2025 BMW M4 CS Review: A True Test Of Skill

2025 BMW M4 CS Review: Putting the BMW M4 CS to the Test

Driving the BMW M4 CS on the iconic Salzburgring circuit in Austria provided an unforgettable experience. A two-hour drive from Munich led to this legendary track. Mixed weather conditions ruled out the use of Michelin Pilot Cup 2 R track-oriented tires, which come as a factory option. Instead, the stunning Riviera Blue M4 CS was equipped with Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, sized 275/35ZR-19 up front and 285/30ZR-20 in the back.

The Circuit: A True Test of Skill

The Salzburgring circuit, just over 2.6 miles long, presents a unique challenge. It features a pair of fast straights leading into slower curves near the start-finish line and the notorious high-speed 90-degree Nockstein Corner at the western perimeter. The circuit鈥檚 constantly changing radii and elevation shifts make it more challenging than its straightforward layout suggests.

Expert Guidance from Sven Esch

Guidance came from Sven Esch, the senior vehicle dynamics engineer for the M4 CS and the pace car driver. Sven鈥檚 intimate knowledge of this natural proving ground was invaluable. His instructions were clear: “No 2WD, please. Feel free to dial in Track mode and MDM, but do not switch off DSC.” The directives were straightforward and essential for maximizing the M4 CS’s performance on this demanding track.

Performance and Handling

Despite the weather conditions and tire changes, the M4 CS handled the Salzburgring with impressive agility. The fast straights allowed the M4 CS to showcase its powerful acceleration, while the slower curves tested the car’s handling and stability. The high-speed 90-degree Nockstein Corner was particularly challenging, but the M4 CS remained composed and responsive.

A Balanced Experience

The day at Salzburgring demonstrated the M4 CS’s versatility. The car鈥檚 ability to balance extreme performance with everyday usability was evident. Whether navigating fast straights or tackling tricky corners, the M4 CS delivered a thrilling yet controlled driving experience. The combination of expert engineering and advanced technology made this drive an unforgettable adventure.

2025 BMW M4 CS Interior: Comfort Meets Function

The M4 CS comes fitted with thinly padded bucket seats as standard equipment. These one-size-fits-some seats offer minimal cushioning but, together with the three-point seatbelts, they keep even extra-large frames firmly in place during hard braking or intense cornering maneuvers. The steering wheel, though unnecessarily squared off at the bottom, features a red straight-ahead marker. However, it is almost too thickly rimmed for standard-size hands.

Transmission Options: Tailored for Enthusiasts

The M4 CS’s eight-speed transmission offers three operating modes: Auto, Sport, and Manual. Opting for Manual mode and selecting the fastest of three shift velocities results in a rapid and punchy performance. Unlike the aggressive Sport+ mode in a 911 GT3, the M4 CS delivers a more controlled experience. The M4 CS will never scare you like the CSL, which thrived on the edge in wet conditions and could still be temperamental in the dry.

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Speed and Braking Performance

Even the long back straight of the Salzburgring isn’t sufficient to reach the claimed 188-mph top speed. However, an indicated 144 mph was achieved before deploying the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. These brakes start making a difference after the second or third stint, with the crowd on the pit wall cheering. The brakes, springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars are all specifically tuned for the CS, ensuring precise handling and stability.

Enhanced Track Mode

Track mode in the M4 CS enhances throttle response, directs extra torque to the rear wheels, delays stability control interference slightly, and flexes the chassis muscles more energetically at the limit. Favorite dynamic profiles can be stored and accessed via two fire-red steering-wheel buttons labeled M1 and M2. For instance, M1 could lock all systems in Sport or Sport+ with DSC off, while M2 could serve as a low-grip setting with full safety nets in place.

Customizable Driving Experience

Unlike Porsche, BMW M allows drivers to tweak key dynamic interfaces, such as steering response and brake action. Although the difference between Comfort and Sport is relatively subtle, stable feedback under all driving conditions is preferred. Over time, BMW steering has lost some of the deeply reassuring connectivity and total haptic immersion that peaked in the legendary E46 M3. Even in a sharp-handling and commendably involving sports coupe like the M4 CS, electric actuation and electronic control have traded some crispness and sparkle for reduced effort and enhanced safety.

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