Would you take a 2023 M4 CSL on a 2004 M3 CSL?

Would you take a 2023 M4 CSL on a 2004 M3 CSL?


BMW dishes abroad Its CSL badge is so rare that even Porsche RS suitcases look as common as Corollas by comparison. Only three BMWs were deemed worthy of the Coupe Sport Leichtbau (lightweight) name which was first applied to the E9 CSL Coupe in the 1970s, a modified CS car built specifically to win the racetracks in Europe.

These original CSLs are now a great value ($200,000 for a regular car in good condition; over $300,000 for a winged Batmobile) and, to be honest, are great as they are, and drive like old cars, because they be Old cars, and it’s not that fast by 2022. But the two remaining CSLs make a great pairing, so close in age (and thus driving character) and for the price that you might find yourself choosing between the two.

Related: The 2023 BMW M4 CSL is a carbon fiber track-inspired rocket ship and starts at $139,900

We are of course talking about the 2004 E46 M3 CSL and 2023 M4 CSL which was released earlier this year. I wouldn’t try to pretend for a minute that the M3 has hope of keeping up with its modern namesake in a straight line or around the track, or that it’s a single-clutch SMG box (there was no manual option) that doesn’t resemble tractor tech alongside the modern M4’s ZF auto. But think for a minute about how people are using the new CSL, and the gap between the two is quickly closing.

Because most 2023 CSL buyers won’t squeeze the M4 into everyday use. They buy one to get out of the garage on the weekends for a little fun drive, and maybe take it to the odd track. They buy them as investments. If these are the standards, then you are right that CSL 2004 is a valid competitor to the new standard.

But let’s do your due diligence and take a look at the numbers. BMW M car. 1,383 models were built from the M3 CSL, each powered by a mildly upgraded version of the E46 M3’s 3.2-liter S54 inline-six with 355 hp (360 hp) and a modest 273 pound-feet (370 Nm) of torque. Zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) took an official 4.9 seconds, barely better than the standard car could manage despite the Michelin Cup’s sticky rubber and an alleged weight reduction of 243 lb (110 kg). Contrast this with the latest CSL, which produces 542 hp (550 hp) and 479 lb-ft (649 Nm) of torque, hits 62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and is limited to just 1,000 units.

So far, very different. But in concept – no rear seats, extensive use of carbon fiber to cut weight – it’s incredibly close. As they are in the price. The new M4 CSL costs $140,895 (£128,820 in the UK) including destination, which is exactly what you’d pay for today’s really great M3 CSL in Europe – unfortunately, the hottest M3 hasn’t been offered in the US, And even more frustratingly, we still have a few years to qualify to import under the 25-year rule. Yes, you can get it for less than $90K with a range of miles, but the best, like This car has 2,679 miles (4,311 km) in length. They are advertised at over $160,000.

Why would anyone pay more for an older, slower car that’s not uncommon? They may have desperately wanted the M3 nearly 20 years ago but are only now in a position to make it happen. Maybe they prefer the way he (us) looks, or the fact that he weighs about 600 pounds (272 kilograms) less. Or it may be so I heard M3 CSL Maximum temperature while snoring through her carbon air box. It is one of the best production road cars ever built. And if you only do a few miles each year, the fact that the new M4 is a much more complete package wouldn’t be such an issue.

Or maybe you think the new CSL looks light years better, you want your usual cons and can’t imagine shelling out $150,000 on a 355-horsepower car. There is no right or wrong answer. You will have a blast in either car. But which one do you choose? Leave a comment and let us know.

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