The makers of the “ultimate driving machine” have stopped development of the M3 CSL. This car was meant to be a lighter, more powerful, and more focused driver’s car than the standard M3. Critics of the current E92 M3 complain the car has gone a little soft, citing more weight and refinement as the main culprits. The CSL was to silence those critics, but sadly it is not to be.
BMW claims that there was simply insufficient demand to justify building the car. The real story here is that BMW is instead shifting its focus to create higher performance versions of the X5 and X6 crossovers. While this news may please sporty soccer moms and other status-conscious buyers, it is a slap in the face to BMW purists.
I do not doubt for a moment that BMW will make more money selling hotter versions of its crossovers-sorry, I meant Sport Activity Vehicles than a hardcore M3, but by doing so, BMW has said “No” to some of its most loyal and passionate buyers. You can squeeze more power out of the current M3 for sure in the aftermarket, but the CSL designation holds special meaning to the BMW faithful. I won’t go so far as to say that BMW has done a disservice to the M3 legacy, but with the absence of the CSL version, the car remains open to the criticisms that this special model was designed to address.