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550-Horsepower 2023 BMW M4 CSL Is the Return of a Legend

The second generation of the BMW M4 is off to a somewhat rough start, which may or may not be related to the highly controversial size and shape of its kidney grille.
2023 BMW M4 CSL 26 photos
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The addition of those outrageous-looking M Performance parts late last year didn’t do much to help the model’s already vexed exterior design.

That said, 2022 is a special year for BMW M, as the Motorsport brand will be celebrating no less than 50 years of existence, and a legendary version of the M4 is about to make a huge comeback to aid in the festivities.

We are talking about the famed CSL (Coupe Sport Lightweight) nameplate, which will make a return as a limited-edition version of next year’s M4.

Spy photographers have already caught a glimpse of a pre-production prototype for the 2023 BMW M4 CSL. Despite the extra thick camouflage, it looks like the car will also bring back some design elements from its predecessor.

The last time we saw the CSL badge was on the 2004 BMW M3 CSL, which was only built in 1,383 units and was a complete disruptor of the M lineage.

As the first M model with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof and lighter than M3 Coupe on which it was based by no less than 110 kg (243 pounds), the M3 CSL was a force to be reckoned with.

It was also the first M3 to go under the 8-minute threshold on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is no mean feat for an M model with just 355 horsepower (360 PS) from a non-turbocharged inline-six engine.

It is expected that the 2023 BMW M4 CSL will undergo a serious diet, which will see its rear seats go the way of the dodo and most aluminum parts of the car replaced by CFRP to both lighten the car and lower its center of gravity.

Compared to its indirect predecessor, the M4 GTS, the new CSL will sport a less flamboyant body kit, but one that will hark back to the M3 CSL. The curved ducktail trunk lid will thus make a comeback, replacing a potential GTS-like rear wing.

The twin-turbocharged S58 inline-six will be massaged to deliver around 550 horsepower and a tad more torque as well, making it the most powerful production BMW with less than eight cylinders under the hood.

 
 
 
 
 

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