The trademarks likely mean BMW will retire the GTS nameplate.

BMW will soon change the name of its high-performance models. The Munich-based company has trademarked the CSL nameplate, a historic designation used twice before.In Germany, BMW moved to protect the names M1 CS through M8 CS in November of last year, according to enthusiast forum BimmerPost. It registered the names M1 CSL through M8 CSL just a few months later, which adds credibility to the rumors that claim the GTS moniker (recently used on a limited-edition M4) will enter retirement.

The trademark filings extend beyond BMW's home country. The M2 CS, M4 CS, M2 CSL, M4 CSL, and M8 CSL nameplates were all registered in the United States and Canada. Whether that means we won't get BMW's full arsenal of performance cars in North America isn't clear at this point. It's important to note trademark filings don't guarantee a new model will see the light that awaits at the end of a production line.

Cars equipped with what's known today as the competition package could receive the CS nameplate. CSL will be reserved for more hardcore models, like the aforementioned M4 GTS. Resurrecting the CSL nameplate will help BMW stand out from the crowd; Porsche, Maserati, and Aston Martin also use GTS, while Mercedes-AMG markets the GT S.

Nothing is official yet, but we believe the next BMW to revive the CSL nameplate will be the M2. A more track-oriented model will make its debut soon; we wouldn't be surprised to see it unveiled in a few weeks at the Tokyo Auto Show, or next month in Los Angeles.

Photo by Ronan Glon.