Expert Reviews

2025 BMW M4 CS First Drive Review

In spite of pricing that’s crept into six-figure territory in recent years, it remains a bargain for the amount of performance it brings to the table. Stretching that definition more than a little bit is the 2025 BMW M4 CS – the newest and angriest addition to the M lineup.


Like the four-door M3 CS that was released last year, this mechanically identical coupe makes less concessions to comfort and is tuned specifically for track use. It isn’t the deadliest arrow in the M4 quiver; that honour goes to the M4 CSL, which was limited to just 1,000 copies and didn’t have back seats or all-wheel drive. The CSL might have been the purest distillation of an M car to date, but this new CS is much more practical.

Topping the Competition

It gets the same engine, which is based on what you find in the rest of the M4 lineup. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.0L inline six-cylinder that makes 543 hp, 20 more than an M4 Competition. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes, and torque gets sent to all four wheels via a rear-biased all-wheel drive system.


Of course, a track car needs to be lighter, and the CS gets a slew of carbon-fibre parts that start with the roof and hood and also includes the front air intakes and splitter, mirror caps, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler. Inside there’s no armrest; the standard seats are carbon buckets, and the centre tunnel is moulded from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), which has become something of a CS tradition. In total it’s 35 kg (77 lb) lighter than an M4 Competition with all-wheel drive. That’s not a huge amount, but it’s not insignificant, either.


Track Attack

The M4 CS’s starting price of $150,000 represents an increase of almost $50,000 over an M4 Competition, and that’s a lot of scratch. The Competition by itself is a stupendously fast car and didn’t feel like it needed more performance, and the CS’s modest power gains seem like poor value on the face of things.


Spend some time with it, however, and you start to realize that the CS isn’t about brute force – it’s about control and feel. It’s a scalpel, not a hacksaw, and even though it can still rocket down a straight with the best of them, it’s what happens in between that paints a clearer picture of the engineering enhancements that went into creating this car.


Spanning 4.2 km, the Salzburgring in Austria provides perfectly smooth tarmac and breathtakingly fast, cambered corners. Instructors pre-programmed the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel with two distinct drive mode setups, saving yours truly from fiddling with the complicated drive setup screen on the fly.


The CS is loud and gruff exiting pit lane, and eases into an easy 200 km/h on the straights without even breaking a sweat. Our warm up lap already has us putting temperature into the tires as the lead car picks up speed and radios in to us to close the gap. The engine is ferocious. There’s piped in audio, but the sensation of speed isn’t dumbed down in the slightest. There’s so much torque that there are only a few moments per lap where wide open throttle is even possible for more than a couple of seconds. Optional carbon ceramic brakes are a godsend, with a firm pedal that remains fade-free throughout.


An unexpected treat is the steering. It’s light and has great feel off-centre and when the cornering forces build. The rear end is perfectly in sync with the front and makes aiming and hitting apexes child’s play. Striking the curbs at high speed doesn’t upset the chassis in the slightest.


The all-wheel drive system provides so much mechanical grip on corner exits that you can sometimes end up carrying almost too much speed. It’s scary just how fast the M4 CS is even in the hands of an amateur. It can overwhelm you easily if you let it. Credit much of this speed to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which are a mad alchemist’s brew of rubber compounds that makes it feel like you’re cheating physics.

Final Thoughts

Where the pricier CSL felt rawer and more visceral, the 2025 BMW M4 CS displays greater stability and, in some areas, feels even faster. The next M3 and M4 are rumoured to have some sort of electrification added, most likely in hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) form, which means both will inevitably become heavier and more complex. While that doesn’t necessarily mean worse, it does mark the end of a more analogue era.


Even without that cloud looming large over this car, the M4 CS is a fantastic track tool. Yes, it’s expensive, but few cars perform as well for the money.

4 Series Facelift

The M4 CS isn’t all that’s new this year, with the rest of the two-door’s lineup receiving a mid-cycle update. It would take a sharp eye to distinguish the changes, but they are comprehensive nonetheless. The headlights have new lighting signatures and new LED hardware, and the tail lights get a stunning new 3-D design formed by glass-fibre bundles lit by laser diodes.

There’s also a tweaked grille design and new wheels. There are changes inside, too, starting with redesigned air vents, as well as an updated operating system that includes more intuitive on-screen climate controls. Sports seats are standard equipment, and the 2025 BMW M440i gets a new flat-bottom steering wheel with nifty illuminated shift paddles.



The 3,0L straight-six under the hood is as peachy as ever and is still augmented by 48-volt mild hybrid technology that makes it more efficient than it has a right to be considering it produces 375 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. That latter figure comes online at just 1,900 rpm, so acceleration feels limitless at city speeds.

This stout power level from an M-lite offering like this means it accelerates as swiftly as the last-generation M4. It has so much power that it keeps pulling hard past 200 km/h, a number that might be irrelevant to a Canadian driver but very revealing from a testing aspect when presented with an unrestricted section of Autobahn.

The M440i also rides very well and is geared more towards comfort and isolation than an M car; not everyone needs knife-edge handling and track driving dynamics. The M440i’s meaty motor and refined cabin offer the fundamentals that a luxury coupe like it needs without getting too extreme.