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BMW to revive CSL badge

By Scott Newman, 11 May 2019 News

BMW to revive CSL badge

Iconic Coupe Sport Lightweight moniker to return

BMW is set to revive its iconic CSL badge, according to M Division boss Markus Flasch.

CSL is the most revered BMW nameplate, having adorned just two production models, the E9 Coupe of 1972 and E46 M3 of 2003, though it also appeared on a one-off E60 M5 built to celebrate 25 years of M.

BMW E60 M5 CSLIn response to a question regarding model hierarchy, Flasch told MOTOR: “We will see more limited editions, special ones like the CS and you can also imagine a CSL.”

30 years of the M3: E46 CSL

In recent years BMW’s sportiest models have worn the GTS moniker, in particular the E92 M3 GTS and F82 M4 GTS, but Flasch said: “We won’t see the GTS sub-brand in future; there won’t be a GTS and a CSL.”

Flasch wouldn’t be drawn on what models would potentially receive the CSL treatment, though did offer: “CSL stands for lightweight, racetrack ability and the purest M character that you can achieve that’s still got licence plates on it.”

In other news: 2020 M3 to have AWD auto

BMW E9 CSL

The next M4 is the most obvious choice, but the forthcoming M8 Coupe could also be a front-runner, Flasch stating: “This car is the ultimate performance machine that we offer.” Whilst a larger car, the M8 would also potentially allow for a greater weight loss, living up to the CSL mantra.

Expect to see more CS models, too. The badge first appeared on the E46 M3, which scored a lot of the mechanical pieces from the CSL, but it wasn’t used again until the current F80 M3 and F82 M4.

Celebrating driver's cars: M3 CS

BMW E46 M3 CSLThe M2 is next in line to receive the CS treatment, but Flasch said it needn’t be limited to coupes: “We don’t do this on every car, but I would go as far as to say we also don’t have to stick to coupes, because we’re not talking about racetrack ability only, we are talking about character differentiation.”

Flasch outlined these models are being developed in response to customer demand: “For some of our customers our high performance cars weren’t radical enough, talking about the chassis. Some of our customers needed even more precision in steering. It’s not necessarily so much about the sheer performance or about the engine output but the character.”