Car Of The Month - May 2021
‘Balance’ is the word that jumps to mind whenever the E46 generation BMW M3 is mentioned.
A powerful, high-revving straight six engine, agile handling and space for four in comfort and crushing long-distance ability make it a monster that’s useable day to day.
Balance doesn’t just extend to the car’s character either. The E46 M3 was an instant design classic when it was released at the start of the turn of the century, with its mix of strong lines and gentle curves creating arguably one of the best proportioned coupés of all time.
Like all BMWs though, a fantastic base design doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement and it was 2003’s BMW M3 CSL that really caught the enthusiast’s eye. The limited nature and improved performance were one thing, but the aerodynamic enhancements really seemed to ‘perfect’ the E46 M3’s design.
It comes as no surprise then that E46 M3 owners have been craving the CSL look ever since, though to get ahold of a CSL nowadays you’re looking at nearly the price of a brand new M4 Competition! Add to that the more track-focused nature of the CSL and you’ve got a car that is also harder to live with, narrowing its appeal.
The best solution? Do what this M3’s owner Mark has done and get yourself an amazing M3 as a base then turn it into your perfect M3 that BMW never made. We’ve equipped this car with our M Style CSL style front bumper, complete with carbon fibre corner splitters, a genuine BMW CSL bootlid and we body-matched the surround of the carbon fibre rear diffuser.
The first thing you notice is the metal flake glinting off of the edge of the CSL bootlid. The CSL only came in silver-grey and black, but seeing this car gleaming in Individual Estoril Blue you have to wonder why.
The corner splitters, integral to the CSL bumper, give the front end a much more aggressive appearance than the stock bumper does. Add to that the blanked-off side vents and the single intake for the CSL airbox and you have one purposeful looking machine.
The handling on this particular car has been massively boosted thanks to a set of KW coilover suspension and enormously powerful Alcon CSL Cup brakes on all four corners.
Smaller, personalised touches such as an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel with blue 12 o’clock marker and carbon fibre interior trim makes the M3 a nicer place to be, whilst the 19 inch wheels add a slightly more modern edge to the car. The owner mentioned he’s looking to replace them with a set of BBS LMs, however.
All in all, this is a beautifully thought-out example of an E46 M3 – one that’s been enhanced in all the right ways without spoiling the character of the car. Balance is a key word for the M3, and this one is no different.
For more information on the parts please feel free to drop us a call or visit our website.
www.mstyle.co.uk / [email protected] / 020 8598 9115