2023 BMW M4 CSL First Drive Review: Light It Up

Performance and chassis revisions complement the reduced weight. The M4’s S58 3.0-liter twin-turbo six is boosted by 40 horsepower to 543 hp at the same 6,250 rpm peak, with torque unchanged from the M4 Competition at 479 lb-ft from 2,750 rpm.

An eight-speed auto is standard – interesting given the manual is lighter, but perhaps quick shifts at the Nurburgring are the priority – but the CSL is rear-wheel-drive only. Add it up, and you get 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and 191 mph flat out.

The chassis is 8 mm lower with new helper springs front and rear, adaptive dampers are standard, plus there are uprated anti-roll bars, stiffer engine mounts, a bespoke cast aluminum strut brace, and a solidly mounted rear axle for extra precision. While tire sizes are unchanged (a monster 275-section for the 19-inch front tires and 285 20s for the rear), you can spec your CSL on super-aggressive Michelin Cup 2 Rs – factory driver Jorg Weidinger pulled a 7min 20.2sec Nurburgring lap on the same rubber, but the car we sampled was shod on Pilot Sport 4S tires that are less effective in the dry but way better in the wet.

There’s no talk of downforce in the press material, despite the aero flicks at the front and the ducktail/diffuser at the rear, but clearly, they add some positive squish into the surface.

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