BMW’s current M3 sedan and related M4 coupe have only been with us for over a year, but hotter versions of both cars have been tested.
The new versions are expected to revive BMW’s CSL badge, and we’ll see them announced later this year as part of the BMW M division’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
If you are not familiar with the CSL badge, then it stands for “Coupe Sport Lightweight”. The last BMW to be named this was the E46-generation M3 coupe, with CSL cars produced in limited quantities of just 1,400 units between 2002 and 2004 – such small numbers made it an exclusive product, where only the most dedicated cars were selected for the extra cost and engraving car driving characteristics. It’s louder and louder.
The prototype for the potential M3 CSL shown here is equipped with elements that you expect to see on the CSL. The front has an extended spoiler that appears to have an adjustable part. There is also no shortage of new grille inserts and new designs for lower intakes on the front shield. You’ll also notice the yellow daytime running lights, the interface of which was first introduced on the M5 CS launched in 2022.
An earlier tester for the potential M4 CSL also had a chunky duck tail-style rear spoiler and what appeared to be a modified rear diffuser and we could see this feature on more advanced testers for the M3 CSL.
We suspect that the cabins of both cars will also be stripped of all but the necessary things to try to lose weight. There may even be the option of a fixed roll cage for the buyer.
The latest M3 and M4 are both powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged 6 engine. The engine produces 473 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque at the base level and 503 hp and 479 lb-ft at competitive level. The new CSL versions are expected to have about 550 horsepower, as well as an 8-speed automatic transmission and can only drive the rear-wheel drive. This will produce scintillating performance in combination with an expected weight loss program.
Note, BMW will introduce the updated 3-Series lineup later this year. The key change will be the new panel design that fits the design in the 4-Series range. Expect the M3 CSL to be based on this updated 3-Series. A new M3 Touring, the first M3 car to be produced, will also debut this year.