BMW M3 CSL
You saw it here
first! A new
sports car now embodies the very core of the BMW brand in its most
original style - the M3 CSL.
Taking up the heritage and
legendary success of BMW's famous lightweight coupés which gained
fame in touring car racing back in the '70s, the engineers of BMW M
have once again created a purist, thoroughbred sports car
consistently designed and built to the highest standard of
In recognition of the fact
that the weight spiral constantly going up can only be brought to a
halt by radically reducing all moving masses, BMW M's engineers, in
developing this new car, have turned a thrilling lightweight concept
into reality. For the new BMW M3 CSL is not only more powerful than
the already very dynamic M3, but is also a lot lighter and therefore
even more nimble.
In developing the M3 CSL,
however, BMW M did not focus on the radical reduction of weight
alone. On the contrary - the task the designers and development
engineers gave themselves was to create a car full of purist driving
dynamics, a car absolutely pure in every respect, down to the very
last component. And the result, finally, is unique, absolutely
unmarred driving dynamics and a purist character.
The BMW M3 CSL thus combines
supreme agility with the ultimate driving experience. With its
outstanding power-to-weight ratio of only 3.85 kg/bhp, this new car
moves into an entirely new dimension. So the engineers at BMW M are
quite sure that this sports car is able to break the 8-minute sound
barrier on the legendary Northern Circuit of Nurburgring, the
ultimate benchmark in driving dynamics.
The formula BMW M's
specialists have followed in creating this dynamic driving machine
is "intelligent" lightweight technology: This means consistent
reduction of weight by using the most appropriate materials at the
right point. Carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, one of the most
important materials in Formula 1, for example, not only reduces the
overall weight of the car (weighing approximately 110 kg (243 lb)
less than the standard M3), the M3 CSL has an overall weight of just
1,385 kg (3,054 lb), but also allows even higher speeds in bends
particularly through the use of this lightweight material at the
extreme ends of the car.
Right from the front the M3
CSL, through 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 demonstrates clearly that it is built
for supreme performance of the highest calibre. 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.
Innovative materials right
where they are required
The intelligent lightweight
technology so typical of the M3 CSL is demonstrated very clearly by
the roof also made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic easily
recognisable as such. This large component built by specialists at
BMW's Landshut Plant is not only some six kilos lighter than a
conventional roof, but also, through its exposed position, lowers
the car's centre of gravity.
Focusing on their quest to
reduce weight, the engineers at BMW M took a close look at virtually
every component of the M3, in each case using the most suitable
materials in order to save weight. As a result, the M3 CSL even
comes with glass-fibre plastics otherwise used for aerospace
applications such as endless-glass-fibre thermoplastics serving as
the structural material for the through-loading system and on the
rear bumper supports. Another example is the paper-honeycomb
sandwich panel used on the floor of the luggage compartment. And
like the M3, the M3 CSL also comes with an aluminium engine
compartment lid and features a special rear window made of
The extra-powerful engine
of the M3 CSL
The significant increase in
power and performance is however not only the result of intelligent
lightweight engineering. Rather, the straight-six power unit already
renowned for its high engine speeds has been enhanced to an even
higher standard, BMW M's engineers boosting maximum output to 360
bhp (265 kW) at 7,900 rpm from 3.2 litres capacity, that is a
sensational output-per-litre figure of 111 bhp. Maximum torque, in
turn, is 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) at 4,900 rpm.
Even the engine of the M3
CSL follows the principle of minimum weight, with the walls on the
exhaust emission system being even thinner than usual and the air
collector being made of carbon fibre. The characteristic sound of
motorsport, in turn, results from the new air intake with its
modified flow of air.
Featuring an extremely large intake air opening and a large air
collector made of carbon fibre, this new intake air system enables
the engine to breathe in even more air than usual, which is why the
camshafts come with longer valve opening periods.
Air intake and volume is
calculated according to the same principles as in Formula 1. And to
facilitate the outgoing flow of exhaust emissions, the M3 CSL comes
with optimised exhaust valves, a modified exhaust emission manifold
and funnel-shaped pipes leading into the air silencer.
With features and
improvements of this kind, the BMW M3 CSL accelerates from 0-100
km/h in just 4.9 seconds, reaching 200 km/h in 16.8 seconds. Top
speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Shifting gears like in
It almost goes without
saying that the M3 CSL comes with BMW M's most sporting and dynamic
transmission, the Sequential M Gearbox with Drivelogic. Also based
on Formula 1 technology, the SMG/Drivelogic transmission ensures an
ultra-fast gearshift in just 0.08 seconds on all six gears,
providing a direct and consistent flow of power at all engine
With the driver being able
furthermore to choose between the sequential and an automated
gearshift mode and benefitting from Drivelogic, he has no less than
eleven different gearshift options at his disposal. And last but not
least, SMG Drivelogic has been re-designed and re-adjusted
for the M3 CSL.
A special feature certainly
worth mentioning in this context is the launch control modified for
the M3 CSL and its particular character: Whenever he wishes to take
off perfectly from a standstill, the driver, choosing the
acceleration assistant, can accelerate all the way to the top speed
of the car without intervening himself, SMG shifting gears
automatically shortly before the speed limit in each gear.
As precise and nimble as a
Wider front track and
modified suspension geometry give the M3 CSL a standard of dynamic
driving performance otherwise only a thoroughbred racing car is able
to offer. These modifications include specially made springs and
dampers as well as the car's newly aligned steering for supreme,
cutting-edge handling. The brakes have also been modified for even
more stopping power and faster deceleration, allowing the M3 CLS to
reach a standstill from 100 km/h in less than 34 metres. And for
special purposes on the race track, the car is also available with
sports brake linings.
The tyres of the M3 CSL are
also very special: The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres developed
specifically for this car measure 235/35 ZR 19 at the front and
265/30 ZR 19 at the rear and run on 8½ J x 19 (front) and 9½ J x 19
(rear) aluminium wheels also developed especially for this car. With
their asymmetric tread, these special tyres offer truly outstanding
grip on the road, again in the interest of dynamic performance.
The cockpit of the M3 CSL
Inside, the M3 CSL again
follows the concept of supreme function and minimum weight wherever
it makes sense. Reflecting the purist standard of motorsport, 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.
bucket seats finished in a combination of Amaretta and fabric not
only give the driver and front passenger optimum side support, but
also tilt forwards conveniently to provide easy access to the two
individually contoured seats at the rear. For reasons of weight,
seat adjustment for length and height is manual.
The M Track Mode
The rim of the M steering
wheel featured as standard is finished in Alcantara providing a very
good and secure grip. Right behind the steering wheel are the
paddles for the SMG Drivelogic gearbox and the switch for the unique
M Track Mode is on the right spoke of the steering wheel. This
special function of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) conceived
especially for motorsport allows the driver of the M3 CSL to achieve
the highest conceivable standard of longitudinal and lateral
acceleration on the race track, going to the very limits of physical
performance thanks to the new optical signal emitted in the
instrument panel whenever the system is activated. In this case DSC
will intervene only when the car is driven to its absolute limit.
Developing the new M3 CSL,
BMW has redefined the limits to dynamic motoring. And to provide a
visible sign of this supreme standard, this uncompromising car comes
in only two exterior colours, Silver Grey Metallic and Black