Is that an automatic gearbox we hear?

Following initial tests on public roads, the hotter variant of the BMW M4 moves to the Nurburgring for a high-speed test session. A new video captures the performance coupe stretching its legs around the legendary track and showing some great potential.

This is a different prototype from the one we spied last month, though it’s still covered in camouflage foil. It’s difficult to see some of the exterior details but this video provides a very good look at the overall pace of the M4 CSL (name not confirmed) at the ‘Ring. The notable jump at the Pflanzgarten 1 (around the 1:28 mark) is indicative of the prototype’s decent speed. At some point during the first half of the video, the test car easily overtakes a yellow BMW M3.

Gallery: BMW M4 CSL Spy Shots

According to preliminary information, BMW will focus its efforts on weight reduction, trying to shave off some fat. The lightest current model weighs 1,674 kilograms (3,690 pounds), meaning there’s a lot of potential for lowering these figures and making the car quicker without a significant power boost.

There were early rumours the M4 CSL could be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox but from what we are able to hear in this video, this prototype probably has an automatic transmission. Regardless of what BMW decides, we expect some of the performance coupe’s luxurious features inside the cabin to be removed as a weight reduction measure. As far as the 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine is concerned, we don’t expect a huge output increase beyond the already impressive 503 bhp (375 kilowatts) in the existing M4 Competition.

The Coupe Sport Leichtbau could return to BMW’s lineup sooner than we thought with a recent report claiming the M4 CSL will go into production in July next year. Production is expected to be limited to just about 1,000 examples but this hasn’t been confirmed yet.