2017 BMW M4 CS First Drive

This is the BMW M4 CS, another exclusive edition of BMW's defining performance coupe. It comes hot on the heels of the super-pricey GTS model of 2016 and fits between that halo vehicle, limited to a maximum of 700 examples, and the excellent M4 Competition Package, which retails at around £64,000 with a DCT gearbox.

2017 BMW M4 CS First Drive
2017 BMW M4 CS First Drive

It wears CS badging that has been used on older BMWs in the past, most recently – and relevantly – on the E46 M3 CS, which took bits of the super-pricey and limited production (see a pattern developing here?) M3 CSL to create a semi-collectible M3 at a slightly more affordable price.

To some extent, the M4 CS does the same thing, but you have to retune what ‘affordable’ now means. With 460hp and 443lb ft, it matches the GTS for torque, but is down on power by 40hp. Conversely, it’s 10hp and 37lb ft up on an M4 Competition Package.

But the price for the CS is £89,130, about midway between the Competition Package’s £64k and the £121,000 you’d have needed to bag one of the 30 GTS M4s that came to the UK. So is the CS worth the significant premium on the Competition Package, and if not, does it feel almost as special as a GTS to justify the asking price?

First impressions

There are visual amendments to the CS (stands for Coupe Sport, incidentally), which cannot be fitted to either a regular M4 Coupe or the Competition Package car. It has a front splitter in exposed carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and a lovely little ‘Gurney flap’ CFRP spoiler on the boot, a...