Welcome to the BMW M4 CSL: the most extreme BMW of the modern era.
The “Competition Sports Lightweight” package lives up to its name: It is down a whopping 240 lbs compared to the standard Competition variant. It comes without back seats, sound insulation, or a seat that adjusts in ways that would make it comfortable. It’s got a center console made of carbon-reinforced plastic and an exhaust from titanium. Plus, the suspension and wheels are lighter, saving 46 pounds on their own. It’s still 3640 lbs at the curb, but by M4 standards this thing is svelte.
The CSL also ditches the all-wheel-drive system of the M4 Competition, sending power exclusively to the rear wheels. That's a big bonus for the purists in the room. And it’s fast. Blindingly so. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six cranks out 543 hp, 40 more than the competition, and 479 lb-ft of torque. The gearbox shifts faster and harder than ever, kicking like a Lamborghini. Stiffer engine and transmission mounts combined with mono ball bushings make it as precise as an M4 has ever been.
But is it joyful? Both editor-at-large Travis Okulski and myself called it a handful on the track, and exhausting on the street. It’s darty, bouncy, and loose. For a driver who wants a car that fights back, it could be the perfect machine, but is any finesse left? Hit the video to check it out.