BMW is currently working on a new CSL badge performance car that will debut later this year with a manual gearbox and a modified 3.0-liter inline-six turbocharged engine. However, its ideological predecessor, the M3 CSL from the E46 generation, was sold exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission with revised software compared to the regular M3 for faster gear changes.
The M3 Coupe Sport Leichtbau (meaning Coupe Sport Lightweight) was launched in 2003 as a limited edition M3 with more power, lower weight and hardware modifications compared to the M3 E46. Only 1,383 cars were produced, all in exterior colors Silver Gray Metallic or Black Sapphire Metallic.
Thanks to the use of glass-reinforced plastic in various structural points of the car, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in the roof, carbon-fiber body panels, and thinner glass for the rear windows, the M3 CSL is about 243 pounds (110 kilograms) lighter. than the standard M3. Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 3.2 liter straight-six engine, producing 355 horsepower (265 kilowatts) and 273 pound-feet (370 Newton-meters) of torque.
But how fast is a BMW M3 CSL from 2004 really? New video from AutoTopNL The channel takes us to German highways where the coupe’s performance unleashes its full potential on the unrestricted section of the Autobahn. Even the often-criticized automatic transmission couldn’t spoil the fun behind the wheel and the car managed to hit a GPS-verified top speed of 171 miles per hour (275 kilometers per hour). The car’s speedometer shows even higher speeds, although the 180 mph (290 kph) figure is inaccurate.
With various factory upgrades over the standard M3, including stiffer springs, improved shock absorbers and a faster ratio to the steering rack, the M3 CLS remains one of Munich’s most desirable performance cars for BMW enthusiasts and collectors alike. A well-maintained CSL M3 with a full service history can cost upwards of $90,000 if you can find one for sale.