Coupe, sport, lightweight. Before the new M4 CSL, BMW only applied the CSL badge to two cars in its history: the 3.0 CSL, a homologation hero nicknamed The Batmobile, and this oh-so-delicately styled special edition of the E46 BMW M3, introduced in 2003. All credit to M Division, really – it’s surely kept the letters trademarked and could have slapped them on a number of its recent products, but it clearly knows that L at the end needs to be earned.
This M3 certainly did. It was 110kg lighter than the stock M3 of the time, which is considerable when there’s still two seats in the back. Its dieting was much more nuanced and considered than simply flinging superfluous bits in the skip (though BMW would let you lose the stereo and air con if you wanted to).