The BMW M4like most modern BMWs, is ugly. Simply ugly, and it’s okay to recognize it! Some cars straight up looks like they hate you and themselves, and it is justified if the consensus around them is negative. They don’t need you and I—humans with feelings, which cars don’t—to rally around them to offer comfort, pretend they’re secretly good, and make excuses for them. They are cars, not people. We’re love two – no, we should – point and laugh in their direction. They do it to us all the time.
Today, however, BMW is having the last laugh. On me, and everyone else who has known, as sure as we have known anything, that the muzzle of the M4 is repulsive. See, back in November the automaker unveiled a plan to pull 50 examples of the sports coupe off the production line and turn them into tributes to 3.0 CSLto mark the M brand’s 50th birthday.
The resulting uber-rare Bimmers will receive unique bodies made entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, slightly tweaked versions of the M4 CSL’s inline-six — now good for 560 horsepower, the most from any BMW-produced six-cylinder ever — and a six-speed manual transmission, which is something you usually only get in an M4 base. The price? $780,000. BMW gave a glimpse of the new 3.0 CSL being built, of hand, in a press release published Friday.
In justice, I got a little warm with this one. Please let me give credit where it’s due and say something nice about BMW: I think it’s good that the company does this.
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Yes, BMW produces comically so few of these that it might as well never have bothered at all. ONEand yes, this exercise will undoubtedly earn you a lot of money. But in principle, it’s cool to put in a wild idea that would normally be built as a one-off and quickly forgotten in limited production! It’s something BMW is trying with Mini Cooper SE Cabriolet too, and I like that production has gotten to the point where automakers can commit to little experiments like these now and again.
But now that my cynical brain has fully reached operating temperature, it’s hard not to read this in a different way. BMW has made a fantastic car with a design many have complained about. It later decided to make a small number of these cars with a completely different (and, I would argue, more pleasing) look, and sell them for more than five times the price – if we compare this to the M4 CSL, which costs approx $141,000. A base M4 starts at $74,400 before destination, for reference.
BMW, I see what you’re doing, using the hate for your design to your own advantage. I can’t even be mad. Honestly, it’s brilliant. As BMW blog notes that the production 3.0 CSL draws clear cues from the automaker’s Hommage concept revealed eight whole years since, if you can believe it. The grill is very similar between both of them. And while the M4 headlights don’t fit as perfectly into the kidneys as the concept’s bespoke units did, just widening the intakes does wonders for this car. $640,000 worth of wonders, to be more precise. It turns out that’s the price of an M4 that you don’t need to apologize for.