Some of us are curious about the thought that goes in a certain model. Thankfully, there are manufacturers that are willing and open to share the backstory behind certain models. One of them is BMW, and it's gladly sharing storied about the M4 CSL and the M3 Touring.
Markus Flasch, the former CEO for the BMW M division, recently told the work his team put in the new models. Flasch was the M division's boss for the past three years before passing the reins back to his predecessor, Frank van Meel. Flasch's new role in the BMW Group is quite the opposite from the M division as he now becomes the CEO for Rolls-Royce.
Flasch talked about the future M4 CSL, along with a brief the behind-the-scenes story of the M3 Touring with Auto Motor und Sport. During the brief interview, the ex-BMW M boss said that there is pretty much no point in trying to hide the CSL, pretty much confirming its future launch. He even called it an open secret during his little chat with the German publication.
He also gave a few details about it, saying that the back seats have been chucked away in the pursuit of light weight. Not only that, Flasch added that they are aiming for a triple-digit weight loss for the new car. That said he could be referring to kilograms instead of pounds. If that's the case and we're looking at at least 100 kg, that roughly translates to 220 lbs, a substantial decrease. As it stands, the standard M4 with a manual transmission tips the scales at 1,674 kg (3,690 lbs).
As for the M3 Touring, Flasch said that model nearly didn't happen. He noted that turning the 3 Series Touring into a M car was never even part of the company-wide strategy. The division's engineers fought hard for it, said the ex-BMW M head. He added that the folks from Garching (a town in Munich) suddenly came up a prototype of sorts one out of nowhere. His exact quote translated from German said, 'It appeared like a U-Boat from the workshop'.
Flasch gave the thumbs-up to the skunkworks project, but their next hurdle was convincing the board to make it a series production model. His anecdote also said because the prototype was so well-built, the board green-lit the project. In many ways, the approval of this model is similar to the E30 Touring story.
It's not the first time a band of engineers tried to convince the bigwigs to make an M3 Touring for production. There was an E46 M3 Touring prototype that was built decades ago but the proposal was ultimately nixed in the end. It took about 20 years before the idea of an M3 Touring became reality, so there's a lot of expectations riding on the long-roof M3.