What if BMW brought back the CSL nameplate?
The new M4 is here radical grille and all ushering in a new age for BMW as it seeks to change up its brand image. The next-generation M4 may look different than the current generation, but one thing is certain, BMW will do its best to create as many special editions and trims as possible. This constant segmentation and tweaking keep the platform fresh while allowing BMW to maximize profits. This strategy doesn’t just benefit BMW, however, as many of these special editions are targeted directly at car enthusiasts. Take, for example, this M4 CSL rendering posted on Instagram by futurecarsnow.
The CSL nameplate dates back to the early days of BMW performance products and was usually associated with a lightened high-performance trim of an existing car. The “CS” stands for club sport while the “L” stands for lightweight. So CSL is a combination of racing-inspired road car tech with less weight to lug around.
The most recent CSL product was the Legendary E46 CSL, which represented the best of the breed in their pursuit to deliver the ultimate driving machine. Although the E46 M3 CSL only used BMW’s controversial single-clutch SMG automatic transmission, it’s a venerated collectible in the BMW community thanks to its high revving engine and lightweight construction.
The previous-generation M4 didn’t have a CSL trim and the top tier M4 was known as the GTS. This limited-production M4 was powered by a twin-turbo straight-6 that featured a water injection system to cool intake temperatures. This unique engine was good for 493 horsepower (368kW) and 443 lb-ft (600nm) of torque, which was mated to BMW’s dual-clutch transmission. The rear seats were removed and aggressive aero was added to make this the most track-capable M4 available and was a CSL minus the badge.
Although the new M4’s exterior styling is controversial, a CSL trim could help soften the blow after looking at the new grille. Do you prefer this rendering over the stock M4?