No three letters get Bimmer fans as riled up as CSL. The initials have historically been applied to lightweight, performance-focused versions of BMW's most extreme machinery. But while BMW isn't currently offering any CSL models for public consumption, the emergence of an M5 CSL and spy shots of a potential M3 CSL have Munich's followers frothing at the mouth.
The former turned out to be a one-of-a-kind special. But details on the latter are beginning to circulate, and they look promising. Firstly, sources suggest that the model won't wear the CSL designation at all, and instead be labeled either M3 GT or M3 GT4 Street, in reference to the homologated racing version.
First, the good stuff: the engine is tipped to be tuned in the neighborhood of 450 horsepower, give or take, driven exclusively through the 7-speed dual clutch transmission with no manual expected to be on offer. Stopping power is anticipated to come from Brembo 6-piston calipers up front and 4-pots in the rear gripping slotted steel discs, and while carbon-ceramics may be on the options list, the jury's still out on when BMW will roll out the production version of its F1-derived Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a.k.a. regenerative braking. Recaro buckets and the removal of the rear seats should help the M3 GT (or whatever it will be called) shed some 220 lbs of weight, sitting 25mm lower on BBS alloys mounted to a Sachs suspension with standard roll bars.
The prototype is said to have already lapped the Nurburgring in 7:40, with testing still underway in France. Targeting the Porsche 911 GT3, the hard-core M3 will be extremely limited in production – possibly as few as 25 examples annually – available directly from BMW Motorsport but certified for road use – at a price point hovering around 110,000 euros ($172k). Unfortunately, the signs suggest that it won't be making the transatlantic voyage Stateside. Thanks to Tim for the tip!