Limited edition, track-focused model could be badged as a "CSL" or a "GTS"

The introduction of the BMW M2 into the entry-level performance coupe market has ignited a wave of interest from fans of Bimmer’s M performance division. That interested could soon be paid off in kind by the German automaker with reports that the company has given the nod to release a higher performance version of the M2. There’s no official announcement yet, but the car could be introduced as the M2 GTS or the M2 CSL.

German automotive news site Auto Motor und Sport came out with the report, and while the excitement surrounding the possible release of these models should still be met with cautious optimism pending a BMW announcement, it’s worth pointing out that there is a precedent for an M-badged BMW to get either the “GTS” or “CSL” name plate.

The BMW M4 GTS, which was released in late 2015, is a more recent example. BMW only built 700 units of the car, which was packaged as a track-focused version of the M4. The CSL, on the other hand, dates back to 2003 for its most recent example. That was when BMW launched the M3 CSL, a 1,400-unit, stripped-down version of the E46 M3.

It’s not clear which way BMW is leaning, but in any case, the higher performance version of the M2 will be much lighter than the standard model. It will also be tuned for a more sporting purpose, likely following in the mold of the M4 GTS. Auto Motor und Sport also reported that the planned M2 will be stripped out, widened, lowered, and given more aggressive aerodynamics. It’s also expected to use more carbon fiber in place of the traditional steel and aluminum components on the standard M2.

As far as the engine is concerned, the higher performance version of the M2 will undoubtedly receive a bump in power, much like the M4 GTS. There’s no word on the actual number, but considering that the standard model already produces 365 horses, an output north of 400 horsepower is a real possibility.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

BMW has handled its M performance division incredibly the past few years. Sure, it’s made some polarizing decisions along the way, but for the most part, it’s hard to argue the kind of success the M division has had in recent years. The BMW M3 and the M4 have carried the load for the division, but the M2 has more than held its own as the brand’s new entry level model. Some people may scoff at the car for having that “entry level” label, but the M2 has shown that it’s worthy of the name.

That, for me, is a big reason why I think BMW should green light the production of a more performance-oriented version of the M2. I don’t want to say that it’s a reward of sorts for the model considering how well it’s been received. So instead of using that term, I’ll call it justification for both BMW and the M performance division that they did something right with the M2.

Now as far as the car itself is concerned, I’m keeping an open mind on what it could potentially look like if BMW decides to proceed with its production. Given how the automaker was able to transition the M4 into the M4 GTS, I expect something similar to take place with the M2, albeit with a little more dramatic flair to it since the company has a little more options to work with on the car.

However this one turns out, I’m looking forward to the car as much as everybody else. Whether it’s called the M2 CSL or the M2 GTS, what’s important to me at least is that BMW is giving the M2 its due recognition by giving it a limited-run, high-performance model that has the potential to define the model for years to come.

2017 BMW M2 CSL

2017 BMW M2 CSL Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M2 CSL here.

Source: BMW Blog

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