One of the most famous nameplates in the BMW M stable looks set for a comeback, as the brand ditches the GTS moniker.

BMW M will keep offering its cars in flavours ranging from Pure through to Competition, topped by special edition models badged CS... or CSL.

That's right, the legendary CSL badge could be making a comeback. Last used on the E46 M3, the badge will usurp the GTS label applied to the most recent M4.

Markus Flasch, new head of BMW M, confirmed what CSL (or Coupe Sport Lightweight) means within the walls of M HQ.

"CSL stands for light weight, CSL stands for racetrack ability, and for the purest M character that you can achieve on a car that's still got licence plates on it," he told Australian media over a phone linkup from Munich.

“We will see more limited editions, especially models like the CS and you can imagine the CSL,” Flasch said.

“We won’t do this on every car but I would go as far as to say that we also don’t have to stick to coupes only."

"I can imagine CS and other special versions also will turn up," he explained.

“We won’t see the GTS sub-brand in future... There won’t be a GTS in parallel with CSL.”

Above: BMW M3 CSL (E46) and BMW M4 GTS

Australians have shown a clear preference for more powerful, more focused Competition models. The M2 is only offered in Competition guise, likewise the M5 and X3/X4 twins.

Although he wouldn't confirm what the new M3 model range would look like, Flasch seemed to the three-tiered approach could be taken to new places with the upcoming mid-sized sedan.

Will it be offered with a manual, in Pure guise with rear-wheel drive, or with all-wheel drive and an automatic? The smart money would say yes.

"As you can imagine for M3 we were able to take over the entire drivetrain concept that we offer in the M5, and we were able to a rear-wheel drive version as well, plus manual transmission," Flasch said.

"We can do whatever the markets globally demand," he later added. Pressed on whether we'll see a rear-drive, all-wheel drive and a manual M3, he said "I can't confirm it, but I've driven cars..."

Read into that what you will.