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2018 BMW M4 CS

Between the heavily track-oriented M4 GTS and the fiscal spectacle of the M4 Competition Package sits the M4 CS. A limited-edition M4 built to strike a balance between a raw driving experience and everyday livability. Most of the work done to the base car is to its drivetrain and chassis - allowing it to achieve a Nürburgring lap time of 7:38. Fourteen seconds quicker than the base model and ten seconds slower than the GTS.

That time difference is due to the fact that the M4 CS doesn't have a large adjustable rear wing and water injection like you'd find in the GTS. Instead, BMW provides a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler, roof, and front bonnet for weight savings - body colored so you don't look like a tool sitting at stop lights. The result of the added CFRP panels drops the M4 CS curb weight down to 3,483 lbs (1,580 kg).

Under its bulging sculpted hood the M4 CS packs a familiar friend: A 3.0-liter twin turbo straight six engine producing 460 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Just ten more horses than the Competition Package - leading to the same 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 174 mph (280 kmh). Its forged crankshaft and low friction arc sprayed cylinder walls reduce rotational mass giving the M4 CS a redline of 7,600 rpm. Electric flaps in the exhaust can silence or louden the engine noise. A magnesium wet sump is capable of operating at 1.4 g so even your most hectic skids won't prevent the engine from being properly lubricated.

All of that power runs into a 7-speed M double-clutch transmission which then spins an Active M Differential in the rear. This electromechanical differential uses multiple clutch plates to shift power between each wheel, and is controlled by BMW's Dynamic Stability Control unit. Using DSC, you can select different modes of operation allowing you to lock the wheels together, open the differential, or keep traction in the corners. If you engage M Dynamic Mode, the differential will allow slippage of the wheels enabling what BMW calls 'mild drifts'.

If going sideways is your main goal, then you should know the M4 CS will be well sorted for that kind of work. It uses adjustable electric steering, adjustable dampers, aluminum front struts, and aluminum rear multi-links. Its brakes are ventilated with four and two piston fixed calipers sitting abaft 265/35 ZR19 with 285/30 ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Its lightweight alloy wheels are made to look like the ones from the M4 DTM racing car, but its rear diffuser is straight from the M4 GTS.

The interior of the M4 CS is a mish-mash of indecision between comfort and racing temptations. Door panels are made from a lightweight compact natural fiber, so you get pull straps instead of a proper door handle; but it also comes with climate control and a BMW HiFi sound system. Alcantara lines the steering wheel and parts of the sport seats pulled from the Competition Package - though its exclusive designs are avid reminders that this is an M car. Stripes are visible on the seat belt, headrests, and door straps but its most bombastic feature is an illuminated M4 logo on the backrest of the seats. A car more strident than subtle.

The M4 CS is sold in three colors: San Marino Blue Metallic, Lime Rock Grey Metallic, and a limited special order matte finish Frozen Dark Blue II. Deliveries are expected to begin late 2017 at a cost of ~$124,900 USD (EUR 116,900).