After the huge success of the E9 CSL in the 1970′s it is somewhat of a surprise that it took BMW another 30 years to resurrect the name, but when they did the E46 M3 CSL certainly stood up to the challenge. As with the original E9 CSL the main objective was weight loss. On the exterior the car got a carbon fibre roof panel that saved 6kg’s and lowered the cars centre of gravity, the front bumper was also made from carbon as was the rear diffuser. The distinctive duck tail boot lid was made from sheet moulding compound, the rear floor and bulkhead are constructed from fibreglass reinforced plastic and the rear screen used thinner gauge glass.
The comfortable leather seats where ditched in favour of some lightweight, fixed back bucket seats, the door cards were replaced by more carbon as was the centre console. Air conditioning and the radio were both deleted, although could be spec’d as no cost options. BMW really pulled out the stops on the E46 CSL to make it something special. A touring car style carbon air box was fitted that gives the CSL it glorious induction roar, a more efficient intake system, better manifolds, modified camshafts and exhaust valves along with a lightweight exhaust system meant that power rose to 360hp at 7900rpm. This was coupled to the SMG 2 gearbox with bespoke software.
The chassis was improved with different springs and uprated shocks, thicker anti roll bars, some upgraded bushes, a quicker steering rack and larger front brake discs. Unique 19-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres completed the package. The M3 CSL is now well renowned as one of BMW’s finest achievements with stunning pace, an addictive induction roar and a staggeringly accomplished chassis.
AP Racing Brake kit. Xenons, Milltek Exhaust system, Climate Control, BMW business radio + CD player, Park distance control, M-Sport mode, Sport button, ESP, ABS, Central locking, Electric windows, Carbon roof, Lightweight equipment
This superb M3 looks every bit the part presented in the complimenting colour of Silver Grey Metallic – one of only two colour options available for the M3 CSL – which looks incredible alongside the lightweight carbon fibre panels that define the M3 ‘Coupe Sport Lightweight.
The paintwork still retains its deep glossy finish all round and remains in fantastic condition, the carbon fibre roof panel is also free from any blemishes. Having been maintained in house over the last 4 years the car has always received the best care using the best products available.
It becomes immediately evident that the M3 CSL was build with racing pedigree in mind. The deeply bolstered lightweight sports seats are firm and provide race car-like support. The stylish yet minimalistic interior has been designed for optimal weight saving, with carbon fibre reinforced plastic and Anthracite reflex cloth throughout the interior. The bolsters remain in excellent condition, showing only light signs of use to the drivers seat and no scratches or marks whatsoever.
The three-spoke M steering wheel is clean and showing no signs of wear to the wrapped alcantara, which still feels smooth to the touch. The carbon fibre centre console remains free from scratches and damage and retains its factory limited edition plaque. The lightweight theme continues to the door panels being decked-out in yet more carbon fibre.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Cloaked in carbon and squeezed beneath a strut brace, the CSL’s 3.2-litre straight six is something quite special. The addition of a carbon airbox on a road production is what car really sets the CSL apart from other M power models providing a visceral, race-car howl promoted in this case by a Full Milltek exhaust system with 100 cell cats. After a pump and clutch / flywheel in 2015, the semi-automatic six-speed SMG II system with automated electrohydraulic clutch provides fiercely punctuated, lightning fast gear shifts.
The engine bay on this CSL has been meticulously maintained and presents perfectly clean.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Arguably one of the finest production car designs, the 19″ lightweight alloy wheels help to set the CSL apart with an aggressive stance being 0.5″ wider than standard M3 alloy wheels. The alloys present in excellent condition and commensurate with the cars age and mileage. Wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, all four tyres show plenty of tread depth.
This particular model benefits from the highly desireable upgrade of an AP Racing Brake kit, giving the car significantly increased braking performance for both road and track use. Pads and discs were replaced in early 2015 and show plenty of life.
First registered on 25/11/2003, this particular car was originally sourced by Millennium Heroes in 2013 and has been subject to diligent care. It is evident that no expense has been spared to ensure this CSL is ready to be enjoyed, with the current owner spending in excess of £15,000 with ball joints, wishbones, rear springs and the notorious PAS hose all receiving attention recently alongside a documented SMG pump / clutch change and work to the wheels, tyres and brakes. The boot floor has also been checked and cleared via BMW Hindhead.
The history file that accompanies the car also holds testament to level of care this CSL has received, It has a full BMW service history along with all invoices of work carried out present alongside all handbooks, original leather owners wallet and spare key.
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