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  #1  
Old 08-28-2003, 01:45 PM
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Freaky_Monkey Freaky_Monkey is offline
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Something to scare you... the M3 CSL Review (Auto Express)

M3 CSL Review

"Driving along a German autobahn, there's an easy way to spot if a BMW M3 CSL driver doesn't have a racing licence. They will only be doing 155mph.

While the ultimate 3-Series has the top speed restricted electronically, the firm will remove it if you can prove you have track experience. Without this electronic nanny, the CSL will top 170mph.
Built to try to provide the kind of motorsport-honed thrills offered by the original M3, the CSL has been stripped of unnecessary kit, the body panels replaced by plastic items and the engine tweaked to give an additional 17bhp.

The 19-inch alloys wear massive Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, which are half way between road and race rubber. Each car actually comes with a warning, telling the driver to take extra care in the rain because the Pilot Sport is designed primarily for dry use.

But with fine weather and a track at our disposal, the M3 was in its element. Climb into the bucket seats, grab the suede steering wheel and slam the carbon-panelled door, and the CSL already seems special. Start the engine and the race feel is complete - it burbles like a touring car sitting in the pits.

Flick the stubby gearlever to the right and the SMG sequential gearbox defaults in auto mode. The first touch of the paddles behind the steering wheel gives the driver control of the changes, though, and the M3 leaps forward. Slot into second, floor the throttle and the engine howls as the special filter housing squeezes air in and a modified exhaust pushes gases out urgently.

But it gets better still. At 6,500rpm, the six-cylinder unit switches to gain an even wilder sound and more performance. Peak power isn't actually achieved until 7,900rpm, a level which would see the majority of engines explode.

In corners, the power, stiff ride and race-car stance mean it's easy to be intimidated by the CSL, but all the usual stability control systems are here, plus a new gadget which allows you to play with the handling in relative safety. Called Track Mode, this device will let the BMW slide, but if it all looks like going wrong, the car's electronics do their best to sort it out.

It's just as well because, on the limit, the CSL is tricky to control. The rear end breaks away quickly and, although the faster-geared steering helps you catch the slide, the lack of feedback means you don't know what's going on between tyres and tarmac. With all that grip and power, the limit tends to arrive at higher speeds than you'd intend, too. Perhaps this car is best left to race drivers after all."

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  #2  
Old 08-28-2003, 01:49 PM
TD
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I wouldn't call that a glowing review.

I am struck by this one line-

Quote:
the lack of feedback means you don't know what's going on between tyres and tarmac
  #3  
Old 08-28-2003, 01:56 PM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
I wouldn't call that a glowing review.

I am struck by this one line-
Its got big old wide tires that are pratically slicks on 19" rims, isnt that expected? I never driven slicks so I am not sure.
  #4  
Old 08-28-2003, 01:58 PM
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what's scary?
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2003, 02:01 PM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyclb
what's scary?
maybe his user name

  #6  
Old 08-28-2003, 02:01 PM
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Freaky_Monkey Freaky_Monkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyclb
what's scary?
The size of the airbox is enough to scare me!
  #7  
Old 08-28-2003, 04:07 PM
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drmwvr drmwvr is offline
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That car looks

I like it
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2003, 01:26 AM
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Raffi Raffi is offline
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Don't let Stuka see this.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2003, 05:30 AM
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Sean Sean is offline
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I'll take one!
  #10  
Old 08-29-2003, 07:45 AM
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Brashland Brashland is offline
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How much are those? Are they only an European release?
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2003, 11:12 AM
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Raffi Raffi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brashland
How much are those? Are they only an European release?
Euro only, don't know the price, but I think it was discussed here before.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2003, 11:23 AM
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Brashland Brashland is offline
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Not that I could ever afford one anyway but
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My YOKOHAMAS were BALD after only 7,000 miles of daily driving!!!
  #13  
Old 08-29-2003, 11:53 AM
wrwicky wrwicky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_DML
Its got big old wide tires that are pratically slicks on 19" rims, isnt that expected? I never driven slicks so I am not sure.
Slicks actually provide a little heavier steering and a lot more feedback through the steering wheel. But, they don't howl or have super progressive breakaway at the limit like all-seasons.

On motorcycles (where I have most of my slick experience) I will try to never run treaded tires on the track again. Slicks are just a lot more direct in terms of feedback, and on the track that means more fun.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2003, 12:31 PM
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nate nate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
I wouldn't call that a glowing review.

I am struck by this one line-
R comps give very little warning before breakaway.

Unlike street tires with squealing treadblocks and deformation, the Cup tires will just grip and grip, until they don't grip anymore...
  #15  
Old 08-29-2003, 03:01 PM
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Raffi Raffi is offline
Hi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate328Ci
R comps give very little warning before breakaway.

Unlike street tires with squealing treadblocks and deformation, the Cup tires will just grip and grip, until they don't grip anymore...
And then: Better have quick reaction times!
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