BMW ups ante with new M level
BMW M has released detail and images - and allowed us a sneak in-person peek - of its much anticipated M4 CS, a car that not only broadens the appeal of the M4, but also triggers a strengthening of the M brand in general.
The new CS badge ushers in a whole new strata within BMW M, and the CS-badged models, of which there will be many more to come, sit above the "mainstream" M models (if such things exist) and the Competition versions. Above the CS models remain the top-shelf cars BMW M refers to as it "brand-shapers".
In the M4's case, that positions it between the M4 Competition, and below the M4 GTS.
So what is a BMW M4 CS?
It uses the same twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine seen is the basic M4 package, but with even more power. The reality is that the powerplant in the CS is actually the same as the one in the GTS with only the water-injection system missing.
Output has been boosted to seven kiloWatts above the M4 Competition but, tellingly, torque has been bumped a huge 50Nm for a total of 600Nm.
With the standard even-speed DCT transmission as the only fitment, BMW claims a 0-100kmh time of sub-four seconds (3.9) yet the combined fuel consumption figure is an impressive 8.4 litres per 100km.
A lower-restriction exhaust system has been fitted, retaining the M4's trademark four exhaust tips, but now with carbon-fibre-and-stainless tips.
Brakes consist of four-piston calipers at the front gripping steel rotors with twin-piston calipers at the rear while a carbon-ceramic compound rotor option is available which ups the ante to six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears.
Wheels are a new 10-spoke, lightweight, forged design with 9 X 19 front rims and 10 X 20-inch rears clad in Michelin Cup Sport tyres.
Suspension has been firmed up in terms of both springs and dampers and the carbon-fibre strut-brace from the GTS has been fitted.
BMW has also gone to great lengths to pull weight out of the car. As a result, the roof, bonnet, body-kit and even the single-piece driveshaft have been constructed from carbon-fibre.
The bonnet also features the rearward-facing coop of the GTS and, over the standard steel unit, saves about 10kg alone. The door trims have been made from compacted natural fibres (for a truly unique look) and feature fabric loops (also borrowed from the GTS) rather than solid pull-handles.
Alcantara also features heavily.
All up weight of the M4 CS is now 1580kg.
It all seems to have paid off, too, and the inevitable Nurburgring hot-lap saw the M4 CS complete the circuit in 7 minutes, 38 seconds, just 10 seconds slower than the M4 GTS.
The M4 CS goes into production soon and will be built in limited numbers (probably between 2000 and 3000) until 2019.
It's tempting to think of the M4 CS as a slightly hotter version of the M4.
But now, having seen it in the flesh and witnessed just how many GTS components have made the jump to the CS, we'd be inclined to approach it as an M4 GTS with slightly fewer race-track aspirations.