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With its limited-edition M4 CS, BMW aims for the Goldilocks zone

Stephen Edelstein
bmw m cs shanghai auto show

Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

BMW hasn’t had the best luck with its current-generation M4. The standard car is unbelievably capable, but it’s been criticized for being a bit sterile. The limited-edition M4 GTS was a bit more lively, but its tiny production run and six-figure price tag made it a bit irrelevant. Now, BMW is trying again.

Debuting at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, the BMW M4 CS is meant to split the difference between the standard M4 and the GTS. To do that, BMW basically took the Competition Package that already provides some performance enhancements to the standard M4, and added a bit more power.

Like all M4 variants, the CS uses a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six. The CS version produces 454 horsepower, or 10 more than the standard M4 with the Competition Package. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission is the only option, although lesser versions of the M4 are available with a six-speed manual.

BMW says the M4 CS will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and the car’s electronic limiter had been raised to allow a top speed of 174 mph. The M4 also lapped Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschliefe in a claimed 7 minutes, 38 seconds. That’s right between the 7:52 of a non-Competition Package base M4, and the 7:27.8 of the M4 GTS.

The suspension largely carries over from the Competition Package, but BMW says it tuned the car’s various electronic systems to give the CS a unique feel. Those systems include adaptive suspension, BMW’s Active M Differential rear diff, and the stability control which, because this is a BMW M car, gets an M Dynamic mode meant to allow more aggressive driving.

The exterior is similar to the standard M4, which already looks like it escaped from a tuner shop. The CS gets a model-specific front splitter, plus a rear diffuser and OLED taillights from the M4 GTS model. The 19-inch alloy wheels are exclusive to the CS.

The BMW M4 CS arrives in United States dealerships next year, with pricing to be announced closer to launch. It will be a limited-edition model, but hopefully the production run will be bigger than the 700 M4 GTS copies BMW built.