2025 BMW M4 CS: Is it Worth the Extra Cost?

The 2025 BMW M4 CS is here, and it’s creating a buzz with its impressive specs and eye-catching design. Sharing the spotlight with its predecessor, the M4 CSL, the M4 CS matches it in both panache and performance, delivering 543 horsepower. But with a price tag of $124,675, $35,200 more than the M4 Competition xDrive, enthusiasts wonder if it’s worth the extra cost.

Photo from Car and Driver

BMW launched the M4 CS almost two years after the debut of the M4 CSL. While the CSL was a limited edition and sold out instantly at $140,895, the CS offers a slightly toned-down version featuring extensive carbon-fibre treatments and luxury equipment. Unlike the CSL’s two-seat setup, the CS provides four proper seats, making it more practical without compromising its sporty character.

Under the hood, both models house the iconic twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six engine, delivering 543 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. However, the M4 CS, with its standard all-wheel drive, boasts a quicker 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds compared to the rear-wheel-drive CSL’s 3.6 seconds. BMW’s conservative estimates are challenged by the mechanically similar M3 CS sedan, which achieved 2.7 seconds. The CS gains an edge with a maximum boost pressure of 30.5 psi, adding 20 horsepower and shedding over 70 pounds through a lighter exhaust system, redesigned wheels, and a carbon-fibre hood.

The M4 CS shines on the track, demonstrated during a test drive at the Salzburgring circuit in Austria. The car, equipped with Pilot Sport 4S summer tyres, easily tackled the challenging layout. Senior vehicle dynamics engineer Sven Esch emphasized using Track mode and MDM without switching off DSC. The M4 CS’s chassis setup, brakes, and suspension are explicitly tuned for performance, offering a compliant yet responsive driving experience.

Inside, the M4 CS features bucket seats with minimal padding but excellent support, ideal for high-speed manoeuvres. The steering wheel, with its thick rim and red straight-ahead marker, complements the car’s sporty intent. The eight-speed transmission offers Auto, Sport, and Manual modes with rapid, punchy shifts. Unlike the CSL, which demanded constant attention, the CS provides a more forgiving drive, even at high speeds.

BMW allows drivers to customize their driving experience with M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel, locking in preferred dynamic profiles. While some purists may miss the tactile feedback of older models, the electric steering and electronic controls enhance safety and ease of use. Despite modern touches, the M4 CS retains an emotional connection with its driver, from the engine’s growl to the responsive throttle.

In essence, the M4 CS combines the sharp handling and performance of the CSL with the practicality and luxury of the M4 Competition xDrive. However, the $35,200 premium may be steep for some, especially with other compelling options like the base M4 or the rear-wheel-drive version offering excellent value.

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