The most recent entrant onto this list effectively plugs the gap between the M4 Competition Pack and the M4 GTS. The standard M4’s 3.0-litre turbo six has been wound up to 454bhp, a rise of around 30bhp over standard (or 10bhp over the Competition). Mated exclusively to the seven-speed paddleshift gearbox – no manual here – you’ll be completing 0-62mph in a scant 3.9secs. And yes, it’s still rear-wheel drive.
The top speed is curtailed by M Division’s higher, 174mph limiter. Though with a claimed 33.6mpg and 197g/km of CO2, it’s actually the greenest M4 yet, too. We can sense how much you care.
The CS borrows aluminium suspension components from the Competition Package, and gets standard Adaptive M Suspension, with its own, more focused tune. The result is a 7m38s Nürburging lap time, which is as quick as a Lexus LFA, but still some six seconds off the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. That does have 503bhp from its Ferrari-tuned engine, mind.
There are exclusive M4 CS tunes of the steering and stability control systems, you get super sticky Michelin Cup tyres as standard, a GTS-inspired carbon bonnet (less weight, obvs) and a unique aero profile for the CS, which includes a carbon Gurney flap on the rear spoiler.
And it’s rather good, too, as we’ve now found out. “This is one of the cars that feels expertly set up right from the off.,” we concluded. “Hold the Alcantara steering wheel, let off the manual handbrake and pull out of the car park and there’s such accuracy and satisfaction from each control, you’d conclude it’s brilliant without actually going much quicker.
“Naturally, though, it gets better the more revs you use, and the further you dig into its deep reserves of grip. The larger rear wheels (and therefore tyres) help make this an M4 you can fully trust, one that’s predictable and not liable to give you a mid-corner fright. In the dry, at least. We’ve not had the chance to try it in the wet…
“Much like the Mercedes-AMG GT R we’ve recently driven, it’s an example of a track-minded special being a much better and more approachable road car than its base model, rather than being spiky and intimidating.
“The CS is tangibly more athletic than standard – there’s naff-all body roll – yet it sends more information through its seat and steering wheel. Its extra focus leads to a more communicative car, which breeds more confidence from its driver, who in turn works the car harder and has more fun. It’s a virtuous circle…” Read the full Top Gear review here.
BMW recently gave the M3 the CS treatment too, more of which you can read here.
Now, we’ll have seven E46 CSLs, please, one for each day of the week…