For less than the price of a new M4, you can have one of the best performance cars BMW ever built.
While we’re still waiting for the hardcore BMW M2 CS to be announced, this 2003 E46 BMW M3 CSL listed for sale at Classic Driver is begging to be bought by an enthusiast. As if it wasn’t already highly desirable, the asking price is criminally cheap at just $59,000. Granted, that may sound like a lot for a 15-year-old car, but the M3 CSL typically sells for over $100,000, and you’re getting one of the best performance cars BMW ever built. For such a low price, you might expect this M3 CSL to be in poor condition, but that’s not the case here.
Both the exterior and interior appear to be immaculate. The limited edition sports coupe has been diligently maintained too, as the current owner spent $19,000 on refining the ball joints, wishbones, rear springs and a new clutch, as well as work on the wheels, tires and brakes. Look at the mileage, however, and it soon becomes clear why this M3 CSL is so bewilderingly cheap. Since rolling off the production line in 2003, it’s racked up 87,452 miles on the clock which obviously lowers its value. Still, it’s comforting to know that the previous owner clearly used the car as it was intended – this is an enthusiast car designed to be driven, not stored away in a garage to appreciate.
It’s rare, too, since only 1,358 models were ever made, 535 of which were speced in right hand drive like the example listed for sale finished in Silver Grey Metallic. The BMW M3 CSL is essentially an ultra-lightweight version of the fabled E46 M3, weighing 110 kg less than the standard car. As part of its strict diet regime, the sound insulation was removed, as were the electric seats and navigation systems – even the stereo and air conditioning weren't fitted as standard. The roof is constructed from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and the rear window was replaced with thinner glass to shed further weight which made it a dream to drive.
Powering the lightweight M3 CSL is a straight-six 3.2-liter engine producing 355 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. For slightly more you could buy a brand new M3, and the high mileage will undoubtedly make it less desirable to picky car collectors, but we think this is a bargain that’s sure to be snapped up. Tempted?