Saving the best for last, BMW M’s 50th-anniversary celebrations will culminate toward the end of the year with the unveiling of the 3.0 CSL. Not to be confused with the recently launched M4 CSL, the hardcore coupe will be far more exclusive and expensive as we’ve heard only 50 will be made at €750,000 a pop.
Some would argue paying that kind of money for an M4 – which starts at €87,300 in its base form – is ludicrous, but don’t be too surprised if the car will be revealed with a sold-out status. It’s certainly going to be an instant collectible given its rarity and the fact it’ll be one of the last M cars with a manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and a pure gasoline engine.
Ahead of its reveal in late 2022, the 3.0 CSL has been speculatively rendered. It’s more than just a shot in the dark as the digital design exercise is heavily based on the prototype recently spotted carrying a colorful M-themed livery. How bespoke the body is going to be remains to be seen, but we’ve heard the car will be a coachbuilt project similar to some degree to what Rolls-Royce is doing with the Boat Tail.
You’ll be able to immediately tell it’s not an M4 or an M4 CSL just by looking at the totally different kidney grille. There’s going to be more than that as the prototype was seen with dual air intakes in the front bumper akin to the M3 E46 CSL (yes, it only had one), along with dual rear spoilers and bespoke lights. Not that it matters a great deal, but the test vehicle was stuck with the old iDrive 7, which is the same we can say about the M4 CSL.
A direct successor for the original 3.0 CSL from the 1970s, the modern-day equivalent is rumored to pack 560 horsepower from an upgraded S58 engine. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter mill produces 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) in the M4 CSL, but it’s unclear whether the torque is going to receive a bump as well. What matters the most is those 50 fortunate owners will be able to row their own gears as opposed to the automatic-only M4 CSL.
While it won’t be a bespoke supercar to follow up on the mid-engined M1, we’ll take what we can get. Few people saw the 3.0 CSL coming and let’s keep in mind it will be launched during a busy year that also gave us the first-ever M3 Touring. In addition, the M2 G87 is also on its way and it’ll retain the RWD+manual gearbox formula, so BMW still caters to enthusiasts.
[Render by instagram.com/andras.s.veres]