Among the numerous limited edition M3s produced by BMW over the model’s 26-year long history, the 2004 M3 CSL (for Coupé Sport Leichtbau, which translates to Lightweight Sport Coupe) holds a special place in the hearts of bimmer fans.
Only 1,383 cars were produced for its 2004 model year run, with the emphasis being put on reducing weight over the regular model. The CSL had a curb weight of 1,385 kg (3,050 lb) making it 110 kg (240 lb) lighter than the normal M3, while other enhancements included a more powerful engine and a re-tuned suspension.
One of the M3 CSLs landed into the hands of German tuning firm MR Car Design, which turned the Bavarian sports coupe into a track racer for the REIL Performance racing team.
After gutting out the CSL’s interior, the German crew began work to further lower the car’s weight by replacing the side and rear windows with Plexiglas.
The CSL’s bootlid was replaced by a carbon fiber version modeled after the regular model’s boot as the tuner added a huge wing sourced from a Porsche GT3 racer.
MR Car Design then proceeded to upgrade the engine and exhaust boosting output to 386hp (392PS). Changes were made to the suspension and the braking system as well.
The car rides on a new set of BBS Motorsport alloy wheels wrapped in special Yokohama tires, while the tuner added quick release mechanisms for the hood and boot and finished off the exterior with a new wrap and livery.
The stripped interior of the M3 CSL was fitted with race-spec bucket seat, steering wheel and roll cage.
All told, the MR Car Design M3 CSL tips the scales at 1,260 kg (2,778 pounds) and according to the tuner, it can lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7:43 minutes, or seven seconds faster than the time recorded by German car magazine Sport Auto in a stock M3 CSL.
The cost of the conversion is €130,000 or about US$160,000 at today’s exchange rates.