While some debate will inevitably continue as to the merits of the BMW M3 and M4 CS, there's less equivocation around the price: they were too expensive. The tweaks that were employed over the contemporary Competition cars were certainly worthwhile, although they could never fully justify the premium for the many thousands asked over them.
It's been known for a little while now that very few customers will have paid the £89,130 list price for an M4 CS, and even when factoring in a discount, they look conspicuous value nowadays. Bear in mind, too, that the M2 CS is imminent - which shares a lot of M4 bits - as well as a new M4, and there could be an even better deal to be struck. Because nobody is going to want an M4 hanging around at £20k less than an M2 with the same engine, diff, gearbox and so on; furthermore, given what we've seen of 4 Series previews, there's every possibility of an uglier M4 replacing this one. And who wants to pay more money for that?
The CS was a realisation of what could be achieved with the F80/F82 architecture, near-perfectly blending the focus of the GTS with the Competition usability. The upgrades were pretty modest, truth told: undisclosed steering and suspension changes, reprofiled aero, Cup 2 tyres and an extra 10hp. But they culminated in much more enjoyable package, suggesting how close the car had been to greatness from the very start. The limits were higher, but trust was greater, the noise more authentic, the whole M4 experience both more thrilling but also more relaxing because of the additional confidence. There was a suspicion that the Michelins on a Competition car might have undone a lot of the work of the CS, but let's not spoil the story...
Given the ferocity of the outgoing M3/M4, and the divided response to that, it would be a surprise to find the next car be so aggressive; expect a more accommodating, less intense experience. Which would be a shame for those who did enjoy it, and for the CS - because it was the best exponent of that, and a genuinely great M car.
Still, those that are keen - and haven't been swayed by a C63, Giulia or RS5 - will be pleased to know that a CS is available from little more than £50k. This particular one appeals in San Marino Blue, showing 2,800 miles and on offer at Bentley of Newcastle for £55,000. Or the same money as a Competition with 1,000 miles; what was once a £28,000 premium is now much less, and certainly worth the extra given the experience on offer. Not forgetting the fact that the CS is much rarer, too.
So, although this isn't a car to be purchased as an appreciating asset, it does now finally look like the time to best experience just how good the CS is. Maybe it will take a softer, less polarising M3 and M4 for people to fully realise what was so good about this generation. Or perhaps it will be noticed when the rave reviews for the M2 CS come in, and these cars are still on offer for a third less money...
SPECIFICATION - BMW M4 CS
Engine: 2,979cc, twin-turbo straight six
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 460@6,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 442@4,0000-5,380rpm
Recorded mileage: 2,800
First registered: 2018
Price new: £89,130
Yours for: £55,000
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