If you’re a German motor manufacturer and label your new car ‘CS’, you are implying an immediate statement of intent, and you are certainly not shying away from competition. Designating Club Sport, the CS tag heralds a car completely uncompromising in the pursuit of speed, a track-day special as happy around the Dubai Autodrome’s bowl as it is bombing up Jebel Jais in time for the sunrise. And so that’s exactly what BMW did when it put a CS badge on an M4.
Even if BMW has a history with the label, in the past the CS name stood simply for Coupé Sports and occupied a spot in the Munich marque’s performance line-up one rung below the full-bore CSL (Leichtmetall, or lightweight…) cars. The 2018 M4 CS, then, is something in between the sadistically hardcore M4 GTS and the standard model.
Based on looks alone, you’ll be able to tell an M4 CS from its exclusive design 20in wheels and that tasty Gurney Flap rear spoiler that isn’t nearly as garish as the ironing board on the M4 GTS. Then there are also interior changes, like lots of Alcantara, and a bunch of carbon fibre components inside and out.
In the CS the 3.0-litre turbocharged engine yields 454 horsepower — up by about 30bhp over the stock M4 but nearly 40bhp down on the M4 GTS — and specially tuned suspension and electronics coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission (no manual available…) to deliver a NürburgringNordschleife lap time of 7:38 seconds. Incidentally that’s identical to the ’Ring lap that the Italians produced with the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, powered by a Ferrari-designed 2.9-litre V6 worth 510 horsepower.