ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS A NEW FAST LANE CONTENDER FROM BMW
Now comes news of the ultimate track-honed M4 CSL from BMW which has a 40bhp power boost over the M4 Competition Coupe, taking the power output to an impressive 550bhp. A number of weight saving measures have been employed for this latest addition to the fast lane club, such as a carbon -fibre roof, bonnet and boot lid.
To give you an idea of the performance, testing at the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife 12.8 mile-track achieved a 7:15.677 lap time which is the best-ever figure for a BMW road car. Top speed, 306kph (190mph) and rest to 100kph (62mph) 3.7 seconds BMW has managed to fuse old-school racing passion with innovative technology to create the ultimate performance experience. I would not be alone with the desire to have this machine for a track day at Mondello Park or Kirkistown- or both! Modifications contribute to the maximum output when the rev counter hits 6,250rpm and peak torque of 650Nm is on tap from just 2,750rpm and sustained all the way up to 5,950rpm. A bespoke engine mounting and rigorous application of lightweight design principles ensure the newcomer achieves an even bigger gain in dynamic prowess than this extra dose of M power would suggest. In the engine compartment, an intricate cast aluminum strut brace takes the body rigidity to another level, with agility and steering precision optimised to maximum effect while minimising material use and weight.
The new rear silencer is made from titanium, cutting weight of a conventional steel equivalent by 4.3kg and the twin tailpipes have matt black trim with a stripe-patterned perforation on its inner surface. The model-specific exhaust system comes with electronically controlled flaps, generating an intense racing aura both outside and inside the car. Gear changes are accompanied by precisely defined engine speed overshoot, while distinctive, low-frequency sound sequences can be heard on the overrun. The M Sound Control button on the centre console lets the driver switch to a more restrained soundtrack when needed. The modified six-cylinder engine is allied to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and no surprise rear-wheel drive delivers the ultimate performance experience.
The M4 CSL rides on forged cross-spoke M light-alloy wheels which have been designed exclusively for this car and are fitted with track-focused 275/35 ZR19 tyres at the front and 285/30 ZR20 at the rear. You can have more road-focused tyres which are available as a no-cost option. Stopping power is a must to match such performance and the M4 CSL is fitted as standard with M Carbon ceramic brakes that are around 14.3kg lighter than the brakes on the M4 Competition Coupe. Their red-painted callipers team up with 400mm x 38mm discs at the front and 380mm x 28mm discs at the rear and two pedal feel settings can be selected from the M setup menu. The inclusion of the integrated braking system enables the DSC system to intervene more swiftly and precisely than ever and traction control duties have also been relocated from the DSC control unit to the engine management, allowing the engine’s power to be adjusted with exceptional sensitivity when accelerating on slippery surfaces. You can set individual intervention thresholds for wheel slip in ten different stages, with the option of deactivating DSC by engaging M Dynamic Mode. M Traction Control stages 1 to 5 are the same as in the M4 Competition Coupe while stages 6 to 10 have been devised for track conditions and are geared towards optimising traction to deliver quick lap times.
In true BMW form, exterior styling is matched by a sporty interior with only seats for the driver and front passenger, but these are no ordinary seats, by manually using a lever on the front edge of the seat the head restraints can be disassembled for track use to avoid interfering with a helmet. M Carbon bucket seats with enhanced comfort are available as an alternative option, and are still 9.6kg lighter than the seats in the M4 Competition Coupe. These optional seats combine racing functionality and lightweight design with a higher level of comfort, with electrically operated adjustment, seat heating and an Easy-Entry function allowing easy access to the rear, where a stowage area behind the seats provides space for two helmets. Removing the rear seat cuts weight by around 21kg. This newcomer is the real deal from BMW, however only 1,000 will be available.