BMW have some pretty exciting plans for the M8
The Batmobile could be coming back, with 700hp and a wing
They’re putting the big grille on it.
No, but I thought that would get your attention. Personally, I wouldn’t care too much if they did because I think it isn’t the evil incarnate that many seem to make out and actually fits in very nicely with their heritage. But whatever, the real news is even bigger.
A CSL version of the M8 could be coming in 2022.
We know how it goes with sort of thing. A photo appears on the internet of a car that has been tarred and feathered with what appears to be black bed sheets and chess boards, and immediately, the rumour mill starts grinding. Car enthusiasts get all excited and gush about what the manufacturer could possibly be up to.
It’s like a Christmas present that rattles. We know it’s going to be LEGO, but which set?
Well, last month, CarBuzz spotted one such camouflaged BMW M8 and turned out an article on how it might be the return of the M1 supercar from 1978. It wasn’t. A follow-up report from BMW announced that we would be actually be getting Scrabble from Santa.
But now, a Spanish website called Motor.es claims to have stumbled across more than just pictures.
CSL stands for Coupe, Sports, and Lightweight and has been tacked onto only two BMWs, or three if you count the one-off E60 M5 built to celebrate 25 years of M.
'Batmobile' - the one that works
It came about in 1972 when BMW wanted to take their 3-litre E90 coupe to the European Touring Car Championship. They threw out the trim, sound-proofing, and glass side windows, and rebuilt it with thinner steel and Perspex, with beaten aluminium forming the bonnet, boot lid, and door panels. That was the weight dealt with, so they turned their German precision to the engine where they widened each cylinder by one-quarter of a millimetre and lengthened the stroke of the pistons so that it produced 203 hp. Then came the aero, which earned it the name of the “Batmobile”.
All of this still wasn’t good enough on its own, because the rules stated that in order for a car to compete, a certain number of them had to be made available to the general public. A total of 1,265 BMW 3.0 CSLs had rolled out of the factory by 1975.
Since then, the 2003 M3 has been the only other fully-fledged production model to receive “the purest M character that you can achieve that’s still got licence plates on it.”
That’s how the boss of the M Division, Markus Flasch, described it when he announced last year that CSL was coming back.
Immediately, the mill inside of you will be busily making an M4 CSL, but Flasch also stated that, in fact, the “M8 is the ultimate performance machine that we offer”.
The standard M8 Competition coupe has a twin-turbo eight-cylinder engine that makes 617 hp (460 kW) and whoomps it from 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. However, it does weigh an almighty 1,885 kg (4,156 lb) so it would still have to lose a lot of steel, plastic, and leather to come anywhere within range of the ‘lightweight’ part of CSL. Even if, as Motor.es suggests, the engine is swapped for a hybrid V6 arrangement with 700 hp.
What the M8 already is, is extremely handsome. Imagine what extra carbon fibre and a wing could do to it.
Just hold off on that big grille for a little longer, BMW.