2003 BMW M3 CSL

E46 Coupe 3.2 L

Vehicle values by condition

Fair
Condition 4
£24,400
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Good
Condition 3
£43,500
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Excellent
Condition 2
£60,900
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Concours
Condition 1
£110,000
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
2003 BMW M3 CSL E46 Coupe 3246
valued at £43,500
£819.18 / year*

History of the 2003 - 2004 BMW M3 CSL

BMW M3 CSL (Coupe), 2003

The BMW M3 CSL was in production during the second half of 2003, though some late registrations may have occurred for 2004. Styled in house, it is a front-engine, rear wheel drive coupe seating four adults.

The M3 CSL was a lightweight development of the E46 M3, harking back to the concept of the CSL of the 1970s. It was 110kg lighter than a standard M3, with a carbon fibre roof, composite trim and aerodynamic aids, an aluminium bonnet and thinner rear glass than the standard car. There was also a carbon airbox, and uprated cams and valves to offer 355bhp instead of the standard 338bhp.Electric seats, satnav, air conditioning and a radio were removed, though the latter two could be specced as no cost options if the weight saving didn't appeal. The seats were fibreglass, the wheels became 19" units fitted with semi slicks, and the brakes and suspension were also revised. A new bootlid incorporated a lip, rather than having one stuck on. 1383 were built, of which 542 were right hand drive and the remainder left hand drive.

Some of these cars were shipped without 155mph limiters - but only if the buyer could prove he or she held a racing licence. BMW has the facility to remove the limiter as an aftersales requirement, but the car must be shipped to Germany to do so. Check that the induction flap is working, and that the engine management software is up to date. Check also that the SMG gearbox relays were replaced under recall in 2004 - barring that there should be little to go wrong mechanically as these don't suffer from the big end bearing issues that afflicted other early E46 M3s. Check the front splitter for damage - as this is a composite part, replacement isn't cheap.

The closest rival in terms of the driving experience would be the standard M3 upon which the CSL is based - possibly with some mods to reduce the weight if you were so include. A Mercedes-Benz CLK55AMG would offer a similar driving experience but without the lightweight advantage, while for a real lightweight thrill you might want to consider something like a Caterham Superlight R500. If you're after a really powerful BMW from this era, though, we'd also suggest you consider the E39 M5 with its 4.8 V8.

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