By Otsile Kadiege
The CSL is BMW M GmbH’s legendary nameplate which means Competition, Sport, Lightweight. It references the critical role of weight-minimised design in achieving success in motorsport. The first-ever vehicle to sport the CSL badge was the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH according to the abovementioned principle and won the European Touring Car Championship at the first attempt in 1973.
In 2003 BMW’s M division took the E46 M3 and created a limited edition, stripped-back road going racecar. Almost two decades later the M division boffins reintroduces the CSL nameplate in the form of the current generation G82 BMW M4. The all-new M4 CSL also follows in the tyre tracks of successful special-edition models from earlier generations.
Unique exterior design
The M4 CSL is instantly recognisable thanks to two chiselled carbon-fibre indents in the bonnet. The surfaces of the indents are highlighted additionally by red outlines which brings extra emphasis to the two fins on the CFRP roof, the contours of its side sills, the black model badges, and the model-specific CFRP splitters and air curtain inserts in the front apron.
Other tell-tales differentiating the M4 CSL from the rest of the crop are a redesigned kidney grille flanked by optional BMW Laserlight headlights which momentarily illuminate in yellow rather than white. The M4 CSL is sitting on special light-alloy wheels – 19-inches upfront 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).
The ducktail boot lid of the M4 CSL was made with weight saving materials. The rear LED taillights 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.
Inside, the M4 CSL is stripped-back thanks to the deletion of rear seats and rear seat belts. BMW M integrated a partition and made the associated modifications to the luggage compartment. Upfront, the M4 CSL is fitted with M Carbon full bucket seats which reduced weight by around 24 kg on its own compared with the standard seats fitted in the BMW M4 Competition.
More interior highlights includes 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. Standard on the M4 CSL is the BMW Live Cockpit Professional which comprises of 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 with M-specific menus. The BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific elements and the BMW Drive Recorder can be ordered from the options list.
Powering the M4 CSL is the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology found in the BMW M4 GT3 racing car. BMW M increased the power of the limited edition newcomer to 405kW/650Nm. 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 engine is paired with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. BMW M claims the M4 CSL sprints from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 307km/h.
The chassis technology of the M4 CSL benefits from a wealth of detail upgrades. In the engine compartment, a composition of front-end strut braces developed entirely from scratch using 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 are said to 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.
As standard, the M4 CSL is fitted with M Traction Control function with model-specific track tuning. This function will allow the driver to set individual intervention thresholds for wheel slip limitation. On dry surfaces, stages 1 to 5 of M Traction Control are said to help the driver 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.
The world premiere of the new BMW M4 CSL will take place at the 2022 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este which 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 1,000 examples – at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in July 2022. South Africa will only receive 15 units of this special-edition model.
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