick up on the engine and give it 543 horsepower, a bump of 40 horses over the M4 Competition. In addition to that, BMW shed about 100 kg (220 lbs) of weight, gave it much improved suspension, sharper steering, and additional structural bracing. After all was said and done, BMW M made the most competent and impressive sports car in its history.
However, competence doesn’t always mean excitement, nor is capability always fun. So can the M4 CSL actually be fun and engaging to drive on the road or is it so hardcore that it needs to a track to be enjoyable?
In this new video Metcalf walks you through the M4 CSL, what makes it different from an M4 Competition, and why it’s important. He then takes it out on a drive through public UK roads to see how it manages. I’ve only driven the M4 CSL once and did not enjoy regular driving, so I feel for Metcalf’s vertebrae. However, Metcalf’s test car was optioned slightly different than mine. For starters, his test car had the standard seats fitted to it, rather than the optional fixed ones, which are brutally uncomfortable and have no adjustments. He also had Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, rather than the Michelin Cup 2 Rs, which are brutally unforgiving in slightly cold temperatures.
Immediately, Metcalf says the M4 CSL lets itself be know. It instantly tells its driver that it’s in something special and that’s exactly what you want out of a car that’s so expensive. Speaking of expensive, the M4 CSL is only available on the used market now, as BMW only made 1,000 for the global market and only 100 made it to the UK. Which is why it’s so unbelievably expensive in certain markets, like Germany.
There’s no question that the M4 CSL is a cool car. It’s a Nürburgring lap monster than can be used on most days and handles shockingly well. However, Metcalf finds out if it has enough character.