The BMW M4 states its case as a compact high-performance coupe, the optional Competition Package gives it an extra edge, and the M4 GTS is an uncompromising sports car also designed for use on the track. And now the new limited-run special-edition BMW M4 CS fills the gap between its BMW M stablemates. With its eye-catching, emotionally powerful looks, it also raises the profile of the M4 range – and, by extension, the BMW M brand – another notch.
A new model-specific front splitter in exposed carbon fibre defines the face of the new BMW M4 CS, which cuts an unquestionably dominant and dynamic figure even when standing still. The car’s athletic lines extend along the CFRP bonnet and powerdome, over the roof – with its shallow central channel – and the new, likewise carbon-fibre spoiler lip on the boot lid, to the rear diffuser and its four exhaust tailpipes, integrated with impeccable stylistic fluency. The shape of the M4 CS appears as if cut from a single mould, underlining the design aspirations of the modern sports coupe.
The extensive use of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) ensures that the new BMW M4 CS is extremely light. As well as the rear diffuser, large sections of the body are also made from CFRP. The bonnet, for example, is around 25 per cent lighter than that of the BMW M4 as a result. BMW’s many years of experience in the production of carbon-fibre components and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics has paid dividends with the new BMW M4 CS. Indeed, the CFRP roof is more than six kilograms lighter than a conventional metal item. Another benefit of this extremely light and yet highly robust composite material is the corresponding lowering of the car’s centre of gravity, which endows the BMW M4 CS with even more agile handling.
Unlike the BMW M4 GTS, BMW has deliberately steered the M4 CS away from a focus on the track. For example, the front splitter is not adjustable and instead of a large, adjustable wing, the rear end sports an exposed-carbon-fibre Gurney – i.e. an aerodynamic spoiler lip running across the trailing edge of the boot lid that significantly reduces rear-axle lift once again compared to the M4 with Competition Package. In the interests of everyday practicality, the M4 CS also forgoes the roll cage fitted in the M4 GTS.
The BMW M4 CS was honed at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, one of the world’s most exacting test tracks for high-performance sports cars – proof, if any were needed, that the new BMW M4 CS has been set up to deliver exceptional dynamics as well as unrestricted real-world usability. The M4 CS lapped the ’Ring in 7 min. 38 sec., which ranks it between the BMW M4 and the uncompromisingly track-focused M4 GTS.
The excellent dynamics of the new BMW M4 CS are rooted not only in a fresh round of suspension revisions over the M4 with Competition Package in terms of spring/damper settings, but also in a moderate increase in power for the six-cylinder in-line engine. Fitted in the M4 CS, it develops 460 hp – that’s 10 hp more than in the M4 with Competition Package. Peak torque increases by 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) to 600 Nm (442 lb-ft). State-of-the-art M TwinPower Turbo technology allows the M4 CS to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds. The top speed of the M4 CS, which comes as standard with the M Driver’s Package, is electronically limited to 280 km/h.
Generous use of Alcantara and leather has allowed the development engineers and designers at BMW M to conjure up an interior with an enviable sporting feel. Paring down the passenger compartment to the essentials, achieving significant weight savings was also the declared aim with the interior door panels and the side trim in the rear compartment. Both are made from compacted natural fibres – renewable raw materials – and have been given a special carbon-fibre look. Conventional door pulls give way to lightweight loops in the BMW M4 CS. And yet, despite the rigorously sporty mindset embodied by its cabin and also expressed in the presence of lightweight M sports seats, passengers in the BMW M4 CS need not go without niceties such as single-zone automatic climate control and a high-quality, specially adapted version of the HiFi System Professional.
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