“We have no plans to produce a BMW M3 or M4 CSL. Or something like that,” said Collins on Top Gear. CSL versions (Coupe Sport Lightweight) aim to reduce the total weight of the car to improve the performance levels. To do this, BMW is using lighter materials like carbon fiber, plus, they are giving up on some nonessential systems.
BMW’s take on the matter is that the new M3 and M4 are CSLs already. “There wasn’t a CSL on the previous generation (the E92 M3), and the way we look at it is like this: the CSL was great because it had this real focus on lightweight engineering. But we’ve already done that with these new cars. We’ve made them as light as possible – they come in under 1,500kgs, which for a car like this is incredible.”
On the matter of engines he elaborates a bit: “I can understand that people might look at the six-cylinder and do the natural comparisons (with other BMW 3.0-litre turbos too), but the amount of change we’ve put on this engine is substantial. We think that any M engine has to be good enough to be true to the character of M, and this new S55 combines power (431 hp) torque (406 lb ft) and usability combined with the CO2 benefits of a turbo (it emits the same CO2 as the original four-pot E30 M3). Plus we’ve retained that high-revving character of the V8, so the overall combination is right for us.”
Collins explained that BMW has already done everything that the current version of M3 and M4 to be as light. “Both models weigh less than 1,500 kg, which is incredible for a car of this caliber.” If an M4 CSL is out of the question, however, is it likely we will soon be able to see a BMW M4 GTS, but this is a piece of info that is not officially confirmed. This model should be launched in 2016, and its bodywork would be using carbon and aluminum elements extensively to bring the total weight somewhere under 1,400 kg.
The last BMW M3 CSL belonged to the E46 generation. Only 1,400 copies were built and they were only available in two colors: black and silver. The BMW M3 CSL E46 weighed only 1,385 kg, 110 kg less than the standard M3. To achieve this, BMW has given up a lot of acoustic elements, the audio system, the power windows, and the navigation system. The air conditioning was only available as an option.
While some fans will undoubtedly be saddened by this news, others might agree with BMW’s decision. Only time will tell if this was the right decision, although, to be fair, all the signs point in BMW’s favor.