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Sacred nameplate returns on the M4 Coupe

The CSL badge is back, for the first time in nearly 20 years since the E46 BMW M3 wore the iconic emblem as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, this time it arrives on an extremely poised and stripped out variant of the M4 coupe. The CSL signature stands for Coupé Sport Leichtbau (Coupé Sport Lightweight) and has appeared on numerous BMWs in the past including the E9 3.0 CSL and the aforementioned E46 M3, which itself was powered by a straight-six like the new model.

98 BMW CSL studio hero rear 

Power for the new M4 CSL comes from the B58 3.0L twin-turbocharged straight-six engine, producing 542bhp and 479lb ft of torque, 32bhp more than the M4 Competition and helped In test runs on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, to post the fastest lap times ever for a series-produced BMW car.

The 0-62mph sprint time is 3.7sec, the same as the M4 Competition, but 0.2 seconds slower if you opted for the xDrive M4 Competition model.

Power is managed by an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox as with the standard M4, and also sends power to the rear wheels alone.

BMW M4 CSL sunset corner

Helping with the breaking lap records is the weight saving, the M4 CSL loses around 100kg thanks to the deletion of its rear seats and seat belts, Fitting M Carbon full bucket seats reduced the weight by approximately 24 kg on its own compared with the standard seats in the BMW M4 Competition Coupé.

Other weight saving methods comprise of chassis changes, including the addition of extra-lightweight M Carbon ceramic brakes and special light-alloy wheels, springs and struts, Cutting back the amount of soundproofing plus switching to ultra-lightweight sound insulation saved around 15 kilograms, and the use of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic deducted further kilograms. For example, it’s centre console, roof, the bonnet and boot lid are made from CFRP.

At the back a titanium silencer cuts more than four kilograms from the weight of the exhaust system. With all these adjustments the M4 CSL achieves a power-to-weight ratio of 334bhp per tonne.

BMW CSL rear track 

Further exteriors changes include an exclusive exterior paint finish in Frozen Brooklyn Grey Metallic with red accents, Alternatively, customers can specify their new M4 CSL in Alpine White solid or Sapphire Black metallic. Optionally available are BMW Laserlight headlights which bring a head-turning emphasis to the front end, these headlights illuminate in yellow rather than white, bringing to mind the look of GT racing cars and a hint to the genes it shares with the BMW M4 GT3 racer.

A modified kidney grille, more assertive air curtains and front splitter also feature, and there is also a downforce increasing rear wing.

97 BMW CSL track corner 

Underneath, the M4 CSL benefits from a number of chassis technology upgrades. The body rigidity is raised by front-end strut braces developed entirely from scratch. Individually tuned axle kinematics and model-specific wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars enhance steering accuracy, transmission of cornering forces, spring and damping response, and wheel location. Added to all this is a 8mm drop in ride height.

Adaptive suspension is included as standard.

97 BMW CSL interior 

On the inside the equipment is designed to provide a race-car feeling whist giving everyday use, The M carbon bucket seats are evident by their CFRP structure, they have a fixed backrest and can be manually adjusted forwards and backwards but only height adjusted in the a workshop. A six-point harness can be integrated and there's a cubby in the back for two racing helmets.

The interior race atmosphere is assisted by an M Alcantara steering wheel, anthracite-coloured headliner, Carbon Fibre interior trim strips, “CSL” badges on the seats, centre console and rear panel, plus M-specific displays.

95 BMW CSL interior gearshift 

Prices for the BMW M4 CSL start from £128,820, and will be limited to 1000 units, 100 of which will come to the UK.

BMW CSL rear helmet compartment