Currently reading: New 2022 BMW M4 CSL due as lightweight Porsche 911 GT3 rival
Hardcore version of new M4 will serve as successor to previous-generation, track-focused M4 GTS

BMW is readying a lightweight, range-topping version of the M4 coupé for launch in its 50th anniversary year, and reports suggest it could revive the hallowed CSL nameplate.

The CSL moniker – it stands for Coupé Sport Leichtbau (lightweight) – was first applied to the ultra-exclusive E9-generation 3.0 CSL sports saloon in 1972 and revived in 2004 for a lighter version of the E46-generation M3. Since then, the lightest and fastest versions of BMW's sports cars have been badged Competition, GTS or simply CS, according to their positioning. 

An anonymous source on the Bimmer Post forum suggests the M4 CSL will enter production in July 2022. Taking the previous CSL cars as an indication, we would expect a run of around 1500 units. 

Irrespective of the production car's official name, a similar treatment to the recently revealed M5 CS is likely, meaning it will prioritise weight loss and enhanced dynamic performance, with a more overt track focus than the standard M4 Competition. 

Power from the M4's 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six could be bumped up over its standard 503bhp output, cutting the 0-62mph time down from 3.9sec while nudging the 180mph top speed up slightly. But the model's track focus means it will almost certainly gain an overhauled suspension system and shed a significant amount of weight. 

The M5 CS weighs around 70kg less than BMW the standard Competition, rides 7mm lower on uprated dampers and wears hardcore Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres. Carbon brakes are fitted as standard, and an aggressive, aero-focussed body kit differentiates the the model from the Competition version. New images of what is thought to be the M4 CSL suggest it will adopt a similar set-up. 

It's unclear how BMW could reduce the M4 Competition's 1725kg kerb weight, given that it already uses carbonfibre for the roof panel (a carbonfibre roof was one of the E46 M3 CSL's headline features). Like the M5 CS, however, it stands to swap its bonnet, door mirrors and bumpers for carbonfibre items and will likely make liberal use of carbonfibre and Alcantara throughout the cabin, in line with its track billing. 


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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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Peter Cavellini 13 April 2021

That is the new light today, what does the equivalent EV car weigh?

LP in Brighton 13 April 2021

Light weight - 1725kg? Why bother. Isn't this just a marketing exercise. This may be a wonderful luxury grand tourer, but I'd pick something else for track days. 

Peter Cavellini 12 April 2021

Has to something really special, not just a badge excercise, it's not about BHP , it's about losing weight, improving handling, feel through the steering wheel, we don't need extra horsepower on the road, not particularly for the Track either, just make it drive better, make it a true CSL.