For some time there has been talk that a BMW M4 CSL could be on the cards. The rumour mill has been fed by the appearance of several test mules that have been spied testing at the Nurburgring, BMW’s dynamic test facility of choice. This week a number of cars in various states of disguise were seen testing at high speed during an industry pool day.
BMW’s M Division turns 50 in 2022. The company’s in-house speed merchants have been creating more powerful, focussed versions of BMW road cars all carrying the self-proclaimed “most powerful letter in the world”. During that time there have been just two production models to wear the CSL badge (which stands for coupe, sports, lightweight): the 3,0 CSL and the E46 M3 CSL.
In recent times there have been CS versions of existing products, such as the M2 CS that we drove at Kyalami (our report can be found by clicking here) and the more recent BMW M5 CS super saloon. But the last CSL, the E46 M3, made its production debut in 2003.
A birthday surprise
Reports coming out of Europe suggest that BMW M will release a number of special versions in 2022 to commemorate its 50th year of existence. The video (below), makes it seem increasingly likely that one of these will be the BMW M4 CSL. The newest CSL will most likely be produced in a limited run, possibly a 1 000 units as reported by some BMW-specific websites.
Hiding the truth
The cars seen in the video have design cues to show they are more hard-core versions of the existing BMW M4. Among the changes we can see, despite heavy camouflage, is a more pronounced front splitter with upturned flicks on the outer edges of the bumper, a fractionally lower ride height and a duck tail spoiler, similar to that of the E46 CSL.
Some BMW fan sites are reporting that the new CSL will ditch its rear seats (note the completely darkened rear windows to hide the rear of the cabin) and feature a healthy dose of carbon-fibre to help reduce its mass, by perhaps 150 kg. The lightweight material will likely be used for the roof and the bonnet. The latter item will probably be sculpted like that of the M2 CS.
Power will come from the same twin-turbocharged inline six as other M3/4 variants. The existing M4 Competition produces 375 kW of power. Expect a CSL version to make approximately 410 kW (an even 550 hp). By the sounds of it the car boasts a freer breathing exhaust system as well.
Judging by the tail-happy nature of the test mules we’re guessing that the BMW M4 CSL will be rear-wheel-drive and use the company’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The final link in the chain is likely to be a set of sticky semi-slick rubber wrapped around forged alloys that shroud composite brakes.