The good news is Collins confirmed the dietary plans for the new M icon, which will start life as a coupÃ© and therefore debut the M4 naming. “What we’d like is more focus on lightweight engineering,” he said. “The philosophy will be around delivering performance through improved used of materialsâ€”lightweight alloys, lots of carbon fibre etcâ€”rather than simply trying to make the engine more powerful to move the same kind of car, or scaling it back too far so that it loses its M3 roots.”
While there are no current plans for BMW to make another CSL, Collins did offer some insight into how serious they are with this new lightweight approach. “I think we’re really focusing on making this car as light as we can,” he said. “We’re not going to go halfway house with the ‘real’ car, because we’d like to get it as low as possible in the first place. The proper car will showcase a real reduction in weight.
“There are no plans at the moment to build a lightweight CSL version of the M4, but there weren’t any plans to do the last generation CSL either. We have to see what the customers think, and if there’s potential for an even more lightweight version, we’ll do it.”
We like the sound of all that. Although, it has to be said the outgoing E92 was around 1580kg, so there is scope for some weight loss. And pencil in a CSL-inspired model at some stage. It wouldn’t be like BMW to miss out on the chance of exploiting a niche market opportunity.
Also pleasing, although not surprising to hear is the lengths BMW is going to protect its enviable position in the high-powered mid-szie sports coupÃ© market. “It’s not something we’re in a rush to market just to get it out, because it’s got to be as good as it can possibly be,” Collins added. “We think the M3 is the benchmark car; it’s the iconic car, and it’s the one that really defines the segment. It’s about making what we think is the best car in the segment even better. It’s not a competitor-focused development.”