Ever since the E92 BMW M3 was first revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, true BMW enthusiasts have been intrigued but still longing for the CSL to make its return. Standing for Coupe, Sport, Lightweight, those three letters name the purest driver and most track-focused cars BMW has to offer.
The last BMW M3 CSL was built in a limited run of just 1,400 cars between 2002 and 2004--such tiny numbers make it an exclusive offering, and only the most dedicated opt for the extra expense and somewhat harsher and noisier ride characteristics of the car.
Since then we’ve only seen a number of racing packages like the M3 GTS and M3 GT4 but their exorbitant price tags--rising into the hundreds of thousands--and race track exclusivity put them out of league for most mere mortals. And the M3 Edition model (pictured) only offered a number of trim and aesthetic updates.
Still, while we may never see a CSL version of the latest M3, BMW is upping the ante on the M3 Coupe and Sedan by offering a new "Competition Package" for the 2011 model year exclusively to customers in North America.
The package further enhances the highly responsive chassis by installing a 10 mm lower suspension and 19 inch wheels with greater offset for a wider track. Combined with remapped electronic damping and stability control systems, BMW claims the M3 equipped with the new Competition Package is the best handling production M car ever built.
Unfortunately, no power mods are planned for the M3’s high-revving 4.0-liter V-8, which means output will remain fixed at 414 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. And, with no reduction in weight, the Competition Package enhanced M3s will likely accelerate to 60 mph from rest in the same 4.8 seconds that it takes the standard model.
The price of the M3 Sedan, Coupe, and Convertible remain unchanged at $56,275, $59,275, and $67,925, respectively, for the 2011 model year. All prices include an $875 destination and handling fee, and the Competition Package adds an additional $2,500 to the price of the M3 Coupe and Sedan.