When BMW in January announced its round of mid-cycle updates for the M4, many, including us, were disappointed to learn there were no real changes apart from some tweaks to the lights and new colors.
That’s because BMW was saving the M4’s more substantial updates for a new model reviving the “CS” tag.
BMW took the wraps off its new M4 CS on Wednesday at the 2017 Shanghai auto show. The car is a limited-edition model in the same vein as the 2016 M4 GTS and so far BMW is yet to confirm how many are heading to the United States. We do know it will be offered in the M4’s coupe body style only, though.
The M4 CS fills the gap between the M4 equipped with the Competition Package and the hardcore, water-injected M4 GTS. It’s powered by the M4’s familiar 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 and has 454 horsepower on tap, or 10 more than the M4 Competition Package and 39 fewer than the M4 GTS. The car also comes standard with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
With the extra power, the M4 CS’s 0-62 mph time drops to 3.9 seconds. The top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 174 mph. BMW also quotes a 7:38 Nürburgring lap time.
2018 BMW M4 CS
The suspension is the same setup as in the M4 Competition Package and includes forged aluminum components to reduce weight and thus unsprung mass. Electronic chassis systems such as the adaptive suspension program, stability control, power steering, and rear differential have also been tweaked for the M4 CS, with the driver able to control these via a driving modes selector. The most lenient setting is the M Dynamic Mode where the stability control will allow controlled drifts.
In addition to the “CS” badge on the trunk, you’ll recognize the M4 CS by its model-exclusive light-alloy wheels (19×9 inches at the front and 20×10 at the rear), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic hood, roof, front splitter, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser. The taillights also feature organic LEDs for a unique pattern.
In the cabin, Alcantara replaces much of the standard trim of the regular M4. Other surfaces have a lightweight carbon fiber-like material lining them, for instance the door innards where pull loops replace the usual grab handles. Further weight is reduced via lightweight bucket seats. Handy items like the air conditioner, navigation system and sound system all remain. It’s hardcore, but not that hardcore.
BMW plans to add more CS models to its lineup in the near future. Next in line will be an M2 CSL. The cars will help the BMW M division keep up with the ever-increasing number of models from its Mercedes-AMG rival.
For more Shanghai auto show coverage, head to our dedicated hub.