With all the talk about EVs and autonomous drive, here’s some much needed respite for fans of the traditional BMW performance car. According to Autocar, Munich is preparing a hardcore version of the BMW M2 and will be sticking the CSL badge on it. Remember the E46 BMW M3 CSL from 2003?

Apparently, the BMW M2 CSL will be a run-out model at the end of today’s M2’s life, before the impending facelift that will surface next year. It will follow the template set by the E46 M3 CSL and feature a stripped-out interior, bucket seats and weight-saving carbon fibre parts.

The report also says that the M2 CSL will not have the current 370 hp N55 engine in a higher state of tune, but will instead borrow the S55 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six from the M3 and M4, detuned to produce “around 400 bhp”. This move benefits reliability and engine response due to newer tech, it is said. There will be a six-speed manual option (buy them while you still can) alongside the seven-speed DCT auto.

The decision to come up with a special M2 is supported by strong sales of the smallest M car. Sales that have far exceeded expectations makes special editions easier to justify, BMW M VP Dirk Hacker told the British mag.

“The M2 is tracking at 40-50% above our expectation in terms of sales, and demand for cars like the M2, or GTS and CS heritage models, is growing. Any car that has true heritage to motorsport is an opportunity for us. New markets are always opening for those cars and that will increase, so long as we keep building cars that are sufficiently special,” he said.

Using the Coupe Sport Leichtbau name means ignoring the GTS badge, as used by the M4 GTS. I think most fans would agree with BMW’s choice.

GALLERY: Spyshots of the BMW M2 facelift


GALLERY: BMW M2