New BMW M4 CSL: Munich’s fastest road car around the ‘Ring

Published: 19 May 2022

  • BMW’s latest CSL is here
  • New, hardcore M4 is 100kg lighter
  • It’s the fastest production BMW at the ‘Ring

The CSL name returns! BMW has revealed the M4 CSL – a feisty new variant of its already-rather-brilliant M4 coupe. More power, less weight and some tasty new details all wrapped up into a new package that claims to be the fastest BMW series production car ever made around the Nürburgring.

While there have been many CS cars recently, it’s rare for BMW to roll out one of its most legendary nameplates. Its most recent production car was the M3 CSL way back in 2003, with BMW only using the name again for the dramatic CSL Hommage concept of 2015. This new one had better be good, then.

It looks ANGRY

Doesn’t it just. CSL models have their own bespoke body kit with carbonfibre front and rear splitters, as well as new light alloy wheel designs with mixed sizes – 19s on the front, 20s at the rear. Laser headlights with yellow DRLs feature, much like the M5 CS, and the rear lights have been redesigned with ‘light threads’ that flow through the covers.

Carbonfibre isn’t just used on the front and rear splitters, either; the bonnet, roof and bootlid are all made from the stuff to reduce weight and centre of gravity. You can only spec your CSL in white, black or grey seen in the images.

BMW’s obsessed by weight here, then…

It’s what really sets the CSL apart from the M4, itself a rather heavy car. The CSL is 1625kg – 100kg lighter than a M4 Competition – as BMW’s M engineers strip out and rethink its new track destroyer. The exhaust silencer, for example, is titanium – shaving 4.3kg. Carbon ceramic brakes as standard are 14.3kg lighter than the ones used on the M4 Competition. Those new wheels, as well as revised springs and struts take off another 21kg, while skimping on the sound insulation takes off another 15kg. BMW’s really gotten nerdy here.

One of the biggest changes to the CSL’s weight figure comes from inside. It’s a two-seater, and those front seats have become an obsession for M Division’s engineers; the fixed back seats are CSL-specific with fat bolstering, the cutouts mean a six-point harness can be used and the headrests can be removed so they don’t impede on the use of a helmet on track. The rest of the interior is trimmed in Alcantara and carbonfibre, too, with CSL details peppered throughout.

How fast is the new M4 CSL?

Pretty darn. It still uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six but, here, develops 542bhp and 479lb ft, allowing the CSL to sprint to 62mph in 3.7 seconds and onto 190mph. The engine features a 3D-printed cylinder head and uses racing-spec engineering. Two mono-scroll turbos (each supplying three cylinders with compressed air) have had their maximum pressure raised to 2.1bar, and the engine management system has been fiddled with to help make the most of the extra power and new engineering.

The eight-speed auto has been revised with new programming, too, as has the traction control that includes 10 steps of adjustable slip. Adaptive suspension is standard, and is 8mm lower than an M4 Competition. As with the normal M4, you can program your own group of settings and map them to the anodised red thumb buttons on the steering wheel.

Come on then, how much?

Well, only 1000 CSLs are being made. And, given our addition to M cars, the UK market is getting 100 of them. As for the price, BMW says its available to order right now from £128,820.

Read our BMW reviews here

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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