BMW M has been slowly releasing some of its most exciting, top-secret CSL models from over the years, cars that were made as one-off prototypes but never went further than that. In BMW M’s first video, we saw the E46 M3 CSL V8, the E60 M5 CSL, and even an M6 CSL. However, this one shows an equally interesting car and one that actually got close to production–the F87 BMW M2 CSL.
The M2 CSL was an interesting car because it actually almost made production. It was built when BMW was transitioning from the original M2 to the M2 Competition and the M Division was planning a special version. There were two special M2s built for the board to choose from: either a BMW M2 CS or the M2 CSL. Obviously, the board chose the former, which was probably the right choice because it was pretty much a perfect car. However, there will always be the question of “What if?”
As you can see in this video, the M2 CSL took a lot of inspiration from the M4 GTS, with its large wing and roll cage. That rear wing also had very unique mounting arms, which were 3D-printed in a very organic shape, which provides strength and material only where needed. They look like they’re made from organic matter and it’s pretty cool, if a bit creepy.
One of the more interesting aspects of the M2 CSL is its engine. Because it was built when BMW was still switching from the standard M2 to the M2 Comp, and it was just a demonstration car for the board, it actually still has an old N55 engine, from the original M2. While BMW doesn’t outright say it in this video, you can see it under the hood, especially in Top Gear’s recent video.
As cool as the M2 CSL is/was, I think BMW actually made the right choice by building the M2 CS instead. As with most CSL models, the M2 CSL would likely have been DCT-auto only, whereas the M2 CS was available with a manual. Plus, its less aggressive nature actually made it super usable on a daily basis. It was still comfortable enough and practical enough too be a daily drive, while most GTS models haven’t been. Still, it’s cool to see the car that might have been.
[Image provided for media use by bmw-m.com]