BMW E46 M3 CSL
- Mileage: 75,567
- Year: 2004
- MOT Expiry: October 2018
- Exterior Colour: Black Sapphire Metallic (475)
- Interior Colour: Anthracite Reflex Cloth / Amaretta
- Top speed: 161
- 0-60mph: 4.8
- BHP: 355
- Transmission: 6-Speed SMG
- Engine Capacity: 3246cc
- Engine Configuration: Straight 6
The BMW M3 CSL (Coupe Sport Leichtbau / Coupe Sport Lightweight) was a limited edition version of the E46 M3, with only 1,400 cars being produced for its 2004 model year run. The CSL was never released into the North American market and was only available in two colours, Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic. Just 422 right-hand-drive CSLs were brought into the UK, of which 316 were Silver Grey and 106 black.
The M3 CSL has a curb weight of 1,385kg, which is 110kg lighter than the regular M3. It features many weight saving technologies taken from BMW's Formula 1 racing applications. A large proportion of the M3's sound insulation was removed, along with the electric seats and navigation systems. Air conditioning and stereo systems could be retrofitted free of cost, but were not available as standard. The CSL's unique body pieces were all crafted from carbon fibre reinforced polymer used throughout structural points in the car. The standard rear window was replaced with one made from thinner glass.
The CSL was given a retuned dynamic stability control system with an "M track mode" setting that allowed the car to be pushed to its absolute limits before being activated. Top speed was limited but on production of a current Motorsport licence, factory ordered cars could be requested with this restriction removed.
The CSL also had various aesthetic modifications over the standard M3. It received an aerodynamic lightweight body kit, which included carbon fibre front splitters that improved down force at high speeds by 50%, as well as a carbon fibre rear diffuser. The front bumper had a distinct hole that is used to draw cool air into the newly designed air intake. The trunk floor cover was made of lightweight fibre-board (not cardboard as infamously described by BBC Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson). The trunk lid was redesigned to incorporate a raised lip, unlike the standard M3 where one is simply added onto a flat trunk. The CSL was sold with distinct 19-inch lightweight cast BBS alloy rims that came with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup semi-slick racing tyres. The interior of the CSL is redesigned with a sporty weight-saving theme. The CSL obtains fibreglass front racing bucket seats, and fibreglass backed rear seats. The centre console, door panels and trim, and head-liner are all formed from carbon fibre, and the steering wheel is redesigned with cruise control, stereo, and phone controls removed to include just a single button that activates the M track mode.
Unlike the standard M3, which was offered with a standard 6-speed Getrag transmission, or optionally a SMG drive logic transmission (also known as the SMG II), the CSL was offered only with the SMG II transmission. This is the standard 6-speed Getrag transmission with an electro hydraulically actuated clutch pedal, similar to a Formula One style transmission. However, the CSL received a more advanced drive logic software package than the standard M3 that was capable of making shifts in 0.08-second.
AP Racing front brakes, CSL plaque, Carbon fibre interior trim, Fibreglass racing seats, Alcantara steering wheel with M-stitching, Electric windows, Electrically adjustable door mirrors, M Power carbon airbox, Front strut brace, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) (210), Alarm System (302), Velour Floor Mats (423), Warning Triangle (428), Headlight washer system (502), Park Distance Control (PDC) (508), Xenon lights (522), Automatic air conditioning (534), On-board Computer (550), Individual High-gloss Satin Chrome (760), White Direction Indicator Lights (785), SMG Drivelogic (793), England Version (812).
The Black Sapphire Metallic paintwork is quite simply resplendent on this example. There are few imperfections to be found with only handful of stone chips towards the front end worthy of note. The striking carbon roof presents without any lacquer peel or unsightly chips, which is especially good because original items such as this have become incredibly rare and almost impossible to source. The car remains arrow straight along both sides and all items of trim retain a fresh appearance on close inspection.
With 75k miles to its name the CSL's driver-focused interior presents extremely well. All the carbon detailing retains an impeccable, glossy finish and the spotless alcantara upholstery is present without damage to the deep bolsters. The superb alcantara steering wheel is finished with M-stitching and also remains in lovely, unworn condition. Further still, the scratch-prone E46 trim appears in great shape throughout, with only the rear central console showing signs of use.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The engine used in the CSL has an increased output over the regular S54 by 17hp and 4 lb-ft of torque, compared to the European M3. This is due to the use of sharper profile camshafts, a bigger air intake with a carbon fibre manifold, and refinement of the exhaust manifold. Under the bonnet of this example you'll find a pristine engine bay laced with carbon fibre. The car is supplied with a complete maintenance record; the most recent service was carried out less than 100 miles ago.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The CSL sits on its original set of 19-inch lightweight cast BBS alloys. The wheels have recently been refurbished by Lepsons to the highest standard are shod in a matching set of Michelin Cup tyres, each with ample tread remaining.
Specially developed racing springs and dampers were given to the CSL, as well as a tightened steering ratio for improved responsiveness. The braking system was also improved with larger front floating rotors and larger pistons in the rear calipers. This example boasts AP Racing brakes at the front; the calipers are finished in red and present without any lacquer peel. The car stops well on test and benefits from reduced fade over the standard braking system.
The CSL was first registered in April 2004. It was sold through Scotthall Hampshire who also carried out the running-in check and subsequent two services. The next three services were also carried out at BMW, and BMW specialists undertook the final two. At 69k miles the common E46 subframe issue was addressed, with photographic evidence of this present in the paperwork.
The history file is complete with the original leather/alcantara CSL document pack, dealer-supplied manuals, stamped service booklet, a raft of dealer and specialist invoices, and an original sales brochure. The service history is as follows:
26/04/2004 - Pre-delivery check - Scotthall Hampshire BMW
18/05/2004 at 1,160 miles - Running-in check - Scotthall Hampshire BMW
01/04/2005 at 13,363 miles - Oil service - Scotthall Hampshire BMW
03/09/2007 at 26,907 miles - Inspection I - Scotthall Hampshire BMW
14/10/2008 at 35,645 miles - Oil service - Murketts Limited BMW
22/11/2010 at 56,000 miles - Inspection II - Sytner High Wycombe BMW
16/05/2013 at 68,388 miles - Oil service - Specialist Cars Tring BMW
25/02/2015 at 71,949 miles - Inspection I - ETA Motorsport BMW Specialist
13/10/2017 at 75,473 miles - Oil service - Lee Shannon BMW Specialist
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