The BMW M3 CSL: It’s lighter and more powerful than its highly-rated sibling and can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4,9 seconds. BMW will soon start selling a limited number of these race-engineered projectiles in South Africa, but they won’t be cheap.

The BMW M3 CSL: It’s lighter and more powerful than its highly-rated sibling and can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4,9 seconds. BMW will soon start selling a limited number of these race-engineered projectiles in South Africa, but they won’t be cheap.


Most BMW aficionados are looking forward to the imminent launch of the 5 Series in South Africa, but in the meantime the Rosslyn-based manufacturer has sprung a surprise and launched what is arguably the blue and white roundel’s best answer to supercars like the Mercedes-Benz SL55, Porsche 911 GT3 and Ferrari 360 Modena.


Inspired by the success of the legendary 3,0 CSL - which started BMW’s line of sportscars in the Seventies – the newcomer is probably the fastest road car BMW has ever built in addition to being the most advanced 3 Series on the road.


BMW AG’s M Division has coaxed 265 kW from the 3,2-litre straight-six (up from 252 kW), produced at 7 900 r/min, thanks to a larger carbon fibre induction system, uprated cams, modified exhaust valves and a freer-flowing exhaust manifold. It this guise, the BMW’s monster “six” generates 82,7 kW per litre!


However, the biggest improvements over the standard model are a stiffer bodyshell and enhanced aerodynamics. Engineers also reduced the car's overall bulk by 110 kg by using lightweight materials and reducing the weight of the seats and door trims.


From the front the M3 CSL is recognisable by its newly designed, muscular front air dam made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFP) with an additional engine air intake on the driver's side. Flaps also clearly visible from outside serve additionally to reduce front axle lift by a significant margin.


At the other end of the car the newly designed rear lid made of sheet moulding compound (SMC), together with the integrated spoiler, also serves in conjunction with the CFP rear diffuser to significantly reduce lift forces.


The roof is made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic. In addition to being six kilogram lighter than a conventional roof, the optimised panel lowers the car's centre of gravity.


BMW SA will initially import only 65 examples of the M3 CSL,” the company’s public relations and media communications manager, Lindsay Cookney, told CARtoday.com. “All CSLs will be fitted with BMW’s F1-style SMG sequential semi-automatic gearboxes and sell for R940 000 each”.


The standard M3 sells for R545 000 but BMW SA believes that the CSL’s R400 000 premium will be justified by the car’s on-road capability and exclusivity. Therefore, the CSL, of which an example is already in the country, will not be launched like other models, but demonstrated to a select group of buyers.


The CSL's front springs are one winding shorter than on the standard M3 and both the spring and damper rates have been re-tuned all round in view of the car's lighter weight (both the compression and rebound strokes being modified). Like the front track control arms on the standard M3, the rear track control arms are now also made of aluminium and come with ball instead of rubber bearings for even better lateral dynamic guidance (uniball joints). In all, these improvements are said give the CSL strong directional stability under all conditions, good cornering qualities with very little body sway.


On overseas markets, CSL owners have the option to remove the standard BMW 250 km/h speed limiter, but Cookney said that CSL models in South Africa would remain governed. The vehicle will be fitted 19-inch standard soft compound tyres, she added.


The car does without electric seat heating or a navigation system, and both the radio and air conditioning are only available as an option. A special feature on the clear-cut dashboard is the CFP covers on top, the centre console, door and side linings also being made of the same material.


The glass-fibre-plastic bucket seats finished in a combination of Amaretta and fabric. For reasons of weight, seat adjustment for length and height is manual, it has been reported.

Original article from Car