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The 2023 BMW M4 CSL is 240 pounds lighter and develops 543 horsepower

  • The M4 CSL’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six makes 543 horsepower, about 40 horsepower more than the M4 Competition, and the car is also lighter than its 240-pound counterpart.
  • Handling is more track-focused thanks to a lower stance, standard high-performance tires and carbon brakes, and more aggressive suspension tuning.
  • This special edition M4 CSL will be limited to 1000 units worldwide and will cost $140,895.

    BMW’s new 2023 M4 CSL is a track-focused special edition that’s optimized for those willing to give up some of the driver’s everyday roominess for dramatically improved performance. CSL stands for Competition Sports Lightweight, and the specs show it’s more than just a marketing term. They also show that this car will almost certainly be a brute that won’t be to everyone’s taste.

    It’s powered by the same twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six that powers the M4 Competition, but the CSL’s maximum turbo boost has been increased from 24.7 psi to 30.5 psi, an increase of 24 %. The dual-circuit cooling system has been upgraded to accommodate not only the extra horsepower, but also the rigors of track use. The result is 543 horsepower, some 40 hp more than the competition, with the same power peak of 6250 rpm. Peak torque is also unchanged at 479 pound-feet, meaning the eight-speed automatic transmission and Competition drivetrain can be used as before, down to the automatic’s internal gears and final drive ratio at inside the M Sport differential. The shift points have, however, been optimized for performance and the engine and transmission mounts have been considerably reinforced. There should be a lot less slack and windup in the power delivery, but increased cabin vibration is almost certain to be a side effect.

    The effects of this extra power are amplified by a massive 240 pound weight reduction. Each of the M4 Competition’s horsepower has 7.7 pounds to move, but the added power and lighter weight of the CSL drops dramatically to 6.7 pounds per pony. BMW claims it will hit 60mph in 3.6 seconds, compared to the competition’s 3.8 seconds, but we suspect it will do better.

    The CSL is a two-seater that gets rid of its back seat and seat belts to save 46 pounds right off the bat. Beyond that, its one-piece carbon front buckets save 53 pounds, but you can choose to add 32 pounds if you order adjustable carbon seats. Another 33 pounds saved comes from using light – and most likely less – sound insulation in certain areas. More carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used inside and out, including the center console which saves 9 pounds. At the rear end of the exhaust, another 9-pound saving comes from the use of a titanium muffler that is tuned so that it “can be fully enjoyed inside the cabin where it provides the driver a precise acoustic feedback in response to movements of the accelerator and clearly conveys the performance characteristics of the engine. Which is a roundabout way of saying it’s stronger.

    The CSL comes standard with the high-performance 275/35ZR-19 front and 285/30ZR-20 rear tire combination that is optional on the Competition, but the wheels are mounted on proprietary forged alloys. to CSL with thin spokes that reduce more weight. Carbon-ceramic brakes that are optional on other M4s are standard here, and lightweight wheels, brakes and some suspension components save an additional 46 pounds, much of it unsprung weight.

    The suspension squats about 0.3 inches lower than the competition, and it’s been retuned with CSL-optimized springs, adaptive damper valving and software, and modified stabilizer bar tuning. Also worth noting is the use of additional monoball joints in some rear suspension links instead of rubber bushings in the interest of greater precision on the trail. This last tidbit reminds us of similar suspension changes made to the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS, which resulted in exceptional handling, as well as questionable roominess.

    All signs point to a much more capable and raw BMW M4 that will indeed be a more powerful track weapon. There’s a unique approach at work here, and it should absolutely appeal to those who want to put their M4 on the track. How many BMW fans are looking for what the M4 CSL has to offer? We’ll see once we know how long it takes for all 1,000 units, each priced at $140,895, to sell out.

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