Born from BMW’s fabled M3, today’s M4 is what you buy when you want the highest-performing 4 Series you can find. To some extent, the M4 has traded in some of its more playful and involving genes to the smaller, cheaper M2. In its place is a dead-series and very sophisticated performance heavyweight. Today’s M4 is a two-door coupe or convertible (if you want a four-door sedan, look to the M3) with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder delivering 425 horsepower. Paired to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, acceleration is fierce. 0-60 mph falls in as little as 3.8 seconds with the optional Competition package, which takes engine output to 444 hp.
Some drivers will argue that the rear-wheel-drive M4 has lost much of its finesse and tactility in its bid to generate even more eye-widening performance, and perhaps they have a point — especially when it comes to weak steering feel. But the 2018 BMW M4 is still a very special car. Thanks in part to continuous improvements to its iDrive infotainment system and updated safety gear, it’s actually a solid daily driver, too. The 2018 BMW M4 starts at $68,700 before options and delivery fees, which puts it right in the hunt with the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and Audi RS5 Coupe.
Prior to the arrival of the BMW M4 CS, there was a sizable gap (in both ideology and capability) between the standard M4 and the super-limited M4 GTS. The l is a formidable street car full of features and tech, while the GTS is a stripped-down, pumped-up track animal that isn't the best for regular driving. The CS (for Club Sport) fills the void as a lighter, de-contented and more powerful car than the standard coupe, but doesn't push matters quite to the extreme of the GTS. The result is a sweet spot in the M4 lineup, giving enthusiasts a sharper weekend track weapon that can also be daily driven.
Unlike the somewhat, the M4 CS adopts a subtler appearance that I really like. Outside of a specific carbon fiber front splitter, exclusive forged V-spoke aluminum wheels and CS badges, it mostly looks like a . That's not a bad thing -- it's still a looker with its carbon power dome hood, fender vents and rear spoiler offering understated attitude.
The CS overhaul inside is a bit more drastic. In the name of weight savings, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic door panels trickle down from the GTS that do without map pockets or armrest door pulls. To close the doors after getting in, you have to yank on swanky fabric straps that no doubt are responsible for saving a few precious ounces. There's no center armrest compartment, either, further limiting storage options.
The Good The 2019 BMW M4 CS packs a respectable performance bump over the base model, and the sport seats are supremely comfortable and supportive.
The Bad The ride quality is quite firm, transmission tuning needs some refining, the engine’s exhaust note leaves a lot to be desired and it’s expensive.
The Bottom Line The limited-edition M4 CS is a formidable weekend track toy that can be daily driven.
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