BMW will sharpen its M2’s teeth by releasing an M2 CSL into the wild

BMW commences development of its first CSL sports car since 2004

BMW M2 CSL
2016 BMW M2 Miles Branman/Digital Trends

A few months back, German automotive news site Auto Bild signaled that BMW would create a higher performance version of its M2 sports car. Now Autocar is reporting that development of that fantasy track weapon has begun, and will be called the M2 CSL.

Having just spent a week behind the wheel of the standard M car, we can say that the thought of a more potent version is equal parts thrilling and terrifying. Though 365 horsepower may not sound like a lot in the era of Hellcats, it’s more than enough when tackling the winding roads and tight tracks that behoove a BMW. That’s why the rumored 50hp increase coming to the BMW M2 “CSL” would be so impressive.

The CSL name was first used on the 1975 3.0 CSL Coupe, which was built to pay homage to the Group 2 race cars. It has since been used on lightweight versions of the BMW M3, but this would be the first time the badge has appeared on a 2 Series (not surprising, considering the nameplate is relatively new).

BMW’s proposed M2 CSL would be a track-honed, stripped-down model for those who like a little extra fiber in their diets. The two-door coupe would be rear-wheel drive only, and there’s a good chance BMW will only offer it with a dual-clutch transmission. Though the standard M2 can be had with a six-speed manual, lap times will undoubtedly be quicker with the DCT setup.

In addition to the power bump, BMW plans to remove the M2’s sound-deadening material and the rear seats. For further weight savings, several M2 body panels will be constructed with carbon fiber instead of aluminum or steel. Aesthetically, look to the BMW M4 GTS for design hints. Things like a large rear wing, front splitter, and additional air inlets will likely complement the M2’s flared bodywork.

Like the M4 GTS, turnaround time on the M2 CSL won’t be very long. We can expect to see the limited-production vehicle as soon as next year. The upcoming LA or New York Auto Shows are good candidates for such a big reveal.