The BMW M Division has always been one of the most prestigious and respected performance divisions in the world. Whenever BMW debuts a new M car, the entire world stops, with bated breathe, to see what M has in store for us. BMW M cars are always some of the fastest, best handling and highest performing cars on the road. But wouldn’t it be nice if BMW gave us something a bit more extreme?
Mercedes-Benz has a very well respected performance division of its own, called AMG. Mercedes-AMG cars are always mad lunatics, pumping out horsepower figures that baffle the mind and frighten tires. But even still, AMG likes to push things even further and run your tire bill even higher with more extreme editions called the Black Series. Mercedes-AMG Black Series cars are always lighter, more powerful and more hardcore than the standard (if you can call them that) AMG models. And they’re always both more fun and more terrifying to drive. So it’s no secret that AMG Black Series models are awesome.
BMW doesn’t have a lunatic division of its performance division, like Mercedes-Benz does. Sure, there are some one-off variants of M cars, like the most recent M4 GTS and the never-forgotten M3 CSL, but these aren’t frequently recurring editions. It took three decades for BMW to come up with a M3 CSL successor to the 3.0 CSL. It would be interesting to see what BMW could come up with if it let the M Division crank its cars up to eleven. Take an M3, strip it out a bit, add some more aero, more power and give it a kick-ass name. Do the same with the upcoming M2, M4, M5 and M6. Go crazy, BMW.
Obviously, not many people would buy these cars, so there isn’t huge incentive to build them. But no one buys the AMG Black Editions either, really. They’re low-volume, high-profit machines, though. Mercedes-Benz only sells a handful of the Blacks but it jacks the price up to ridiculous levels for them. The most recent model was the SLS AMG Black Series, which was simply madness. It actually had a bit less torque than the standard car, but had more horsepower, revved higher, had incredible aerodynamics and handled like a race car. It probably only sold a handful of models, but they were all incredible and people loved Mercedes-Benz for it. BMW could do the same with some of its cars.
BMW has the means to do so. It has all of the clever carbon fiber technology and aerodynamic know-how. It also has some of the best engines in the world. There’s no reason why BMW can’t make something happen along those lines, mechanically speaking. It’s one of the best automakers in the world, when it comes to Motorsport. It also has the name — CSL. BMW could make CSL versions of every M car. Would that take away from the specialness of the CSL name? Maybe, but I think they’d be sold in limited enough numbers that it would be fine. Plus, imagine not having to wait a decades in between each CSL model debuting?
I also think it would benefit BMW’s reputation. BMW has been called soft lately, by many auto enthusiasts. Enthusiasts are starting to feel that BMW can’t hang with the big boys anymore, like Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. But BMW could silence these critics by releasing some more hardcore models to keep up with the likes of the Porsche GT Series models and Mercedes-AMG Black Series models. BMW could start out small, with the M2 CSL that’s been rumored for so long. The M2 CSL could be just like the Cayman GT4, in that it’s meant for pure driving pleasure and nothing else. No fancy electronic technology, just a lightweight, rear-wheel driver powerhouse with a manual gearbox. It’d be a thing of beauty.
BMW has all of the right ingredients for such a model line. It has the mechanical know-how, the ability and the storied name to make it sell. What do you think, should BMW make a more extreme model line, say a frequent CSL line, like Mercedes-AMG Black Series and Porsche GT4, or should it let the M Division speak for itself?