The famed M division is celebrating its 50th anniversary in style.
BMW's coveted CSL badge is reserved for its lightest, fastest, and most special sports cars. Its famed M division hasn't built a new CSL since the E46 M3 CSL way back in 2004, but the nameplate is seemingly making a comeback. Spy shots have shown the new M4 and possibly the M8 are getting the hardcore CSL treatment.
A few weeks ago, our spy photographers spotted a series of M4 CSL prototypes parked at a test facility, and now road testing of the lightweight sports car has begun in Germany. This time, we get a better look at the M4 CSL's new grille from multiple angles.
The M4 CSL retains its standard sibling's controversial kidney grilles, but unique horizontal inserts have been added to set it apart and make the front end look more aggressive. Dare we say it, but the M4 CSL's grille could be even more controversial if this is the final design. The headlights also look different, supporting rumors the BMW M3 CS and M4 CSL will get bespoke M design headlights. BMW has also covered up the rear lights, which could have new graphics.
To enhance the aerodynamics, the BMW M4 CSL prototype is fitted with a body kit that includes a more prominent front splitter and a ducktail spoiler. Like the M3 CSL before it, the M4 CSL will benefit from significant weight savings to improve the performance thanks to new carbon components and the removal of the rear seats.
We'll have to wait and see if the new M4 CSL gets a power bump, but the current M4 Competition isn't exactly underpowered. A3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six pumps out 503 hp and 479 lb-ft in the M4 Competiton, but BMW is expected to crank up the power to around 540 hp in the hardcore CSL variant.
BMW is expected to lift the covers off the new M4 CSL sometime next year and sell it alongside the new M3 CS. BMW M is marking its 50th anniversary next year, so bringing back the CSL nameplate seems like a fitting celebration. We're all in favor of that.