I hate seeing incredible driver’s cars, such as the E46 M3 CSL, collect dust in their owner’s garage. Cars like the M3 CSL are supposed to stretch their legs, exercise, and have fun. They aren’t supposed to be hidden away for future financial gains. Unfortunately, though, that hasn’t stopped anyone with more money than taste from buying one of these special coupes and hiding them away for years. Which is exactly what happened with this specific E46 M3 CSL that’s headed to auction on Sothebys.
This E46 M3 CSL will be part of Sothebys’ Munich auction on November 26 and it’s one of the lowest mileage CSLs, perhaps the lowest mileage CSL, we’ve ever seen. It only has 2,919 miles on the odometer, which is absolutely criminal. The E46 M3 CSL is among the finest driver’s cars BMW ever created, it deserved a better life than to sit for decades.
What made the CSL so much more special than the standard E46 M3? Where do I begin. It was the first BMW to ever use a carbon roof, it had a ton of lightweight carbon bits, less sound deadening, a power bump, and a suspension/steering overhaul. The results of all of those things is a car that’s absolutely sensational to drive.
Its engine, a tuned version of the standard M3’s 3.2-liter naturally aspirated inline-six, made 360 horsepower and one of the best six-cylinder noises of all time. It was one of the highlights of the car and one of the reasons the CSL was so revered. Sadly for this car, it never really had the chance to sing to anyone. It’s just been held hostage by a greedy collector.
The only real downside to the M3 CSL was its transmission. The SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) was pretty crap, with lazy, abrupt shifts that never happened when you wanted them to and were always rougher than ideal. Enthusiasts wished for a manual and, thankfully, the aftermarket community gave them one. Some shops are learning how to manual swap E46 M3 CSLs and it makes them far better than stock.
Also, that’s what sort of fate the CSL should be face, getting tastefully modified by loving, caring owners that will actually drive it. Seeing this admittedly gorgeous, perfect E46 M3 CSL is great in the sense that it’s nice to see such a well-preserved example. However, it’s also sad because someone wasted the opportunity for others to hear and see such a cool car.
[Source: RM Sothebys]