2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the M division, so the timing is ideal to dust off the CSL badge for a track-focused machine. The M4 will be getting the Coupe Sport Lightweight treatment in the months to come, but before that happens, sources close to the matter have divulged some bittersweet details to our friends at BMWBLOG.
Let's start with the good news. The M4 CSL is believed to come only with rear-wheel drive. That makes perfect sense since it's what the vast majority of purists would want from a stripped-down performance coupe and the first CSL in almost 20 years. There had been some rumours about BMW offering xDrive as an option, but now it seems that won't happen.
Gallery: 2023 BMW M4 CSL Up Close Spy Photos
And now for the bad news. Rather disappointingly, BMWBLOG mentions the M4 CSL will be an automatic-only affair. Perhaps it's because the manual gearbox can't handle the power delivered by the upgraded inline-six engine, but this is just an assumption we're making. All we know is the likelihood of a clutch pedal in the reborn CSL is small.
Speaking of the 3.0-litre unit, it's said to come with a healthy boost over the 503 bhp available in the M4 Competition. It could have somewhere in the region of 550 bhp, which corroborated with a substantial weight loss, will make the CSL an absolute rocket. Spy shots of prototypes have revealed BMW will remove the rear seats as part of a draconian diet believed to shave off more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds).
BMWBLOG claims the wraps are coming off this spring and the M4 CSL will be offered only in 1,000 examples, with most apparently earmarked for the United States. A lesser M4 CS is said to follow in 2023 when BMW will also come out with an equivalent M3 CS. Of course, we mustn't forget the first-ever M3 Touring production model is coming before the end of 2022 together with the next M2.
Since we're on the subject of M cars, the production version of BMW's wild Concept XM will break cover in the latter half of the year with a plug-in hybrid V8 making around 750 bhp. Spy shots indicate the X5 M will be facelifted this year as well to follow a mild update applied to the M8 lineup last month.