Build Specifications

So how did BMW create the M3 CSL?

Intelligent lightweight technology

For optimum weight reduction, BMW M engineers turned to ‘intelligent’ lightweight technology. This meant matching the most appropriate materials to the component or assembly requirements and resulted in widespread use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics, lightweight aluminium and glass fibre plastics. Much of this technology has been transferred from Formula 1.

Award winning engine — made better

BMW’s M3 engine has just received its third accolade in a row at the 2003 International Engine of the Year Awards. Now an enhanced version of this 3.2 litre straight-six power house, has been developed for the M3 CSL. Power output has been boosted from 343 to 360 bhp at 7,900 rpm, while torque is up from 365 to 370 Nm at 4,900 rpm.

The enhancements include:
• Thinner exhaust walls
• Larger air intake opening and carbon fibre air collector
• Camshafts with longer valve opening periods
• Air intake and volume calculated according to Fl principles
• Optimised exhaust valves
• Modified exhaust emission manifold

M3 CSL gearbox

BMW M’s most sporting and dynamic transmission features on the M3 CSL - the paddle shift SMG gearbox with Drivelogic and new software. Based on Fl technology, it allows ultra-fast shifting through all six gears, using the gear stick or paddles, with changes taking just 0.08 seconds. Drivers can choose between sequential and automated mode.

Handling dynamics

Precision handling comes courtesy of a wider front track and modified suspension geometry, including bespoke springs and dampers. A more direct ratio for the rack-and-pinion steering (14.5 : 1, compared to 15.4 : 1 for the M3) offers greater steering response in all conditions. While substantially modified brakes slow the M3 CSL to a standstill from 62 mph in less than 34 metres — just seven and a half car lengths.

Driver aids

M Track Mode is a unique function of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), activated via a steering wheel mounted switch. This allows skilled track drivers to push the car to the absolute limit of transverse and longitudinal acceleration, with DSC operating only where these limits are exceeded.

The optional 19” wheels and tyres for the BMW M3 are fitted as standard but Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres, with asymmetric treads developed especially for the MS CSL mounted on unique alloy wheels, can be specified as a no cost option. The tyres, which are suitable for both road and track, measure 235/35 ZR 19 at the front and 265/30 ZR 19 at the rear. Complementing the performance of the car, they offer outstanding lateral grip, up to 1.6g, improving the M3 CSL’s already remarkable handling qualities and cornering capability.

To ensure M3 CSL owners are comfortable with the handling of these specially designed optional tyres, dealers will explain the need for caution while they warm up and during very poor weather. Buyers will also be required to confirm that they are aware of and understand the unique performance characteristics.

Free driver training for all M3 CSL customers is also included in the price. Worth £850, this offers drivers a day at the Pro-Drive Live circuit, driving under the guidance of experienced racing drivers, learning how to get the most out of the car.


In the cockpit, the M3 CSL follows the principles of a genuine sports car. Options are kept to a minimum, with a focus on the functional, like contoured, glass fibre bucket seats, offering optimum side support in fast bends.

Centre console and door trims are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic and the M Sports steering wheel is clothed in Alcantara. To make best use of the reduced weight potential many features of modern cars normally considered as essential, such as air conditioning and a radio, are excluded from standard specification, but can be specified as no cost options if the customer wants them.

Standard equipment - interior
• Cloth Laser/Amaretta ‘Reflex Pur’ Anthracite
• Anthracite Headlining
• Individual high gloss satin chrome
• Titanium Shadow Interior Trim
• Chrome gear lever knob
• 4 Seats
• M Steering Wheel with switch for M Track Mode

Standard equipment — exterior
• M3 CSL specific suspension settings
• M Mobility System to inflate tyres
• Tailgate with low loading sill and integrated rear spoiler
• Front apron without fog lights, with extra air intake
• Model designation M3 CSL
• Choice of Black Sapphire or Silver Grey metallic paint
• 19” double spoke alloy wheels style 67M

No cost options
• 19” M light alloy wheels ‘M3 CSL’ with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres
• Auto air conditioning
• BMW Business radio / cassette
• No model inscription
• Graduated tint front windscreen
• Smoker package

Cost options
• Climate comfort front windscreen £190.00
• Floor mats £75.00
• Park Distance Control (PDC) £340.00
• Rain sensor £160.00
• Xenon headlights with headlamp wash £770.00
• Single CD £100
• Mini disc player £295.00



No. of doors/seats 2/4
Length/width/height (unladen) mm 4,492/1,780/1,365
Wheelbase mm 2,729
Track, front/rear mm 1,518/1,525
Turning circle m 11.0
Tank capacity approx.ltr 63
Cooling system inc. heater ltr 10.7
Engine oil ltr 7.0
Transmission fluid ltr 1.9
Final drive fluid ltr 1.2
Unladen weight, EU kg 1,385
Max. load to DIN standard kg 415
Max. permissible weight to DIN kg 1,800
Max. axle load, front/rear kg 880/1,020
Luggage compartment to VDA st. ltr 410
Air drag Cx*A 0.683

Power unit

Configuration/cylinders/valves Straight/6/4
Engine management MSS 54HP
Capacity cc 3,246
Bore/stroke mm 87.0/91.0
Compression ratio 1 11.5
Fuel RON 98
Output kW/bhp 265/360
at rpm 7,900
Torque Nm (lb-ft) 370(273)
at rpm 4,900

Electrical system

Battery/location Ah/- 55/luggage comp
Alternator A/W 120/7,680


Front Single-joint spring strut axle with displaced castor; small positive steering roll radius, compensation of transverse forces, anti-dive
Rear central-arm axle with longitudinal control arms and double track control arms, anti-squat and anti-dive


Front Single-piston swing-caliper disc brakes
Diameter mm 345 x 28, vented
Rear Single-piston swing-caliper disc brakes
Diameter mm 328 x 20, vented
Driving stability systems ABS, CBC, DSC; M differential lock

Steering - Rack-and-pinion

Overall steering transmission 1 14.5

Transmission Six-speed manual

Transmission ratios and maximum speed at 8000rpm :
1st 4.227 39.29mph (63.23km/h)
2nd 2.528 65.69mph (105.72km/h)
3rd 1.669 99.50mph (160.14km/h)
4th 1.226 135.46mph (218.00km/h)
5th 1.000 166.07mph (267.27km/h)
6th 0.828 200.57mph (322.79km/h)
Rev 3.746 44.33mph (71.35km/h)
Final Drive Ratio 3.620
Tyres, front/rear 235/35 ZR19 265/30 ZR19
Rims, front/rear 8.5J x 19 EH 2 IS 44 alu 9.5J x 19 EH 2 IS 27 alu


Power-to-weight ratio to DIN stand kg/kW 5.2
Output per litre kW/bhp 81.6/111.0
0—62 mph sec 4.9
Stand-start km sec 23.5
In 4th gear 62—80 mph sec 5.0
Top speed Restricted cars top speed = 161mph / 259km/h (167mph / 269km/h indicated). Derestricted cars top speed = 174mph / 280km/h (180mph / 290km/h indicated)

Fuel consumption (Eu cycle)

Urban Mpg 15.9
Extra urban Mpg 33.6
Composite Mpg 23.7
CO2 g/km 287

Other data

Emission category EU3