In March 2018, a BMW spokesperson confirmed the return of the fabled three letters – CSL – as a replacement for future GTS models “which are appropriate to get a CSL version.” The cat is pretty much out of the bag regarding which M product will lead the way as the M4 will be given the Coupe Sport Lightweight treatment in 2022.
Before that happens, former BMW M CEO Markus Flasch sat down and had a chat with Auto Motor und Sport for an extended interview, and one of the topics was the hotter M4. When asked whether he would be willing to confirm the M4 CSL, the man who was in charge of the M division for three years – now running the large car division – referred to it as an “open secret.” In other words, it’s definitely coming.
He was surprisingly generous as far as disclosing some juicy details about the amped-up version, saying it would be “much more stripped down” than the M2 CS and M5 CS. Not only that, he went as far as to say the “four-seat design [of the M2 CS and M5 CS] won’t play a role.” That tells us there’s a distinct possibility the M4 CSL will have only two seats to shave off as much weight as possible.
How much? Auto Motor und Sport inquired Markus Flasch whether the high-performance coupe will lose more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and his answer was: “Yes, we are aiming for a weight saving in the triple-digit range.” The diet is expected to be applied to the rear-wheel-drive M4 Coupe with the automatic transmission as we’re hearing there won’t be a manual nor xDrive.
While some of the purists will be sad to hear the M4 CSL is unlikely to get a clutch pedal, they can take comfort from knowing the ex-BMW M boss mentioned during the interview the engine would not be electrified. He went on to specify the engineers have figured out ways to make the inline-six comply with the forthcoming Euro 7 regulations, adding the engine will still be offered until at least the end of the decade.
The same goes for the larger V8, which Markus Flasch said is going to remain in the lineup together with the smaller engine “no matter how tough EU7 gets” thanks to a better-optimized combustion process.