BMW’s new M4 CSL super-coupé not special enough to justify the badge

‘Coupé, sport and lightweight’ carries the weight of expectation and, despite the incredible performance, the hardcore coupé isn’t the giant leap forward that fans might have anticipated

Track-focused: The M4 CSL feels sportier and less luxurious than the standard M4, but it’s very much a premium car. Picture: Uwe Fischer

The new BMW M4 CSL is, in essence, a stripped-out, hardcore version of the M4 Competition sports coupé, elevating the already-rapid two-door car to supercar levels of performance. But the pressure is on, because BMW has chosen to endow this car with one of the most evocative badges in the brand’s back catalogue.

CSL stands for coupé, sport and lightweight, which sounds fairly innocuous, but it’s a badge with enormous heritage. Although it has only ...