BMW is rolling out what could be the ultimate version of the M4 — but it won’t produce many of the $140,895 sport coupes.
Helping mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the M brand, the 2023 BMW M4 CSL is making its debut and those with enough cash will have reason to celebrate. The coupe may lose mass, but it gains 40 horsepower compared to the M4 Competition model and can hit 60 in just 3.6 seconds.
Reconfigured for the track, the two-seat M4 CSL recorded a lap around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in just 7:20.2. But “(l)ap times aside, the new BMW M4 CSL also offs … everyday usability,” BMW asserted in an announcement of the new model.
As you might expect, there’ve been a number of design tweaks to the CSL — the name standing for “Competition, Sport, Lightweight — including its conversion to a two-seat layout. There were three primary goals: boost power, improve aerodynamics and reduce weight — all in the name of improved performance.
Big changes, big results
Just eliminating those rear seats saved about 46 pounds. BMW also switched to carbon ceramic brakes, and a variety of lightweight materials for the hood, truck, sound insulation, and even the iconic double-kidney grille. The double-bubble roof, hood and trunk lid were switched to carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. It even adopted a titanium rear silencer. All that added up to a 240-pound savings, the 2023 M4 CSL weighing in at a relatively modest 3,640 pounds.
As for the exterior design, BMW moved to both reduce drag, increase downforce and enhance cooling — an essential on the track. The new CSL features twin high- and low-temperature cooling circuits.
Up front, the new track-ready M4 features BMW Laserlight headlamps. In the rear, there are modified LED lamps with an unusual touch that leaves the competition knowing what’s left them behind.
They “feature innovative technology making its debut in a series-produced car,” the automaker explained. “The glass covers have intricate light threads woven into them which are illuminated using laser technology, bringing a vibrant structure to the surface of the rear lights and creating a distinctive light signature recognizable from a long distance after dark.”
Bringing the power
The 2023 BMW M4 CSL is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 that pumps out 543 horsepower — up 40 — and 479 pound-feet of torque. The turbo boost has been cranked up to 30.5 psi compared with 24.7 in the M4 Competition model.
All that adds up to a 3.6-second 0-60 launch and a 191 mph electronically limited top speed.
To scrub off speed, the CSL gets six-piston, fixed caliper 15.7-inch brakes up front, with single-piston floating caliper 15-inch rear brakes. The coupe rides on 21-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires up front, with 22s in the rear. The wheels are a light-alloy matte black.
Production is set to begin in July and the 2023 BMW M4 CSL should reach U.S. showrooms before the end of the summer. Look for a starting price of $140,895 after factoring in the $995 delivery fee.
BMW plans to produce just 1,000 of the coupes for worldwide distribution.