As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, BMW M GmbH has presented a special-edition model based on its renowned high-performance offerings. The new BMW M4 CSL blends old-school racing passion with innovative technology to create an inimitable performance experience.
With its next-level power and intelligent lightweight design, two-seater configuration, model-specific chassis upgrades and equipment features selected specially for the job at hand, the new BMW M4 CSL has track driving as its raison d’être.
The genes the M4 CSL shares with its competition-spec sibling, the BMW M4 GT3, are also reflected in its performance attributes. In test runs on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, the BMW M4 CSL posted the fastest lap times ever for a series-produced BMW car. On the version of the track traditionally used for comparison purposes – the 20.600 kilometre variant without the straight at section T13 – it stopped the clock at just 7 min:15.677 sec.
Its official and notarised lap time for the 20.832-kilometre circuit (the complete lap) was 7 min. 20.207 seconds.
Acceleration figures of 3.7 seconds from zero 100 km/h and 10.7 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 200 km/h are similarly impressive.
“Competition, Sport, Lightweight”: a recipe with a rich tradition
The stripped-back racing character of the BMW M4 CSL is underpinned by a time-honoured 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-minimised 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.
The M4 CSL also follows in the wheel tracks of successful special-edition models from earlier generations of the BMW M3/M4, most notably the BMW M3 CSL from 2003 and the BMW M4 GTS unveiled in 2016.
For BMW M GmbH, the world premiere of the new BMW M4 CSL at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este (20 – 22 May 2022) will be one of the highlights of its 50th anniversary year. Production of the special-edition model will begin – in a limited run of exactly 1000 examples – at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in July 2022.
Present and correct in the fundamentals and the details: intelligent lightweight design in the BMW M4 CSL
Its talent for innovation and racecar 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.
Twenty one kilograms were saved by removing the rear seats and seat belts, integrating a partition and making the associated modifications to the luggage compartment.
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-fibre-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 are also hewn from this lightweight high-tech material, as is its centre console.
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.
Exclusive exterior paint finish, 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-fibre surfaces and red accents to create a visually expressive appearance of sporting purity.
The carbon-fibre structure of the body components is visible in various areas, including the two chiselled indents in the bonnet. The surfaces of the indents – which are not painted in body colour – 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 inserts in the front apron.
BMW Laserlight: yellow headlights and innovative rear lights
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 appearance 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 recognisable from a long distance during the hours of darkness.
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 the areas of stability and 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 650Nm between 2750 and 5950rpm.
Its maximum output of 405 kW is produced at 6250 rpm.
The race-derived design of the 3.0-litre 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-minimised 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 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.
Optimised body rigidity, model-specific chassis technology
The chassis technology of the BMW M4 CSL benefits from a wealth of detail upgrades that have been tailored to the power unit’s performance characteristics. These modifications also factor in the substantial reduction in vehicle weight at play here and the model-specific improvements to body rigidity, allowing the blend of handling agility, dynamism and precision for which BMW M cars are renowned to be taken to new heights.
In the engine compartment, a composition of front-end strut braces developed entirely from scratch raises the body rigidity of the new BMW M4 CSL up another level. Using numerical models, the geometry of the cast aluminium elements between the spring strut towers and the front end has been adapted precisely to the forces exerted in different driving situations.
The individually tuned axle kinematics and model-specific wheel camber settings, dampers, auxiliary springs and anti-roll bars optimise steering precision, transmission of lateral control forces when cornering, spring and damping response, and wheel location.
The model-specific wheel suspension is accompanied by a drop in ride height of eight millimetres compared with the BMW M4 Competition Coupé.
Also to be found on the standard equipment list for the special-edition model are adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers, electromechanical M Servotronic steering with variable ratio and M Carbon ceramic brakes.
An M-specific version of the integrated braking system offers the driver excellent pedal feel even when pushing the dynamic limits and in adverse road conditions.
M Traction Control optimised for the track
The standard-fitted M Traction Control function with model-specific track tuning lets the driver set individual intervention thresholds for wheel slip limitation. On dry surfaces, stages 1 to 5 of M Traction Control help the driver to execute controlled drifts. Stages 6 to 10 are based on the application developed for touring car racers and make allowance for both surface conditions and tyre temperature to maximise traction and directional stability.
Also specified as standard are forged M light-alloy wheels in an exclusive cross-spoke design (19 inches at the front axle and 20 inches at the rear). These are fitted with high-performance tyres specially developed for the special-edition model in size 275/35 ZR19 (front) and 285/30 ZR20 (rear).
Equipment designed to provide a racecar feeling and everyday usability
Model-specific equipment features give the BMW M4 CSL a distinctive balance between sports car purism, unrestricted everyday usability and exclusive premium substance. The M Carbon full bucket seats for the driver and co-driver are marked out by their self-supporting CFRP structure and purposeful rejection of comfort-enhancing features. They have a fixed backrest angle, forward/back adjustments can be made manually, and the seat height can only be adjusted in a workshop using a three-stage screw linkage. The M Carbon full bucket seats also have detachable head restraints and allow the integration of a six-point belt system.
The 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 also help to create the perfect on-board setting for concentrated driving pleasure. Merino leather trim with extended features and M seat belts are also standard. Two helmet storage units can be found in the rear compartment.
The M-specific control/operation system includes the M Setup button for direct access to numerous vehicle settings and two M buttons on the steering wheel for storing preferred configurations. Standard equipment also features the M Drive Professional system including M Drift Analyser and M Laptimer, plus the M Mode button for activating the ROAD, SPORT and TRACK settings.
The likewise standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional comprises a fully digital screen grouping made up of an instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch screen diagonal behind the steering wheel and a 10.25-inch control display. Among its functions are the navigation system BMW Maps, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, smartphone integration, telephony with wireless charging and a Wi-Fi interface. The BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific elements and the BMW Drive Recorder can be ordered from the options list.
The range of comfort-enhancing features and driver assistance systems fitted in the BMW M4 CSL are focused on the essentials in keeping with its intelligent lightweight design approach.
Standard specification includes automatic climate control, Park Distance Control, Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Info. Two-zone automatic climate control, an alarm, and the Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant systems are available as options.
Words: BMW Australia