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The M4 CSL hits the road with a raft of chassis enhancements and weight-saving measures. Picture: SUPPLIED
The M4 CSL hits the road with a raft of chassis enhancements and weight-saving measures. Picture: SUPPLIED

This is it, folks, the new and hotly-anticipated BMW M4 CSL. Designed to better hunt down the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3, this evil-looking piece of equipment represents the pinnacle of the current M4 range and is the first BMW to wear the legendary Coupe Sport Leichtbau badge since the E46 M3 CSL broke cover back in 2003. So, big shoes to fill.

Available in Frozen Brooklyn Grey metallic, Alpine White or Sapphire Black, the BMW M4 CSL weighs 100kg less than the M4 Competition, thanks to a plethora of weight saving measures. These include the deletion of the rear seats and seat belts (-21kg), the fitting of feathery M Carbon full bucket front seats (-27kg) and a pairing back on the amount of sound-deadening material (-15kg).

Of course the list doesn't end there. Lightweight alloy wheels, springs, struts and a M Carbon ceramic brake system help shed another 21kg, while extensive use of CFRP body panels (roof, bonnet and boot lid) saves a further 11kg. There’s also a new titanium rear silencer (-4kg) and detail modifications to areas such as the kidney grille, rear lights, floor mats and automatic climate control system (-4kg). All in all BMW has worked hard to get the kerb weight of the M4 CSL down to 1,625kg.

The M4 CSL isn’t just lighter than the M4 Competition, it’s more powerful too. Buried behind that aggressive visage is a modified 3.0l six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine tuned to deliver a whopping 405kW and 650Nm of peak torque. BMW achieved this increase in power (an additional 30kW) by upping the turbo boost pressure from 1.7 bar to 2.1 bar as well as making some software tweaks to the engine management system. The cooling system has also received an upgrade with larger ducts cut into the front apron and remote coolers mounted within the front wheel arches. As speculated, power is delivered exclusively to the rear axle (there’s no option of all-wheel drive here) via an uprated eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

The end result is a coupé that can scamper from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, 0-200km/h in 10.7 seconds and keep on running right up to a claimed maximum speed of 307km/h. It will also lap the infamous 20.832km Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in 7:20.207.

As to be expected, the M4 CSL hits the road — or track for that matter — with a raft of chassis enhancements. These include bespoke front-end strut braces located inside the engine compartment, more aggressive geometry settings (cue lots of negative camber) as well as a set of gravity-cheating forged alloy wheels. Staggered in size (19 inches up front, 20 inches at the rear), these cross-spoked beauties are shod with specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres measuring 275/35 at the front and 285/30 at the rear.

There are no rear seats, while the driver and passenger sit in lightweight M Carbon bucket seats. Picture: SUPPLIED
There are no rear seats, while the driver and passenger sit in lightweight M Carbon bucket seats. Picture: SUPPLIED

The adaptive damping of the standard M4 remains. However, on the M4 CSL the suspension has an 8mm drop in ride height. BMW has also swapped the rubber rear axle mountings for ball joints, while the last five steps of the 10-stage traction control system have been revised and further optimised for the use of “touring car racers”. Make no bones about it, BMW and its M Division want you to use this machine out on the track. Especially as there are two helmet storage units integrated into the rear compartment.

Other features include a set of yellow-tinted BMW Laserlight headlights (to mimic those used on the firm’s GT racing cars), CFRP splitters and air curtain inserts in the front apron, plus a small-diameter sports steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara.

Production of the M4 CSL is limited to just 1,000 units worldwide and of those only 15 are coming to SA with deliveries set to begin in the fourth quarter. While local pricing is yet to be confirmed, pricing for the M4 CSL in the UK starts at £128,820 (roughly R2,544,958).

 

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