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Short take: The 2023 BMW M4 CSL

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CSL. Coupe Sport Lightweight. It’s a famous name among the BMW faithful, and now the G82 BMW M4 CSL gets the treatment. Is it worth the wait?

Adding lightness

This is not a “CS”, like the M2 or M5 I reviewed last year. The L means that this car is much more race-focused. Check the specs:

  • 543 horsepower, but the same torque at 479 lb-ft.
  • Stiffened engine and suspension mounts
  • Real-wheel drive only
  • Retuned 8mm lower suspension
  • Monoball joints in certain rear suspension links instead of rubber bushings
  • Standard Carbon ceramic brakes
  • Unique forged alloy wheels with Michelin Sport Cup 2 R tires (nice!)
  • A carbon fiber rear diffuser and trunk lid with integrated ducktail
  • Unique tail lights, yellow DRLs in the headlights
  • Unique front grill
  • Rear seat deletion
  • Carbon bucket seats with unique bottom scallops. They look harder to get out of. Beauty is pain.
  • Many many CSL badges so you don’t forget which M4 you drive.
  • No center armrest or cover for the center console because you don’t need to carry or drink anything.
  • 240 lbs lighter
  • 0.2 seconds off the 0-60 time.
  • Just 1,000 units will be made, at a price that might give pause: $140,895

Note that this M4 does not get iDrive 8. The 4 Series it’s based on won’t get that until next year.

The CSL will get decals and some carbon fiber bits, along with a unique grill.

Will the BMW M4 CSL be worth it?

We can start by looking at an F82 GTS. That car was around $134,000 new, and examples can now be found as low as the mid $70s. I wouldn’t call it a beloved model, and many would argue that modifying a standard M4 is both cheaper and produces better results. That car also did not sell out immediately.

Let’s move to the G82, and the KITH edition model. You have to be a big KITH fan, but I see them listed now for as high as $165,000. Assume the markup on a CSL will be even higher.

So the six-figure question is: is this car twice as good as the standard M4? I’m not sure. It will no doubt handle better – those Michelin tires are the real deal, and less rubber in the suspension will sharpen reflexes. Might also make it uncomfortable to drive around. The performance is so high that it’s unreachable on public roads, and fast cars that you have to drive slow are boring. At least you can tell all the M bros at the car show about the Nürburgring time.

Once I grab one I can give it a real soul score. For now, maybe pick up a G80 with a stick, and use the rest on a track car that doesn’t come with the size disadvantage the M4 has.

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