Last year, Andrew gave us an enthusiastic article on the E46 BMW M3 CSL, one of these M cars that many BMW fans are still hoping to see in the future.
The M3 CSL was a very low production, one-off model based on the E46 M3 and using its 333 horsepower engine as basis. The CSL stands for Coupe Sport Light and as the name suggests, it came with a lot of carbon fiber parts.
CSL came with a lighter carbon fiber roof and interior paneling, light seats and the buyers had the option to opt-out the radio and air conditioning unit. BMW built the car i only two colors: Silver Gray and Sapphire Black.
BMW made a limited run, less than 1,400 units of the M3 CSL (E46) vehicles between June and December 2003. Unfortunately for those of us in the U.S., due to the short production cycle and the complications and expense of clearing DOT and EPA standards for the North American market, BMW never brought the CSL to the United States.
To somehow satisfy the U.S. consumers’ needs to upgrade their M3, some parts from it were later made available on the regular M3 as part of an optional Competition Package.
In the UK, the BMW M3 CSL cost 20,000 British Pounds more than the regular M3 version, but it also came with a tuned up engine outputting 360 horsepower.
If we recall correctly, the CSL held for a while the BMW road car Nürburgring record of 7 minutes 50 seconds.
The question remains whether BMW will ever built another CSL version of the M3, but for now, these cars remain unique and quite valuable. As you can see in the photos below, there are plenty of reasons why they are so appreciated.