2023 BMW M4 CSL arrives, resets BMW 'Ring record

The quickest BMW (to date) around the Nürburgring has been revealed, but it’s unclear if you can even buy it.

On Thursday, the 2023 BMW M4 CSL broke cover. When production begins in July, only 1,000 units will be built, each for a price of $140,895. BMW wouldn’t comment on whether the M4 CSL is already sold out or how many will come to the U.S.

The boost pressure of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 increases from the M4 Competition’s 24.7 psi to 30.5 psi in the CSL, with engine mapping modified accordingly. Power output increases by 40 hp to 543 hp, but torque remains unchanged at 479 lb-ft. The 8-speed automatic transmission (no manual, sadly) is tweaked for crisper gear changes and ideal gear ratios for the updated power. BMW stiffened both the engine and transmission mounts to help handle the increased power output.

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

BMW said the M4 CSL takes 3.6 seconds to sprint from 0-60 mph and hits 120 mph in 10.5 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 191 mph, and the M4 CSL is the fastest production BMW in history around the Nürburgring with a 7:20.2 lap time.

Weight loss was, predictably, a focus for the CSL, which stands for “Competition, Sport, Lightweight.” The CSL weighs 3,640 lb after shedding 240 lbs from the standard M4 models. The lightweighting inside comes courtesy of only two carbon-fiber bucket seats, which saved 53 lb for the front seats, and another 46 lb by removing the rear seat. As with the M4 Competition, the M4 CSL features a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP) roof panel. Using a CRFP hood and trunk lid shaved 3 lb and 15 lb, respectively.

The CSL will sound different from lesser M4s thanks to a new titanium rear silencer and less exhaust sound insulation, both for a lower tone and less weight. Using lighter sound deadener and less of it removed another 33 lb.

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

CSL models will be easily spotted thanks to the yellow daytime running lights on the standard laser headlights. The CLS also debuts a taillight technology that uses standard LED bulbs but features light threads woven into the glass light housings. The effect is a distinctive light pattern unlike any other BMW. Buyers will have a choice of Frozen Brooklyn Grey metallic, Ice White, or Black Sapphire metallic exterior colors.

Aerodynamics have been tweaked with an integrated trunk lid spoiler, and a CRFP front splitter and rear diffuser. The mirror caps are also CRFP.

Suspension and structure changes include a 0.3 inch drop in ride height, the use of forged-alloy springs and struts, the addition of auxiliary springs to keep the tires on the road, more negative front camber, unique anti-roll bars front and rear, a rigid rear subframe connection without rubber elements, and a front strut brace developed to handle the CSL’s lateral loads.

The standard carbon-ceramic brakes, which save 31.5 lb over a standard steel setup, are hidden by M-specific matte black forged alloy wheels. The red brake calipers grab 15.7-inch discs up front and 15.0-inch discs in the rear. Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, 275/35R19 up front and 285/30R19 at the rear, were developed specially for the M4 CSL. Buyers can also get the still sticky but more livable tires from the M4 Competition at no cost.

The traction control system in the CSL allows drivers to select one of five intervention thresholds. Lesser M4 models have four settings, and the CSL’s fifth threshold allows for maximum wheel slippage before the safety systems come in to save the day. Activating M Dynamic Mode will fully deactivate the stability control system.

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

2023 BMW M4 CSL

Inside, the M4 CSL isn’t as luxurious as other BMWs. The center console is made from CRFP , which saved 9 lb. The automaker’s iDrive infotainment controller remains, along with buttons for various settings and functions. Despite the focus on weight savings, BMW covered the center armrest in leather and added a wireless smartphone charger. The three-spoke steering wheel looks familiar, but the shift paddles are made from carbon fiber.

The 2023 M4 CSL is now the top dog in the M car lineup, but it won’t be for long. The upcoming XM will serve as the M division’s flagship, and a spicier version of the CSL is reportedly in the works as an Hommage to celebrate the division’s 50th anniversary.

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