This BMW M3 CSL has a secret

For many fans, the BMW M3 CSL is the best M3 ever! Between 2003 and 2004, the Munich-based company built almost 1,400 copies of the special model, some of which are now sold for over 100,000 euros. The ingredients of the CSL are exquisite: in-line six-cylinder with carbon airbox, bucket seats, semi-slicks (normal tires were also available on request), carbon roof and much more. What hardly anyone knew until now: BMW also built an M3 CSL with V8. The prototype still exists today and is even ready to drive!

OBD adapter

Carly adapter and Carly app

Order the Carly adapter now and save 15% with the discount code AUTOBILD!

Fault diagnosis, coding and used car check: Take back control of your car with the OBD adapter for Android and iOS!

In co-operation with

Carly logo

In a recently published YouTube video, BMW presents the special M3 CSL of the E46 generation, of the existence of which very few people may have known to date. The video was shot in BMW M’s secret treasury: It begins with a probably steel-grey M3 CSL that rolls up and may appear normal at first glance.

But at the latest when it comes to the sound, BMW fans should be skeptical: instead of the hoarse in-line six-cylinder sound, this E46 produces a bassy, ​​sonorous sound!

V8 instead of six-cylinder in the M3 CSL

On closer inspection, connoisseurs will discover a second, round air intake that was integrated into the front apron by hand: This intake on the passenger side is intended to supply the V8 under the hood with cooling air.

Wait a minute, V8? That’s right: This one-off doesn’t have the meanwhile legendary in-line six-cylinder with the abbreviation S54, which delivers 360 hp and 370 Nm in the CSL, but the 5.0-liter V8 from the BMW M5 E39.
The V8, dubbed the S62, just fits into the engine compartment of the 3 Series and, with 430 hp, is said to be a bit more powerful than the 400 hp version that is in the M5 and Z8. Curious: Something doesn’t seem right with the displayed performance data. There is talk of a unique engine with the identifier S65VB40 – the S65 being the V8 that was offered in the M3 E9X from 2007. In the video, on the other hand, it can be clearly seen that the 4941 ccm S62 from the M5 E39 is installed.

Either way, one thing is clear: The fully roadworthy prototype should be a lot of fun – which Hans Rahn, head of the prototype department at BMW M, confirms. He also goes on to explain the idea behind the test vehicle: “We looked to see if – if you take the CSL idea further – you could add something to it. That was a crazy test!”

The optics are almost standard

Due to the large engine, the curb weight of only 1385 kilos of the standard CSL should have climbed back up a bit, but the extra power should make up for it. Unlike the M5 and Z8, the S62 in this prototype is coupled to the M3 CSL’s SMG II gearbox. Otherwise, the CSL was left as standard.

Straight-six or V8? This is certainly a matter of taste. But one thing is certain: This M3 CSL is a spectacular prototype that was presented to the public for the first time after almost 20 years on the occasion of the return of the CSL abbreviation. And the best thing is: there are even more unseen test vehicles in the BMW M treasury – such as the BMW M5 CSL!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button