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Click here to open the BMW M3 CSL gallery   
Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:2003 - 2004
Numbers built:1383
Introduced at:2003 Geneva Motor Show
Internal name:E46
Source:Company press release
Last updated:January 01, 2005
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionA new sports car now embodies the very core of the BMW brand in its most original style - the M3 CSL. Taking up the heritage and legendary success of BMW's famous lightweight coupés which gained fame in touring car racing back in the '70s, the engineers of BMW M have once again created a purist, thoroughbred sports car consistently designed and built to the highest standard of excellence.

In recognition of the fact that the weight spiral constantly going up can only be brought to a halt by radically reducing all moving masses, BMW M's engineers, in developing this new car, have turned a thrilling lightweight concept into reality. For the new BMW M3 CSL is not only more powerful than the already very dynamic M3, but is also a lot lighter and therefore even more nimble.

Right from the front the M3 CSL, through its newly designed, muscular front air dam made of carbon-fibre -reinforced plastic (CFP) with an additional engine air intake on the driver's side demonstrates clearly that it is built for supreme performance of the highest calibre. Flaps also clearly visible from outside serve additionally to reduce front axle lift by a significant margin. At the other end of the car the newly designed rear lid made of sheet moulding compound (SMC), together with the integrated spoiler, also serves in conjunction with the CFP rear diffuser to significantly reduce lift forces.

Just right for fast motoring: the extra-powerful engine of the M3 CSL. The significant increase in power and performance is however not only the result of intelligent lightweight engineering. Rather, the straight-six power unit already renowned for its high engine speeds has been enhanced to an even higher standard, BMW M's engineers boosting maximum output to 360 bhp at 7,900 rpm from 3.2 litres capacity, that is a sensational output-per-litre figure of 111 bhp. Maximum torque, in turn, is 370 Nm at 4,900 rpm.

A special feature certainly worth mentioning in this context is the launch control modified for the M3 CSL and its particular character: Whenever he wishes to take off perfectly from a standstill, the driver, choosing the acceleration assistant, can accelerate all the way to the top speed of the car without intervening himself, SMG shifting gears automatically shortly before the speed limit in each gear.

Inside, the M3 CSL aga in follows the concept of supreme function and minimum weight wherever it makes sense. Reflecting the purist standard of motorsport, the car does without electric seat heating or a navigation system, and both the radio and air conditioning are only available as an option. A special feature on the clear-cut dashboard is the CFP covers on top, the centre console, door and side linings also being made of the same material. The glass-fibre -plastic bucket seats finished in a combination of Amaretta and fabric not only give the driver and front passenger optimum side support, but also tilt forwards conveniently to provide easy access to the two individually contoured seats at the rear. For reasons of weight, seat adjustment for length and height is manual.

And to provide a visible sign of this supreme standard, this uncompromising car comes in only two exterior colours, Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.

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  Article Image gallery (8) Specifications User Comments (24)