Cars

The new BMW M4 CSL

The new BMW M4 CSL blends old-school racing passion with innovative technology to create an inimitable performance experience.

The new BMW M4 CSL. Photos by Uwe Fischer/BMW Photos by Uwe Fischer/BMW

With its next-level power and intelligent lightweight design, two-seater configuration, model-specific chassis upgrades, and equipment features selected especially for the job at hand, the new BMW M4 CSL has track driving as its purpose. The genes the M4 CSL shares with its competition-spec sibling, the BMW M4 GT3, are also reflected in its performance attributes. In a record-breaking run on the Nurburgring's Nordschleife circuit, the BMW M4 CSL posted the fastest lap times ever for a series-produced BMW car.

The stripped-back racing character of the BMW M4 CSL is underpinned by a time-honored concept that harnesses cutting-edge development expertise and the latest technology to create an enthralling end result. "CSL" stands for "Competition, Sport, Lightweight", referencing the critical role of weight-minimized design in achieving success in motorsport. The BMW 3.0 CSL developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH according to this same principle won the European Touring Car Championship at the first attempt in 1973. And the M4 CSL is also following in the tire tracks of successful special-edition models from earlier generations of the BMW M3/M4, most notably the legendary BMW M3 CSL from 2003 and the BMW M4 GTS unveiled in 2016.

The BMW M4 CSL goes sideways when you want toThe BMW M4 CSL goes sideways when you want to

Intelligent lightweight design in the BMW M4 CSL.
Its talent for innovation and racing-car know-how enabled BMW M GmbH to restrict the special edition's DIN kerb weight to 1,625 kilograms. A standout power-to-weight ratio of 2.95 kilograms per hp (4.01 kg/kW) provides the ideal platform for a dynamically sublime driving experience.

Fitting M Carbon full bucket seats reduced weight by around 24 kilograms on its own compared with the standard seats fitted in the BMW M4 Competition Coupé. 21 kilograms were saved by removing the rear seats and seat belts, integrating a partition, and making the associated modifications to the luggage compartment. And chassis changes, including the addition of extra-lightweight M Carbon ceramic brakes and special light-alloy wheels, springs, and struts, lowered the figure by around another 21 kilograms. Paring back the amount of soundproofing plus switching to ultra-lightweight sound insulation saved around 15 kilograms, while the use of components made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) deducted some eleven kilograms. For example, in addition to its CFRP roof, the bonnet and boot lid of the BMW M4 CSL is also hewn from this lightweight high-tech material, as is its center console. And a titanium rear silencer cuts more than four kilograms from the weight of the exhaust system. Detail modifications to areas such as the BMW kidney grille, rear lights, floor mats, and automatic climate control shave off another four kilograms.

BMW M4 CSL InteriorThe BMW M4 CSL Interior

Exclusive exterior paint finish, and model-specific design features.
The body of the BMW M4 CSL is painted in the exclusive Frozen Brooklyn Grey metallic as standard. This exterior shade teams up with exposed carbon-fiber surfaces and red accents to create a visually expressive appearance of sporting purity. Alternatively, customers can specify their new M4 CSL in Alpine White solid or Sapphire Black metallic.

The carbon-fiber structure of the body components is visible in various areas, including the two chiseled indents in the bonnet. The surfaces of the indents - which are not painted in body color - are highlighted additionally by red outlines. Red accent lines also bring extra emphasis to the two fins on the CFRP roof of the new BMW M4 CSL, the contours of its side sills, the black model badges, and the model-specific CFRP splitters and air curtain insert in the front apron.

BMW Laserlight
The optionally available BMW Laserlight headlights bring another head-turning accent to the front end of the new BMW M4 CSL. Both in the welcome effect triggered when unlocking the doors and when the low and high beam are switched on, these headlights illuminate in yellow rather than white, bringing to mind the look of successful GT racing cars.

The LED rear lights of the new BMW M4 CSL are equipped as standard with technology making its debut in a series-produced car. Their glass covers have intricate light threads woven into them which are illuminated using laser technology, bringing a vibrant structure to the surface of the lights. This creates a highly distinctive light signature that is recognizable from a long-distance during the hours of darkness.

BMW M4 CSL EngineBMW M4 CSL Engine

Six-cylinder in-line engine with race-focused character.
The model-specific power unit of the BMW M4 CSL is based on the same high-revving, six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology found in the BMW M4 GT3 racing car. Its substantial performance reserves enabled a major hike in power without having to make any concessions in terms of stability or durability. Key to this power boost was an increase in the maximum charge pressure of the two mono-scroll turbochargers from 1.7 bar to 2.1 bar and model-specific tweaks to the engine management. The BMW M4 CSL's engine develops peak torque of 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) between 2,750 and 5,950 rpm. Its maximum output of 405 kW/550 hp is produced at 6,250 rpm.

The race-derived design of the 3.0-liter engine is focused squarely on high revs and maximum power development. The crankcase's sleeve-free, closed-deck construction helps to make it extremely rigid, while the forged lightweight crankshaft allows it to handle extremely high levels of torque. Another special M-specific feature is the cylinder head core made using 3D printing techniques.

Both the cooling and oil supply systems are designed to handle the particular challenges presented by track driving. The twin-tailpipe exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps and weight-minimized titanium rear silencer additionally generates a racing-car-inspired, emotionally engaging engine note created especially for the new BMW M4 CSL.

The drive torque produced by the engine is relayed to the rear wheels of the new BMW M4 CSL via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Model-specific mountings for the engine and transmission ensure the engine's power is translated into dynamic performance in an exceptionally rapid and direct fashion. The firmer connection of the engine and transmission to the car's structure is clearly perceptible, especially under hard driving.



Written by: Mathias Haegglund
Published: