2022 marks 50th the M division’s anniversary, so it’s the ideal time to get rid of the CSL badge for track-focused machines. The M4 will get the Sport Lightweight Coupe treatment in the months to come, but before that happens, a source close to the matter has already leaked some bittersweet details to our friends at BMWBLOG.
Let’s start with the good news. The M4 CSL is believed to only come with rear-wheel drive. That makes sense because that’s what most purists want from a stripped-down performance coupe and the first CSL in nearly 20 years. There have been some rumors about BMW offering the xDrive as an option, but now it looks like that won’t be the case.
And now for the bad news. a bit disappointing, BMWBLOG mentioning the M4 CSL would be an automated affair. Maybe it’s because the manual gearbox can’t handle the power generated by the upgraded inline-six engine, but this is just an assumption we’re making. What we know is that the clutch pedal in the reborn CSL is small.
Speaking of the 3.0 liter unit, it is said to come with a healthy boost over the 503 hp available on the M4 Competition. That could be somewhere in the region of 550 hp, which coupled with substantial weight loss, would make the CSL an absolute rocket. Spy shots of the prototype have revealed BMW will be removing the back seat as part of a draconian diet believed to shave more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds).
BMWBLOG claims that the wrapper will launch this spring and the M4 CSL will only be offered in 1,000 units, with most of it apparently aimed at the United States. The lesser M4 CS is said to follow in 2023 when BMW will also come out with the equivalent M3 CS. Of course, we shouldn’t forget the first production M3 Touring model that will arrive before the end of 2022 along with the next M2.
Since we’re talking M cars, the production version of the wild BMW Concept XM will open in the second half of the year with a plug-in hybrid V8 that produces around 750 horsepower. Spy shots show the X5 M will be facelifted this year as well to follow the light update implemented on the M8 lineup last month.