BMW is Keeping the Trademark Office Busy with new Designations for Future M Models
Are we in store for more lightweight, track-focused M cars from BMW?by Kirby Garlitos, on
Any BMW that wears the “CSL” badge is very much sought-after. In fact, some of the earlier versions of CSL-badged Bimmers have turned into prized collectibles. That list includes the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, 2004 BMW M3 CSL, and most recently, the BMW M2 CSL. The M2 CSL, in particular, hasn’t even been released yet. Only 1,000 units of the model are expected to be built with orders scheduled to start in January 2018 and deliveries beginning in May 2018. But, even before the M2 CSL arrives, there is major news regarding the badge and what its future is with BMW.
As it turns out, BMW is serious about protecting the CSL designation to the point that it has registered the trademarks for a whole range of CSL models with the World Intellectual Property Organization, beginning with the M1 CSL and extending all the way to the M8 CSL. There is a caveat to the trademarks as only the M2 CSL, M4 CSL, and M8 CSL have been registered internationally whereas all of the trademarks are registered in Germany. It’s anybody’s guess what this could all mean, but we can at least be sure that BMW is going to be using the CSL moniker a lot more now that it has effectively replaced the GTS badge as the company’s go-to, top-of-the-line track machine.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
What do these trademark filings mean for the CSL line?
|Our rendering of the 2018 BMW M2 CSL|
At this point, there are still no details on what BMW plans to do now that it has filed trademark applications for the M1 CSL all the way up to the M8 CSL. We already know that the M2 CSL is going to arrive next year, but the status of all other models wearing this nameplate is still up in the air. That said, the automaker’s recent decision to replace the GTS designation with the CSL badge means that there’s a possibility that BMW could be using the latter far more often than it did in the past. Remember, the CSL name hadn’t been used since 2004 with the M3 CSL before Bimmer decided to bring it back with the M2 CSL.
With the exception of the upcoming 2018 M2 CSL, the CSL name hasn't been used since the 2004 BMW M3.
Another possibility is that BMW is just protecting the names in the event it does use them in the future. Trademark applications, after all, don’t specifically mean that the names being trademarked will be used in any capacity. There’s a possibility that BMW only did this because it wanted protection against competitors from using the trademarks. Remember that drama between Aston Martin and Porsche when the latter forced Aston to pony up the GT3 name, which prompted Aston Martin to rename the Vantage GT3 as the Vantage GT12? BMW’s decision to register all these CSL trademarks could be to avoid that situation.
What’s the deal with the M2 CSL, M4 CSL, and M8 CSL the only ones getting international trademarks?
The best guess at this point is that BMW has already identified the three models that will likely get first get dibs on getting the CSL treatment. The M2 CSL is already on its way to production and, if the German automaker wanted to follow that up, the M4 CSL would make the most sense. As for the M8 CSL, it’s well-chronicled that the BMW wants to bring the 8 Series name back with a resounding bang. Throwing in a CSL variant would certainly create enough hype and buzz around the returning model.
How will the CSL-badged models be different from their CS counterparts?
The CS variants are effectively tamer versions of the CSL models. Case in point: BMW plans to make the CSL models as track-oriented as possible. That could mean a number of different things, but we do know that weight savings will be one of its priorities. That means that CSL models will only have two seats in them compared to the four seats that will come with CS models.
Understandably, there are a lot of questions that BMW still needs to answer before we can put any real stock on the status of all these trademarks. But the mere fact that it took step suggests that’s something afoot over there in Bavaria.
Read our speculative review on the 2018 BMW M2 CSL
Read our full review of the 2004 BMW M3 CSL
Read our full review of the classic 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL
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