BMW M4 CS - official

If the BMW M3 is the definitive PistonHeads car the E46 version is arguably the sweet spot of the lineage. And the best version of that car? With hindsight probably the M3 CS, which cherry-picked some of the hardcore CSL's go-faster bits and combined them with the standard car's broader scope to offer the best of both. It cost a modest £2,400 extra but it added up to much more at the wheel and widespread acclaim from M enthusiasts, reflected in used values to this day. A CS can be had for half as much as a CSL though, meaning it's still arguably the pick of the E46 M3 range. 

Now we're talking
Now we're talking
Which brings us to this - the new BMW M4 CS. Now we actually saw this a while back on the M760Li launch but were sworn to secrecy. This has required some degree of self control, given the instinctive reaction when being shown a brand new M car is to tell as many people as possible all about it. Now we can! 

Headlines. The CS gets a bit more power from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six, now delivering an extra 10hp over the Competition Pack M4 (and 29hp over the standard car) for a total of 460hp. Torque gets a bigger boost, climbing from 406lb ft to 442lb ft - same as the track-ready M4 GTS in fact. There's a token tenth off the Competition Pack's 0-62mph time - now 3.9 seconds - and a raised top speed limiter that calls time at 174mph, but you'd expect a healthy gain in mid-range shove and overall response based on those numbers. Indeed, BMW is claiming a 7min 38sec 'ring lap for the car; that's 10 seconds down on the 500hp GTS but 911 GT3 pace of a generation ago. Quick enough, in other words. 

Further GTS influence comes in the fixtures and fittings, including that car's vented carbon fibre bonnet. Unique and functional CS-spec aero, including a front splitter and relatively subtle rear lip spoiler, plus some really, really tasty wheels, mark it out from regular M4s. These are 19-/20-inch in diameter; Cup 2 tyres are standard. Brakes and suspension have also been tweaked, the latter with undisclosed "even sportier" settings and the exhaust is from the Competition Pack car. Inside there's a full complement of seats and gizmos plus a nod to an overall 32kg weight saving offered by a new 'lightweight fibre' used for the door skins. The signature San Marino Blue looks fabulous (Lime Rock Grey is the other exclusive colour option) while news that it's DCT only will be greeted with dismay by purists but pragmatism by a market dominated by two-pedal transmissions. Whisper it but our experience of the M4 is that it works better with the DCT anyway. 

Crap badge; spec sounds anything but
Crap badge; spec sounds anything but
As you'd expect, pricing is pitched between the £58,365 starting price of a standard M4 and the burly £121K asked for the GTS - or £89,130 to be absolutely precise. Options include non-Cup tyres and ceramic brakes, plus Frozen Dark Blue II - an exclusive paint scheme not available until later in the year and not a princess-based Disney animation, you'll be glad to hear.  While not a fixed run limited edition like the GTS production for the CS will be restricted over a two-year run, the official line being that this is by volume in the factory. If you like the look of it - and we wouldn't blame you if you did - you'd best be sweet-talking your BMW dealer already. 











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Comments (159) Join the discussion on the forum

  • sidesauce 19 Apr 2017

    Very purposeful looking (and nice colour too) - I like it!

  • Mike335i 19 Apr 2017

    Nice enough and properly impressive I'm sure, but £90k? Seems to much for a 4 series, no matter how capable.

  • jimmy156 19 Apr 2017

    The E46 CS "Cost a modest £2400 extra" compared with a regular M3.

    This one is a less than modest £31,000 extra. Different times!

  • TomEdward 19 Apr 2017

    This will be the M4 to get.

  • David87 19 Apr 2017

    What is going on with the price of this thing? I was expecting £5k on top of the regular M4 until I got to the bottom of the article! eek

    Is it just for the M4 or will the M3 benefit from the same option too?

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