2022 will signal the return of the Coupe Sport Lightweight after a hiatus of more than 15 years. The last BMW model to wear the CSL badge was the M3 (E46) of which only 1,383 units were ever made. The good folks over at Evolve Automotive own a right-hand-drive example finished in Sapphire Black (it was also offered in Silver Grey) and they were curious to find out how much power it still had after all these years.
As a refresher, the naturally aspirated inline-six with a 3.2-liter displacement was rated from the factory at 355 horsepower (265 kilowatts). Fast forward some 17 years later, this S54B32HP is still going strong, to say the least. As a matter of fact, it managed to push out an extra five horsepower over the official output, which proves once again BMW deliberately underrates its engines.
As far as torque is concerned, the high-performance coupe generated a healthy 269.5 pound-feet (365 Newton-meters) of torque, which is only about 3 lb-ft (5 Nm) lower than the factory rating from 2003 when the M3 CSL was introduced. Evolve Automotive knows what it’s doing and claims its dyno is properly calibrated, so these numbers should be as close to the real output as possible.
Interestingly, the UK-based tuning shop also happens to have a BMW Z3 M fitted with the same engine but featuring a different tune. The “clown shoe” made 323 hp on the same dyno or 11 hp less than the official figure provided by the German luxury brand. The dyno run measured torque at 269.4 lb-ft (365 Nm), so virtually the same as the M3 CSL’s as well as the Z3 M Coupe’s official torque rating.
Of course, in the age of forced induction, these numbers are not impressive as they were in the 2000s. The M4 CSL coming next year should have well over the 503 horsepower available today in the M4 Competition. To live up to the iconic badge, the coupe is expected to shave off more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and might have only two seats akin to the M4 GTS. The M3 CSL lost a whopping 110 kg (243 lbs) and weighed 1,385 kg (3,053 lbs).
Much like the M3 CSL was a limited production model, BMW is expected to keep its spiritual successor exclusive. Perhaps even more so as we’ve heard only 1,000 units will ever be made, all with a rear-wheel-drive layout and an automatic transmission.
[Source: Evolve Automotive / YouTube]