2023 BMW M3 CSL tests on track ahead of full reveal

BMW M3 CSL disguised 99

The CSL will be a hardcore performance addition at the top of the BMW 3 Series line-up

A disguised prototype of the new BMW M3 CSL has been spotted for the first time as it took part in high-speed tests at the Nürburgring in Germany.

The model, which could join the firm’s line-up in 2023, will be the latest hardcore performance iteration of the BMW 3 Series, joining the BMW M3 Competition and the long-awaited BMW M3 Touring.  

The front end of the prototype was pictured sporting a black and white camouflage livery, which also covered the door mirrors and rear passenger windows. The test car also had a set of yellow daytime running lights, which have previously been seen on the larger M5 CS. 

The model featured a fresh wheel design, quad tailpipes, more aggressive front and rear splitters and new grille inserts, similar to those seen on the BMW M4 CSL, which itself is due to arrive as a lightweight Porsche 911 GT3 rival.

The famed CSL name, which stands for Coupé Sport Leichtbau (lightweight), was first added to the E9-generation 3.0 CSL sports saloon in 1972.

BMW revived the moniker in 2004 with a lighter variant of the E46-generation M3. Since then, the lightest and fastest versions of BMW’s performance cars have been badged Competition, GTS or CS.

It’s not entirely clear what powertrain will underpin the upcoming car, but expect a slight increase in power over the standard M3 and M4 Competition, as well as the firm’s xDrive four-wheel drive system. 

The new CLS is also likely to receive a similar treatment to other CS models, with reduced weight, a track-focused drive and enhanced dynamic performance.

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