Who remembers the E46 M3 CS? It was the special edition offered for the last few years of the E46’s run. Placed above the standard car and below the track focused CSL, the CS bridged the gap for those wanting a little more M3 without the sacrifice of practicality and back pains. It got the CSL steering rack, brakes and a similar alcantara steering wheel while keeping the standard engine and option of a manual transmission. It was loved then and is still very desirable. Skip forward about fifteen years and the CS name is back!
This is the new M4 CS. Positioned above the Competition Pack M4 and under the hardened GTS; it marks the beginning of what BMW claim to be 80 new models arriving over the next two years. We can also expect to see a CS or similar of different models like the M3 and M2, with the possibility of an M2 CSL or GTS too! This all sounds tasty but what is the reason for all these new models? Well, it is mainly due to Mercedes overtaking BMW in worldwide sales during 2016 for the first time in twelve years.
There are small additions to the exterior of the car to differentiate it from the other members of the M4 family. Exposed carbon fibre is used in a new front splitter and boot lip spoiler. The rear diffuser has been borrowed from the GTS to improve rear downforce. The CS also features the brilliant looking OLED taillights that originated in the GTS too.
The CS has the edge in performance over the regular M4 too. The 3.0 Twin Turbo now produces 460bhp, this is fifteen more than the Competition Pack and thirty more than a standard M4. Acceleration is improved with 100km/h being reached in a smidge under four seconds, and the limited top speed has been raised to 280km/h or 174mph. It comes with the DCT as standard with no mention of a manual option.
The suspension has been carried over from the already stiff and adjustable Competition Pack. However, the lightweight alloys are exclusive to the CS. Wrapping the tyres are 265/35 R19s at the front and 285/30 R19s at the rear. The very sticky semi-slick Michelin Cup 2 tyres come as standard but Pilot Sport road tyres are a no cost option. More standard equipment includes an upgraded BMW HiFi Professional System.
The CS then sounds great but considering the price is just under €160,000 in Ireland, I struggle to see it being worth €50k more than a generously specced Competition Pack or €60k more than a standard M4. Then again, there are a lot of people buying purely for the exclusivity.