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.
Xenon headlights, Air conditioning, BMW business stereo, PDC, Central locking, Electric windows, Auto-dimming rear view mirror, Electric mirrors, On board computer..
The M3 CSL was available in only two colour variants, Black Sapphire Metallic and Silver Grey Metallic. This example is presented in the Black Sapphire Metallic paint option which looks incredible alongside the lightweight carbon-fibre panels that define the M3 ‘Coupe Sport Lightweight’.
The metallic paintwork shows in perfect order, in its original factory paint and free of swirl marks that can so easily be picked up on darker colours. This lightweight special has clearly been treasured from day one, we very much doubt it has ever seen the rain and it presents like new underneath with all metallic parts retaining their nickel plating or factory fresh finish.
The abundance of carbon fibre that makes an appearance on the roof panel, front bumper splitter and rear valance show no signs of damage whatsoever along with the shadow-line window trim that remains in excellent condition.
Slipping into the lightweight sports seats the CSL interior is a beautifully minimal affair, clad in Titan shadow trim, carbon fibre reinforced plastic and upholstered in Anthracite reflex cloth. The deeply bolstered sports seats are firm and provide race car-like support, they are bound in grey Anthracite cloth which is showing no wear to the bolsters.
The three-spoke M steering wheel is clean and showing little signs of use to the wrapped alcantara, which still feels smooth to the touch. The carbon fibre centre console remains free from scratches and damage. The lightweight theme continues to the door panels being decked-out in yet more carbon fibre that presents as new.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Finished with the subtle and distinctive ‘M’ badge, the CSL’s 3.2 litre, 24 valve, straight-6 engine looks like a work of art, with the impressive carbon fibre air intake, emblazoned with the ‘BMW M Power’ stamp.
Transmission is via the semi-automatic six-speed SMG II system with automated electrohydraulic clutch, capable of making smooth, lightning-quick shifts. There is no doubt that the CSL showcases BMW’s technological craftsmanship at its finest. The car has a full BMW service history from new.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The 19″ lightweight alloy wheels help to set the CSL apart with an aggressive stance being 0.5″ wider than standard M3 alloy wheels. All the alloy wheels are in excellent condition along with the BMW centre caps which remain free from any damage. All four wheels are shod in Michelin pilot sport 2 tyres that still show a good amount of tread.
This CSL has very low mileage, having only covered 16,352 miles or 26,317 kilometers as displayed on the clock.
Manufactured on the 20/10/2003 this stunning light weight special was first supplied to the Japanese market. The running in service was completed on time at 1958kms with further services at 5438, 6211, 9495, 10,179, 12,292, 14,043, 17,782, 21,041, 23,928, 25,617 and the most recent in Aug 2015 at 26,256 just 61 kms ago.
The car has its original service book, owners pack and manuals. It is UK registered with all UK/European taxes paid.
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