An Electrified M8 CSL Will Arrive For 2022, and We’ve Already Seen It in the Wild.

We were quite surprised to see what we believed at the time was a BMW 8 Series with a mid-engine configuration. Due to the weird vents in the rear quarter glass, the louvers on the rear window, and the fact that whatever was behind the front seats was covered, there was certainly something going on. A few days after those spy shots started making rounds, we learned that BMW claimed that “mid-engined 8 Series” was little more than a test vehicle that’s passed from department to department to test new technology and mechanical goodies. At that time, we admitted that a mid-engine configuration was unlikely, but despite the lack of electric motor whine, BMW could be testing a hybrid powertrain setup. According to a new report, we may have been right.

New BMW 8 Series + New Hybrid Tech Means Very Good Things Are Coming

That Weird 8 Series Mule Is Probably a Hybrid M8 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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At this point, it’s pretty believable that BMW was testing a hybrid setup in the weird 8 Series mule that we saw.

The rear intake vents were way too small for an engine to be back there, but they would be the perfect size for an electric motor cooling system.

And, since BMW was clearly hiding something, this just makes sense. Factor in a new report from Motor.es, which claims that a BMW M8 CSL with new hybrid tech is in the works, and things make even more sense. BMW’s denial was simply a way of keeping things quiet.

What to Expect From the BMW M8 CSL

That Weird 8 Series Mule Is Probably a Hybrid M8 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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It’s only right that BMW develops a CSL variant of the M8 – it’s almost obligatory at this point. According to the aforementioned report, the 2022 BMW M8 CSL could deliver as much as 700 horsepower thanks to a combination of a 3.0-liter Inline-six and a pair of electric motors in the rear.

If this report is true, that means the CSL will have the M840i’s inline-six, which in its current configuration delivers just 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque.

This being the case, those two electric motors would have to be good for some 365 horsepower, or around 130 ponies each. That’s not that far of a reach, really, and by ditching the 4.4-liter V-8 from the M850i, BMW can save a decent amount of weight to make up for the battery pack and weight of the new motors.

That Weird 8 Series Mule Is Probably a Hybrid M8 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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Then again, if the report is wrong, a smaller electric motor could be used in conjunction with the M850i’s 523-horsepower and 553 pound-foot V-8. A single electric motor and this V-8 engine could very easily hit the 700-horsepower mark.

If that same V-8 has the same tune it does in the M8, BMW would only need to supplement the engine’s 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, which would be notably easier.
That Weird 8 Series Mule Is Probably a Hybrid M8 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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Factor in this tidbit along with the fact that BMW doesn’t want to throw off the car’s balance, and the combination of the M8’s V-8 and a small electric motor seems more ideal. That said, the M8 CSL should be capable of hit the 60 mph sprint in roughly 2.8 seconds – that would make it two-tenths faster than the M8 in its current level of tune – with top track speed easily approaching the 200 mph mark.

In terms of design, the 2022 M8 CSL will feature a large spoiler and will probably go under some kind of weight reduction – something else that will help with the integration of hybrid tech. Expect to see plenty of carbon fiber inside and out, some extra bits of luxury here and there, and most likely, some CSL-specific performance pages built into the infotainment system.

That Weird 8 Series Mule Is Probably a Hybrid M8 CSL Exterior Spyshots
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I, too, would love to see a mid-engined 8 Series supercar, but at this point, it’s definitely not in the cards. A hybrid M8 CSL actually makes a lot more sense, and the hybrid technology could provide some serious performance improvements over the already bonkers M8. Does BMW need a supercar? Yes, it does, but we’ll be more than happy with an M8 CSL for now.

Source: Motor.es

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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