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  • Jack Z

BMW CSL - like father, like son

Few letter combinations get the pulses of BMW enthusiasts racing like CSL. And the first of the breed was the legendary E9 3.0 CSL from 1971.

Coupé, Sport, Leichtbau - the concept was to strip the E9 BMW 3.0 CS of unnecessary weight and make it eligible for competition in the European Touring Car Championship. Even though the 3.0 CSL was not an official 'M' car, it was BMW's competition division that drove the CSL's development. This department would later be formally established as BMW Motorsport GmbH. Thinner steel, perspex windows, less sound proofing, as well as doors, a bonnet and boot lid in aluminium alloy made for a car that weighed in at just 1,164 kg. With its 3,003 cc engine (later increased to 3,153 cc), the 3.0 CSL was unstoppable on the circuit, winning the European Touring Car Championship in 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979.

The final version of the CSL came with a 'racing' aerodynamic package, which gained it the nickname 'batmobile'.

Fast forward to 2004 - The E46 is arguably the best expression of the M3 since the original E30. A perfect basis for the next CSL. This time, weight saving was achieved by using carbon fibre reinforced polymer and other cutting-edge technology taken from BMW's Formula One racing programme. The result was a curb weight of 1,385 kg (110 kg less than the regular M3) and an engine producing 360 hp thanks to a revised carbon fibre air intake, a refinement of the exhaust manifold and revised exhaust valves.

Although the M3 CSL never went racing, it was a successful resurrection and redevelopment of the original CSL concept and remains one of the most desirable E46s out there.

We're lucky enough to be able to look after both models and these two have just been through the workshop to prepare for storage over winter.

Please get in touch with Barney if you'd like to know more about our comprehensive winter preparation and storage options for icons like these.

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