The most extreme, road-legal M2 ever built?

Revealed in October 2015, the BMW M2 Coupe turned out to be a revival of the iconic BMW 1 Series M Coupe, launched in 2012. With a more compact body and a power-to-weight ratio similar to the M4, the M2 is actually a better option for those looking for the dynamics and dimensions of the original M3. All told, there are plenty of things to get excited about with the new M2 Coupe. However, if we are to believe the latest rumors that surfaced the Interwebz starting 2015, the M2 won’t be the most hardcore incarnation of the 2 Series. According to BMW insider Scott26 from Bimmerpost, BMW is planning an even lighter and more track-focused version of the M2.

There’s no word as to when this hardcore M2 will arrive, but it appears it will wear a CS, CSL or Competition badge. The CSL moniker dates back to the BMW E9. Built between 1968 and 1975 and considered the predecessor of the first 6 Series, the E9, also known as the New Six CS, spawned the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, a homologation special built to make the coupe eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The CSL arrived in 1972 and it is now regarded as one of the most collectible Bimmers in history. The name returned in 2004, when BMW built a limited-edition model based on the E46 M3, called the 2004 BMW M3 CSL. It employed many weight-saving technologies and an upgraded engine and chassis. So what will the M2 CSL bring to the table more than a decade later? Find out in my speculative review below.

Updated 02/09/2017: Our spy photographers caught this more powerful version of the BMW M2 out for a first testing session. The car does not have a name just yet, but rumors suggest it could be name either M2 CS or M2 CSL. An official debut is expected to be made after the facelift M2 will arrive at the end of 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the future BMW M2 CSL.

Spy Shots

February 9, 2017 - First testing session

2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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Exterior

2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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The CSL badge will turn the coupe into an even more aggressive machine

With test cars wearing some camouflage and not yet sporting significant updates, the M2 CSL is still somewhat of a mystery. However, it’s safe to assume that the CSL badge will turn the coupe into an even more aggressive machine. Specifically, look for larger intakes in the front bumper, beefed-up fenders, a quad-pipe exhaust, and black-painted, 19-inch wheels. The package should also include a number of aerodynamic improvements and styling add-ons that will make it stand out in the 2 Series lineup.

2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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CSL-specific features are likely to include a larger carbon-fiber front splitter

CSL-specific features are likely to include a larger carbon-fiber front splitter, mildly revised front air dams, new side skirts, a race-inspired carbon-fiber rear diffuser, and a bigger trunk-lid spoiler. A set of bespoke wheels are also on the table, probably wrapped in semi-slick racing tires. A recent leak also unveiled that BMW is planning to enhance the M2’s color palette with at least two hues. The M2 CSL will get the flashy Sunset Orange, already available on other models, but also a new shade called Silver Hockenheim.

Unfortunately, we probably won’t see the cool orange accents of the M4 GTS on the M2. Simply because the M4 CS is a much simpler car on the outside. Still, a subdued appearance can’t be bad as long as the performance is solid.

Interior

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior
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Note: BMW M2 interior shown here.

Look for a lighter pair of front bucket seats and a motorsport-spec steering wheel with fewer buttons

The CSL package will turn the M2’s already sporty cabin into a race-inspired cockpit. Look for a lighter pair of front bucket seats, lightweight rear seats (or maybe none at all), and a motorsport-spec steering wheel with fewer buttons. The package will also add lots of carbon-fiber elements, including door panels and the center console.

According to recent rumors, the Dakota black upholstery will get a few color touches in the M2 CSL. Customers will be able to choose between Polar Blue and Kyalami Orange stitching, while perforated leather will be offered as an option. That’s good news if you’re not a fan of BMW M’s traditional black upholstery.

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Drivetrain
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Note: BMW M2 engine bay shown here.

The added power and lowered curb weight will have a dramatic impact on the coupe’s performance

With the M2’s output rated at 365 horsepower, 45 horses more than the M235i, the M2 CSL should benefit from significantly more than that. However, don’t expect the turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six to crank out more than 400 horsepower, as a higher output would put it in line with the M4. And BMW doesn’t want that.

The rumored 405-horsepower output seems likely and it would be more than enough considering the CSL will be lighter than the M2. How much lighter is also a mystery, but given the M2 tips the scales at 3,450 pounds, I wouldn’t be surprised to see BMW shave another 100 pounds for a 3,350-pound M2 CSL. If this turns out to be true, the M2 CSL could be a whopping 200 pounds lighter than the M4.

The added power and lowered curb weight will have a dramatic impact on the coupe’s performance. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph could be as quick as 3.9 seconds. That’s a full second quicker than the M235i and 0.3 seconds faster than the automatic M2. Rumor has it the CSL could also make use of the e-boost system demonstrated on the CSL Hommage concept, but there aren’t any actual details to substantiate that at this point.

Prices

There’s no doubt that the M2 CSL will become the most expensive 2 Series once it becomes a reality. With the BMW M2 priced from $53,500 the M2 CSL could start from nearly $60,000. Though that may be a bit too close to the M4’s pricing, which is set at $67,700, the power-to-weight ratio and the amount of carbon-fiber in the M2 CSL could justify such a sticker. Look for the CSL to break cover by the end of 2017. Word has it that production will be capped at only 1,000 units. Orders should commence in January 2018, with deliveries to begin in May.

Competition

Porsche Cayman GT4

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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It may seem strange to throw in a mid-engined sports car with racing skills against a front-engined coupe, but the Cayman GT4 is actually the closest thing to the M2 CSL. Unless Audi or Nissan decide to build hardcore versions of the TT-RS and 370Z Nismo, the M2 CSL will have to prove itself against Porsche’s quickest and most powerful Cayman. The GT4 is quite the impressive sports car, thanks to its race-bred underpinnings and 3.8-liter flat-six rated at 385 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. Capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 183 mph, the GT4 should be quicker than the M2 CSL in a straight line, but not by much. On the other hand, the Bimmer won’t stand a chance against the Porsche on a race track, despite its lightweight design. At launch, the Cayman GT4 was priced from $84,600. That’s significantly more expensive than the M2 CSL, but that’s not the only issue here. The Cayman GT4 is no longer in production and it will take a while before Porsche releases a new edition.

Read our full review on the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4.

Conclusion

2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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As a spiritual successor to the 1M Coupe, which was widely regarded as the best enthusiast car Munich has made in the 21st century, the M2 is a blast to drive and a popular choice among BMW fanatics. A CSL version would only make things better and give enthusiasts the BMW they’ve been asking for. The E46 M3 CSL was extremely popular back in the day, and with the current M4 (and maybe even the 2016 BMW M4 GTS) not as appealing to die-hard fans as the previous V-8-powered M3 Coupe, the M2 CSL might just become BMW’s newest "ultimate driving machine." Fingers crossed the CSL is more than just an exciting rumor.

  • Leave it
    • * Could cost as much as an M4
    • * Just a rumor for now

Updated History

Updated 09/08/2015: Based on the recent rumors and speculations, we decided to create a rendering for the upcoming BMW M2 CSL to help you make an idea on how it will look like. We hope you like it!

References

BMW M2

2016 - 2018 BMW M2
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M2.

BMW 2 Series

2018 BMW 2 Series Coupe Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 2 Series.

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