Sporting Club Münich

BMW engineers like practicing sport and going often on a diet. Although they work for a Brand which is the most perfect ambassador of Munich in the world outside beer and fine sausages, they seem not to think in a stereotypical German way. Never underestimate the jolly attitude of Bavarian people, because when they talk cars, they know probably more than they know about making good beer.

The M division is legendary among passionate drivers. When the letter M is applied to a BMW, it means that specialized engineers put these cars under a magical treatment. Just like Alfa enthusiasts hearing the word “Veloce”, M fans know that they’re looking at something which has been fine tuned for sheer driving pleasure.

Add another gimmicky set of letters and the enthusiast’s attention will definitely increase. Speaking of M3’s there’s a long history in making cars better especially by giving them legendary names: CSL, Evo, GTS, CRT, ZCP, Lightweight…and now CS. All of them are incredibly good cars and their names are well known in both the Bimmer and car loving universe.

If you’re a fan of this über coupe from Munich, you might be a little disoriented with the latest variant of the M4. CS stands for Club Sport, which is a lightened and more powerful version of the already excellent “Competition Package”, equalling in 30 kilos less and 10 hp more from the 3.0 twin turbo straight 6 engine. On paper it doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, but we couldn’t care less, in all honesty. As much as it is fancy nowadays criticizing alcantara and carbon fiber, they always add to the “go faster” factory kits and yes, we adore these kind of things.

The new CS stands as the connection between the standard M4 Competition Pack and the track focused GTS. It’s perhaps the best mix between the two versions of the two and possibly the most enjoyable to drive.

First of all, the suspension set up is perfect for any conditions of fast driving. Take it to a bumpy on-off camber road in the middle of nowhere and you’ll be amazed by the fine suspension set up and the constant grip.

The M4 CS is the kind of car which intimidates you at first, but it wins your confidence as you drive it. It’s big and quite hefty for being a sportscar, but the agility and quick reactions will make you feel a great sense of control overall. In matter of a few hours you’ll feel as a driftmeister ready to drive the Nurburgring completely sideways all the time. The driving experience is intuitive, direct and raw enough to cathegorize the M4 CS as a sportscar with a hint to the old school greats. The DCT gearbox is savage in its quickest mode, delivering a satisfying kick in the back as you change gears while accelerating hard. The steering rack, (thankfully not electronic) is slightly numb but provides an adequate level of feel. As you drive in any road circumstance, you feel connected to the car: this is exactly what enthusiasts want from a perfect Bimmer driving machine.

It’s one of the proper escape cars: drive everywhere, stuff the trunk with luggage and go hunting for roads and never stop. The powerful S55B30T0 engine pulls with force since 3.000 rpm and it sounds like the old venerable E46: with no artificial popcorn, the M4 CS is the M car enthusiasts were waiting for.

20 kilometers of roads to reach the Maniva Pass are the ideal playground for this masterpiece. With the corners providing different kinds of tarmac and a perfect rythm the road leading to the top is perfect to unleash the CS.

Drive it like a race car, using all the bit from the carbo-ceramic brakes for maximum front grip, steer it to reach the apex and it will behave like a proper GT: slight understeer at the entry, controllable oversteer at the exit. Cars like these will make you appreciate rear wheel drive more than any other kind of car: it’s driving, like it was meant to be.

The Maniva road is another race to the clouds, like the Simplon pass, as it opens up at one point and becomes a road trying to reach the top of the mountain. It’s like climbing the Olympus, both physically and metaphorically. The M4 on any mountain road equals to attaining driving Nirvana: a place where everything that matters is the moments itself and nothing else. Savour the precision and the perfection of a car which is still allowed to carry the soul of proper petrolheads, which are the only ones to truly understand how to make a real car. The M4 CS is exactly what enthusiast want, without just another marketing device on wheels.

Many thanks to Nanni Nember

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