Earlier this year at the Shanghai Motor Show, BMW brought along a slightly newer and somewhat angrier version of their M4 called the CS - which, according to brand lore is an acronym for Coupe Sport - that slotted between the M4 with Competition Pack and the track-focused M4 GTS.
As previously covered, CS represents the official top-of-the-line variant in the M4 series production range (comprising of the M4 Pure, ‘standard’ M4, and M4 Competition Pack) since the GTS was made only in limited numbers (700). As such, it’ll command a higher price of $211,610 when its local launch in late 2017 comes around.
BMW has followed a tried and tested formula with the CS, and one that they’ve attempted many times before. By stripping away some creature comforts, sound deadening layers, as well as incorporating more lightweight material into its construction, the S55 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol engine can more easily exert its 338kW and 600Nm onto the road, but the automaker is adamant that the CS still offers a high level of comfort and standard equipment.
Transmitting power rearward is a 7-speed M-DCT dual-clutch and from there drive is split between the individual wheels by multi-plate Active M Differential. Given a long enough straight, the M4 CS will reach an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h, while acceleration from standstill, with launch control enabled and presumably the optional Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres selected, takes 3.9 seconds.
There’s no doubting the very real performance that the CS brings to the fore, even when contrasted against the already very impressive ‘standard’ M4. BMW is particularly proud of the car’s Nurburgring lap time of 7 minutes 38 seconds, which is some 10 seconds shy of the pace set by the yet more powerful and lighter-still M4 GTS.
Considering the CS still comes with features such as iDrive 6 with the 8.8-inch Professional infotainment screen (Apple CarPlay is optional too), leather/Alcantara upholstery, BMW Connected Drive, and automatic headlights and wipers, that’s quite an achievement.
The CS can also be specified with the uprated M Ceramic braking system with six-piston front callipers (4 at the rear) over the standard steel compound rotors. Additionally, buyers who aren’t keen on the only two standard paint options - Black Sapphire and San Marino Blue - can select from a marginally larger catalogue through BMW Individual, though that will set you back a hefty $4,400 and will only present you with Lime Rock Grey or Frozen Dark Blue II. Riveting stuff.
As we’ve highlighted before, BMW maintains a confusing history with these kinds of special acronyms. On some occasions they do stand for something, while at most points they’re just there as a point of differentiation as dictated by marketing derectives - nobody really cares what ‘GTS’ stands for, as an example, but as CS and CSL have a unique place in BMW mythos since the 1960s, some elaboration and consistency would be helpful.
Upon the announcement that the M4 CS will be making its Australian landfall in the coming months, BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner said: “The queue for the M4 CS starts here. From its uniquely aggressive appearance to its additional performance over the M4 Competition, the BMW M4 CS is a worthy hero for the recently-updated M4 range. Lighter weight and more power ensure an even more dynamic drive than the M4 Competition, but with additional everyday capability and luxury than the M4 GTS,”