The original M3 CSL was an instant star so BMW has large shoes to fill.
BMW is, first and foremost, a car company, but it likes to claim that instead, it’s the purveyor of sheer driving pleasure. Evidence of this was something we could sum up with a handful of numbers and letters, M2 and X6 M for example. However, its past featured a combination of letters that were known to invoke some of the highest levels of compliment from drivers. These letters were “CSL,” and if our spy photographer’s new batch of photos can speak for anything, they may be placed on the newest M4.
When going out to shoot some pictures, we found a red M4 sporting the German automaker’s newest LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) facelift. Riding nearby was a white M4 sporting some interesting new additions that could be the goodies that we get in the CSL bag. Up front these include a lip spoiler, a resculpted hood, and an air outlet. Towards the rear the Bimmer gets a larger and more aggressively angled rear spoiler. If the CSL makes it to market, we’d expect it to make more than the standard M4’s 425 horsepower, likely more than the 444 ponies that the M4 CS makes, and if all goes well, more than the 493 horsepower made by the M4 GTS.
While the engine upgrades are sure to be exciting, the CSL should focus its self-improvement mission on cutting weight. The previous CSL was based on the E46 M3 and cut out over 240 pounds out of the Bimmer. It pulled this trick off by removing sound insulation, the stereo system, electric seats, adding carbon fiber reinforced polymer body panels, and using glass-reinforced plastic for the windows. Weight reduction was only one target for the M division engineers, distributing that cut so that the M3 could maintain a 50:50 weight distribution was the next challenge. There’s no telling if this new car is the real deal CSL, but if so, hopefully BMW announces it before the year is out.