BMW has confirmed the long awaited and limited-edition M4 CSL for the Australian market but is tight-lipped on exactly how many will find their way to Australian shores.

Not since 2003 when BMW launched its E46 M3 CSL have we seen the hallowed ‘Competition Sport Lightweight’ moniker apply to a high-performance BMW coupe.

Said M3 CSL was revered from the moment it was announced thanks to its motorsport pedigree, with lightweight panels, a spartan interior, race buckets, and minimal noise insulation for a thoroughly race car-like experience.

Creature comforts were few and far between, all in the name of performance. In standard trim, air-conditioning and audio system were left on the shelf, though owners could have fitted them at the time of order placement as no-cost options.

Cruise control was also unavailable, as an indication of the car’s single-minded intent.

Production was limited to just 1400 units, with Australia landing just 23 of the global build allocation.

This latest incarnation of the CSL nameplate takes lightweight measures and performance to the next level in the year that BMW M celebrates its 50th anniversary.

BMW M has stripped a massive 100kg from the M4 Competition Coupe to give the new CSL a 1625kg dry weight. The stripped-out interior and lightweight features like carbon-fibre panels, wheels, springs, struts and paired-back soundproofing contribute significantly to the overall weight reduction.

The M Carbon full-bucket seats upholstered in black leather with red alcantara inserts up front save 24kg alone compared with the standard seats in the M4 Competition. The backrest angle is fixed, while seat height can only be adjusted in the workshop eliminating the need for electric motors.

There’s no rear seats; instead, there are two helmet storage units back there, as well as a carbon-fibre centre console, anthracite-coloured headliner, M Alcantara steering wheel and carbon-fibre trim bits.

The M4 CSL launches as the most powerful road-legal version the across all six generations of the M3/M4, with a worked version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six powerplant. For the limited edition model, it produces 405kW of power – a 30kW hike over the M4 Competition.

It achieves this thanks to a higher level of charge pressure and specific engine management calibration. In other words, they’ve dialled up the boost and tinkered with the code of the ECU accordingly.

Drive is put exclusively to the rear wheels via BMW’s eight-speed M torque converter transmission.

Complementary to the lightweight measures and power hike are specific chassis enhancements such as aluminium front-end strut braces and a bespoke suspension set-up that also integrates adaptive M suspension as standard equipment.

The M4 CSL rides 8mm lower than the M4 Competition, giving it undeniably low-slung profile, while standard fit carbon ceramic brakes provide serious stopping power.

All this equates to record-breaking performance, with the CSL now on top of the leader board for series-production BMW lap times at the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife, achieving a 7:15.677.

The standard sprint time is achieved in 3.7-seconds – shaving two tenths of the M4 Competition – on the way to a top speed of 307km/h. For reference, the zero to 100 time of the new lightweight contender is two tenths slower than the all-paw variants of the M3 and M4 Competition.

An aggressive exterior styling package leaves you in no doubt of the M4 CSL’s intent. It can be optioned in exclusive Frozen Brooklyn Grey metallic exterior finish with red touches on the bonnet, roof and side skirts, while Sapphire Black and Alpine White are also available.

Carbon fibre aspects abound across the exterior, with the lightweight composite applied to the kidney grille, front splitter and air curtains.

In line with the M5 CS – a car we’re currently road testing across Europe – the M4 CSL features GT racecar-derived yellow low- and high-beam BMW Laserlights. The rear lights also carry a new technology with threads in the covers. It all makes for a unique appearance.

As with the M3 CSL, the new model also carries a distinctive ducktail spoiler – a feature designed to increase downforce over the rear end.

Aside from the bespoke carbon pews, the interior includes an array of electronic performance elements. Though not exclusive to the M4 CSL, they include M Drift Analyser for rating of one’s drifts, and M Laptimer.

The latter seems never more relevant given the CSL’s potency on track.


The CSL is priced at $303,900 before on-roads, with an Australian introduction set for Q4 of 2022.

For context the M4 Competition is $182,500. A base M4 manual is about half the price of the CSL.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Everything BMW M4

Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford is a Senior Road Tester at CarExpert.
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