The BMW M4 has already been turned into a water-injected track terror, a retro-inspired limited edition and a commemorative special for German race fans, but there's clearly still room for more variants. The latest special edition to come from BMW Motorsport is the M4 CS, designed to slot in between the M4 Competition Package and hardcore M4 GTS.
Step one in the CS transformation is more power. BMW has squeezed another 10 hp (7.5 kW) from the turbocharged inline six under the hood, putting peak power at 460 hp (343 kW) for a 3.9 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). The extra power comes courtesy of a tweaked engine management system – unfortunately, the water injection system from the GTS doesn't feature here. Top speed is electronically limited to 280 km/h (174 mph).
Power is put to the road through the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox from the regular M4 Competition Package. Drivers are able to take control using the paddles mounted behind the wheel, but there's no mention of a three-pedal option. Sure, the twin-clutch 'box will change gears faster, but it isn't the most involving choice.
Under the skin, not much has changed between the M4 Competition Package and the new CS. Both cars use the same lightweight wheel carriers to cut unsprung mass, and run a more aggressive geometry for sharp turn-in on the track. The result is a 7:38.0 lap around the Nürburgring North Loop, just a second slower than the much more expensive M4 GTS.
This impressive turn of pace comes – in part at least – courtesy of the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires included in the CS package. They're essentially cut slick tires for the road, which means they're great in warm, dry conditions, but tend to struggle when the tarmac gets wet. BMW will also sell you the car with a set of tamer Michelin Sport tires fitted if the racy rubber is likely to cause problems on your daily commute.
From behind the wheel, there are plenty of little touches to set the M4 CS apart from its more mundane brethren. Lightweight seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara are standard, and the funky-looking door trim is actually made from a special type of compacted natural fiber. The regular door handles are gone, and in their place is a set of cloth pulls, finished in the red, blue and, er, darker blue colors of BMW Motorsport.
Big changes have been wrought on the outside, too, where the bootlid is now adorned with a unique carbon gurney spoiler. BMW has swapped the regular brake lights for the (very pretty) OLED units from the GTS as well, just in case the shiny black spoiler didn't give away the fact this is a meaner, faster M4. The car sits on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, which hide the dinner-plate sized composite brake discs lurking behind.
So, what price for the extra power and fancy styling? BMW will be charging €116,900 (circa. US$125,000) for the M4 CS, which is on show at the Shanghai Auto Show.
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