[quote_box_right]The BMW E46 M3 CSL is widely considered the best M3 ever made[/quote_box_right]Holy BMW! what a rare find! Only 1400 of these BMW E46 M3 CSL’s were ever made and almost all of them came in either Silver Grey or Sapphire Black. But wait, there’s more. Not only is this M3 an uncommon color but it also didn’t originate in the U.S. Although they came in both left and right hand drive, all M3 CSL’s were produced for Europeans only.
BMW’s primary goal with the CSL was to shed all of the weight that M3s had been gaining. At over 240 lbs lighter, the BMW removed the M3 CSL’s fat by using body panels made of carbon fiber polymer, removing electronic seats and navigation, using thinner glass, having a lighter exhaust system, and by getting rid of most of its sound insulation. You could also order yours without air conditioning and a radio at no extra cost! The most impressive part about the weight shed is that BMW’s primary focus was still to keep a 50:50 weight distribution for on of the best handling M3’s ever made.
Performance also saw an upgrade on the CSL model. Most notably is the 17 hp increase in BMW’s iconic 3.2 liter inline-6 S54 engine making it a huge 360 hp. Now that doesn’t sound like much but when attached to a 240 lb weight loss, there is a significant difference. It also ditched cruise control and stereo control on the steering wheel to give the driver a big “M Track Mode” button that disabled electronic stability controls until the car was pushed to the absolute limit.
This is an incredible car and some BMW enthusiasts believe this to be the best M3 ever made.
Things to note that set the BMW E46 M3 CSL apart from other M3’s: Unique front bumper with single intake port, carbon fiber trunk lid spoiler (one piece compared to a standard M3 trunk with attached spoiler), carbon fiber roof, 19″ lightweight BBS wheels, semi-slick tires, carbon fiber front bumper lip and rear diffuser.
*We understand that CSL’s never came in red but since it has the signature parts we are treating it as such.
*Photos are from when we were previously Sioux Falls Auto Reviews