BMW M4 CSL
IN 2020 THE BMW M2 CS ARRIVED WITH THE on-paper credentials of an ecoty podium finisher, and after a quiet week on track it delivered the killer blows to its rivals on the road. It was a driver’s car that ticked so many boxes it’s hard to imagine some thought it would fall short. Surely the M5 CS twelve months later wouldn’t fare so strongly, would it?
Bigger, heavier, from stock that has impressed rather than enthralled, the M5 CS was an outlier that knocked the competition for six. No pressure M4 CSL, but BMW M is eying up a hat-trick.
Its confidence is well placed. The CSL is the ultimate take on today’s M4, a car that has continued M’s return to form and won as many people over for how it drives as it has offended on the internet for how it looks. The CSL ups the ante and turns the screw harder still.
But applying the CSL name to a BMW road car sets hopes exceptionally high, meaning the lightest, most focused, most driver-orientated current M car arrives with nowhere to hide. Our initial drive in issue 303 found a good car desperately wanting to prove it was a great one, but it left Jethro feeling that experiencing that last ten per cent was a judgement call as to whether the reward was worth the risk.
A week in the hands of the wider ecoty panel and across more varied roads will be the CSL’S best chance to prove if it is not just an outstanding M car but one of best new cars, possibly even the best, we have driven in 2022.
‘THE WAY IT CAN BE TEASED ON AND AROUND THE LIMIT IS A TIME-HONOURED M DIVISION TRAIT’ – JETHRO BOVINGDON, EVO 303