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ARe they going to produce it? What are the diferences? Less weight, Fiber carbon components and what else? :evil::P

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A new sports car now embodies the very core of the BMW brand in its most original style - the M3 CSL. Taking up the heritage and legendary success

of BMW's famous lightweight coupés which gained fame in touring car racing back in the -70s, the engineers of BMW M have once again created a purist, thoroughbred sports car consistently designed and built to the highest standard of excellence.

In recognition of the fact that the weight spiral constantly going up can only be brought to a halt by radically reducing all moving masses, BMW M's engineers, in developing this new car, have turned a thrilling lightweight concept into reality. For the new BMW M3 CSL is not only more powerful than the already very dynamic M3, but is also a lot lighter and therefore even more nimble.

In developing the M3 CSL, however, BMW M did not focus on the radical reduction of weight alone. On the contrary, the task the designers and development engineers gave themselves was to create a car full of purist driving dynamics, a car absolutely pure in every respect, down to the very last component. And the result, finally, is unique, absolutely unmarred driving dynamics and a purist character.

The BMW M3 CSL thus combines supreme agility with the ultimate driving experience. With its outstanding power-to-weight ratio of only 3.85 kg/bhp, this new car moves into an entirely new dimension. So the engineers at BMW M are quite sure that this sports car is able to break the 8-minute sound barrier on the legendary Northern Circuit of Nurburgring, the ultimate benchmark in driving dynamics.

Intelligent Lightweight Technology

The formula BMW M's specialists have followed in creating this dynamic driving machine is intelligent lightweight technology: This means consistent reduction of weight by using the most appropriate materials at the right point. Carbon-fibre -reinforced plastic, one of the most important materials in Formula 1, for example, not only reduces the overall weight of the car (weighing approximately 110 kg (243 lb) less than the standard M3, the M3 CSL has an overall weight of just 1,385 kg (3,054 lb), but also allows even higher speeds in bends particularly through the use of this lightweight material at the extreme ends of the car.

Right from the front the M3 CSL, through its newly designed, muscular front air dam made of carbon-fibre -reinforced plastic (CFP) with an additional engine air intake on the driver's side demonstrates clearly that it is built for supreme performance of the highest calibre. Flaps also clearly visible from outside serve additionally to reduce front axle lift by a significant margin.

At the other end of the car the newly designed rear lid made of sheet moulding compound (SMC), together with the integrated spoiler, also serves in conjunction with the CFP rear diffuser to significantly reduce lift forces.

The intelligent lightweight technology so typical of the M3 CSL is demonstrated very clearly by the roof also made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic easily

recognisable as such. This large component built by specialists at BMW's Landshut Plant is not only some six kilos lighter than a conventional roof, but also, through its exposed position, lowers the car' s centre of gravity.

Focusing on their quest to reduce weight, the engineers at BMW M took a close look at virtually every component of the M3, in each case using the most suitable materials in order to save weight. As a result, the M3 CSL even comes with glass-fibre plastics otherwise used for aerospace applications such as endless-glass-fibre thermoplastics serving as the structural material for the through-loading system and on the rear bumper supports.

Engine of the M3 CSL.

The straight-six power unit already featured in the standard M3 owes its exceptional performance to BMW's high-speed engine concept. This concept allows a particularly short transmission ratio giving the car superior power and performance throughout the entire speed range, six individual throttle butterflies ensuring that the engine responds perfectly to the gas pedal whenever required.

Also revving up easily and smoothly all the way to 8,000 rpm, the power unit of the M3 CSL offers an even higher standard of all-round performance. An all-new air intake system with an extra-large air collector made of carbon-fibre -reinforced plastic ensures an ample flow of air to the 3.2-litre power unit, the intake manifolds with a much large diameter taking in fresh air through the large air scoop on the left-hand side of the front air dam enabling the engine to breathe even more freely, without the slightest throttle effect.

The camshafts with their longer valve opening times also help to boost the power of the engine to an even higher level than before. To reduce the forces required for removing burnt combustion gas from the combustion chamber and thus increase the useful engine load accordingly, the exhaust valves have been modified once again in their geometry, the flow of gas also benefitting from the funnel-shaped pipe intakes leading into the rear silencer. And again reflecting the lightweight philosophy of the CSL, the entire exhaust system is made of pipes with even thinner walls at the side.

The result of this successful fine -tuning is maximum output of 360 bhp (265 kW) at 7,900 rpm, with maximum torque of 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) at 4,900 rpm. This equals output per litre of no less than 111 bhp, an extremely high figure for a normal-aspiration power unit and, incidentally, the highest output per litre of any production six -cylinder in the world.

The M3 CSL's Special Gearbox.

To provide an ultra-fast gearshift with a smooth, uninterrupted surge of power, the new M3 CSL comes exclusively with BMW M's Sequential M Gearbox with Drivelogic. An in-house development by BMW M, this special gearbox based directly on Formula 1 technology is naturally an integral part of the car's overall concept. Which is no surprise considering that under optimum conditions SMG is able to shift gears in just 0.08 seconds.

The well-known benefits of SMG Drive logic include the option to shift gears either through the shift lever or through paddles on the steering wheel, the option to change over from the sequential to the automatic mode, and the choice of no less than eleven gearshift modes tailored to specific requirements on the road.

This modern transmission also offers a wide range of additional, practical functions such as launch control. Also referred to as the acceleration assistant, this function enables the driver to set off perfectly from a standstill with the gearshift lever in a specific position chosen in advance, thus benefitting from the car's full potential when accelerating. And now this function has been refined to an even higher standard in the new M3 CSL: Once the driver activates the acceleration assistant, he no longer has to shift gears himself when subsequently sprinting from zero to the top speed of the car, since SMG Drivelogic sees what the driver plans to do and shifts the six gears itself at exactly the right point shortly before the engine reaches the rev limit.

Outstanding Agility

It goes without saying that a car as thrilling as the new M3 CSL requires the right kind of chassis and suspension. After all, the driver should really feel the agility of this car, agility should be an important part of the CSL driving experience. So in developing this dynamic suspension and chassis system, the engineers at BMW M again focused on motorsport, which is no surprise considering the very long list of racing wins and achievements by BMW touring cars in more than four decades.

the front springs are one winding shorter and both the spring and damper rates have been re -tuned all round in view of the car's lighter weight, both the compression and rebound strokes being modified in the process. Like the front track control arms on the standard M3, the rear track control arms are now also made of aluminium and come with ball instead of rubber bearings for even better lateral dynamic guidance (uniball joints). In all, these improvements give the M3 not only uncompromising directional stability under all conditions, but also extremely good cornering qualities with very little body sway. And at the same time they significantly reduce the weight of all chassis and suspension components.

The M Track Mode

Apart from the SMG paddles, the driver of the M3 CSL will find another special feature in the three-spoke M sports steering wheel with its rim finished in Alcantara to provide a perfect grip - the M Track Mode switch on the right-hand side. Pressing this switch, the driver activates an additional DSC function presented clearly by a new signal in the instrument panel.

This special DSC Dynamic Stability Control mode allows the driver to use all the car's longitudinal and lateral acceleration up to the physical limit, for example on the race track. In this case stability control will only intervene when the M3 CSL reaches the absolute limit, an optical signal telling the driver that the system has become active (as is the case with DSC).


Given its outstanding power-to-weight ratio, its supreme agility and driving precision, the new M3 CSL not only enters a new dimension of dynamic motoring, but also opens up the door for new solutions in technology, convincingly presenting a unique synthesis of intelligent lightweight technology and high performance - a modern sports car which, through the sum total of its truly outstanding features, lives out the innermost world of the BMW brand: sheer driving pleasure in its purest form.


thanx for the help. Which car has the Nurburging record?


I would answer that, Fao, but I don't know what exactly you're talking about.

And T88, that's good stuff, where's it from?


hey izzy that info is from Supercars.net.....they have good stuff there!!

And for the nurburgring, it is a famous track in germany, where Le Mans is held as well every year. Cars are tested there continuelsy in performance enhancing environment. So he is just curious on what is the fastest car to run the nurburgring......



The winner

The Caterham's rear tyres howl in protest as I stroke its nose deftly through the Nurburgring's final corner. The crowd rises to its feet and a sea of Union Jacks are waved as I cross the line in record time. Then, through the mayhem, someone hands me a huge white telephone, ringing out above the cacophony...

Monday, 4.50am: the bedside alarm rudely terminates my dream and I remember that there's a new Porsche 911 parked outside. My aim today is to cross the Channel and drive to the Nordschleife in Germany to meet the men from Caterham, as well as a legend called Stefan and his extraordinary "Yellow Bird" Ruf Porsche.

Our goal could scarcely be more simple. We want to break the production car lap record for the famous old 12.95-mile Nurburgring. Currently it stands at 7min 59sec, set by a Nissan Skyline GTR in 1995. But given that the Skyline set the time during its development stage and was free of the speed limiter that prevents UK versions from doing more than 156mph, we can no longer count it as the true production car record holder. Especially as it's far from clear how much turbo boost the GTR was running during the lap, or how much tweaking the rear-wheel steer system had undergone.

So for these reasons and more, the standard production car lap record will no longer belong to the Skyline after this event; it will instead hold the record for a modified road car. Unless, of course, the unchipped, unfettled GTR that colleague Allan Muir is due to arrive in tomorrow can match, or perhaps better, that 7min 59sec time...

Monday, 12.45pm: the 911 is fabulously stable at an indicated 165mph on the autobahn. The scenery rushes past this most mature of 911s in a seamless blur, but the drama that would have accompanied your every thought at this speed in the old car is barely present in this one. It may have lost some soul in the transformation, but there's no doubt about the new car's greater ability to chew up - and keep you in better shape during genuinely long road trips.

Monday, 2pm: it's freezing at the Nurburgring – about -5deg C including the jolly old wind chill factor. But the Caterham boys, who arrived last night, are already down to business preparing the Superlight R so that their superstar, Robert Nearn, can put in some early laps.

He's well qualified for this. Nearn has competed at Daytona five times and Le Mans twice, this year in a 911 CITi with ex-Fi driver Mauro Baldi. He was also the Caterham Vauxhall champion in 1993 and probably knows better than anyone how to get the best out of the little car.

Today is a public day at the 'Ring, which means that any Tom, Dick or Heinz can turn up between 12.30 and 4pm and blast round the track for DM15. Mind you, it's so deserted at the start line that you'd think the place had shut for the winter. Makes me wonder whether we really needed to hire the circuit exclusively for tomorrow's timed runs.

Monday 2.30pm: I'm very nervous about taking to the world's hairiest circuit in someone else's new 65,000UKP Porsche, especially since Nearn has just returned after a "gentle" 8 min 3lsec lap, during which he reckons he discovered wet leaves on at least 10 corners and, horror or horrors, patches of ice out at the disturbingly well-named Eiskurve.

I pay the man in the hut DM80 for six laps and decide to take it very easy for the first lap, at least until I see a sign at the side of the road that reads "Eiskurve".

It's shocking how little of the circuit I can remember. I've probably completed 20-25 laps over the years, but it's almost as if I've never been here before. There are 157 corners and at the moment every one of them seems alien. Already I'm beginning to wonder whether I've bitten off more than I can munch with this record breaking business.

A couple of tippy-toe laps later and the Porsche is starting to flow. At the top of the circuit just after the Karussell there are leaves all over the wet tarmac for a few corners, as well as the aforementioned ice, but before and after this it's not too bad, and I find myself starting to stretch the 911 a little.

I'm still not convinced about the quality of information available through the steering, that most vital of contact points at a place like this but the basic handling and body control are far better than they have any right to be in a car whose engine and gearbox are slung out behind the back axle. I manage to persuade myself to turn off the intrusive traction control after three laps and although this introduces more waywardness to the handling in the slow, greasy corners, the 911 feels better balanced through the quicker sections as a result.

Monday, 3.30pm: danger time. I've spent an hour on the circuit and, bar one small wobble in the hatefully difficult section on the way down to the Adenau Bridge, I'm starting to think I know certain bits of the lap quite well. Yet what I can't imagine is linking all these sections together to form one fully committed lap. For instance, there's one ludicrously fast uphill chunk, just after the corner on which Niki Lauda came to grief in the 1976 German Grand Prix, that I know is flat out, but I can't bring myself to not lift through there. One slight misjudgement on how much or how fast I should aim the nose through any of these 130mph corners and the 911 will be accompanying me home in a carrier bag.

Monday, 4pm: the circuit is closed for the day, but the mood in the Caterham camp is upbeat, to say the least. Nearn has slithered the Superlight R round in 8min 2lsec, in spite of the track being mostly damp. As far as we know, the fastest a standard production car has been round here is 8min 20sec. And the forecast for tomorrow is good...

Tuesday, 7.30am: the view out of my bedroom window is heart-breaking. It consists of nothing. Just a sheet of thick grey fog. For a moment I pray it's Goodwin playing a joke with a blanket outside my window, but, alas, it is not to be. The dreaded Nordschleife weather has struck.

Tuesday, 9am: or maybe not. We roll up to the start/finish area to make our rendezvous with German colleague Stefan Roser and the awesome 520bhp Ruf CTR II; photographers Andrew Yeadon and Tom Salt are making noises about blue sky and even sunshine on the other half of the circuit. Half an hour later the Skyline turns up with a sleepy-looking Muir at the wheel; and with it arrives an unusually perfect day for the Eiffel mountains in November.

I'm filled with a strange blend of dread and excitement when the Ruf shows up at l0am. I've driven this car before around Silverstone when it took part in our annual handling shootout. Acceleration and brakes by NASA, handling and traction by Ken Dodd. Lord only knows what sort of a handful it's going to be around this place.

I'll drive it, of course, but the quick laps will be down to Roser. He helped Mr Ruf develop this car and knows the 'Ring backwards. For me, today will be spent learning as much of the circuit as possible so I can eventually put in some timed laps in the Skyline and 911.1 know one man, whose opinion on matters concerning the 'Ring is taken as gospel, who reckons it takes 50 laps to learn the corners, then another 50 to learn the lines. Even if I go at it like a madman today, I'm not going to do more than 35.

The Skyline is about the friendliest fast car in the world, however, and it doesn't take long to feel a groove beginning to appear. After five laps my trust in this extraordinary car is beginning to know few boundaries. It may have only 277bhp compared with the 911's 296bhp, but the level of commitment it can absorb is sufficient to shame even the amazingly well-sorted Porsche through most corners.

Although I find myself reaching bends at largely similar speeds to the 911, it's not necessary to brake until whole metres later in most corners. And on the way out of these same bends the Nissan will safely dump its power onto the tarmac sometimes seconds earlier It's also more stable and, incredibly, a good deal more communicative when you re actually in the corners. At a place as treacherous as this, I'm beginning to think it might even be the perfect tool.

The trouble starts when I jump from the Skyline into the Ruf. It's not the gales of turbo whoosh that put me off when I open the accelerator for the first time on the way down to the twisty Hatzenbach, but the fact that we're not really going anywhere, in spite of the spiralling revs. And this is downhill. In third gear.

Along the main straight the speedo is showing the other side of 300km/h that's almost 190mph. Predictably, it needs huge care out of most corners to avoid reducing the enormous l9in rear tyres to dust.

But in reality it's more than just violent bursts wheelspin that the Ruf suffers from. Truth is, it's not a very well-sorted car on the handling front, and the severity with which the rear end weaves and wanders through the super-fast Schwedenkreuz corner is almost enough to make me want to hand it back there and then. I'm just not into cars that you never feel 100 per cent in control of and after a lap of wrestling with everything from chronic understeer to unprintably scary 100mph-plus oversteer, I do indeed place the keys back in Roser's rather more capable hands.

Tuesday, 12.30pm: Nearn and the Caterham have just done an incredible 8min l0sec lap, a full l0sec faster than any other standard production car has managed, by our reckoning. But technical director Jez Coates is not content to stop there. He wants to beat the Skyline's modified record as well, even though the Superlight R is officially an off-the-shelf car.

Apparently, the Seven is only pulling 7050rpm/l32mph along the main straight. Coates hadn't bargained on it being uphill and reckons that as little as another 7-8mph could see the lap time tumble by maybe four or five seconds. So the lads fit the tonneau to the passenger's side and chuck all the camera gear out - anything to reduce drag along the straight.

This gets Roser's hackles up, so he hammers off and returns exactly 8min l5sec later in a style that only those who witnessed it could possibly comprehend. His car comes to a smoking halt beside us. There are, he feels, maybe a few more seconds in the wild Ruf, but not a full 16, which is how many he'll need to find just to match the Skyline's modified record.

Tuesday, 1.30pm: photography. We all stand speechless the first time Roser does a full-house pass at our chosen corner, a fast, uphill right-hander just after the famous Whupperman. He comes into sight sideways and goes out of sight sideways and during the 250-300 metres between these points the Ruf neither drops below 80mph nor wanders so much as a millimetre off line. It makes our attempts to look dramatic in the other cars appear, well, just a touch toy town in comparison, although it's fascinating to watch Nearn go through the same corner in the Caterham. There's much less wheel-twirling, but the Seven is at least 10mph faster at the apex, proving that sideways isn't automatically the quickest way to go.

Tuesday, 3.30pm: D-day for me. The weather is due to change tomorrow so I must do some timed laps in the Porsche and Nissan right now, even though I know I'm not yet ready for a flat-out lap of the 'Ring in cars as quick as this.

I drive the Porsche first. It feels good and steady beneath me, despite the understeer that swells through the series of esses at the Hatzenbach. Halfway round the lap I know I could have gone quicker in at least three places, but the fact that I'm still here and not in the undergrowth is something of a result. By the 20th kilometre I'm positive that there's a fair bit more time in the 911, especially at the horribly fast uphill section after Bergwerk. The watch confirms this with 8min 38sec. Mind you, it's not quite as bad as I had feared considering that the 911 is 200bhp down and 100kg up on the Ruf.

The Skyline has been thrown around for photographs during the morning and its rear tyres have lost the best of their shoulders, which manifests itself in more oversteer than I was anticipating when I start my lap. What's more, the damned speed limiter keeps cutting in in the really quick sections and halts the action completely a third of the way along the two-mile home straight. I'm definitely less committed in the Skyline because of the tyres, and although it still feels ferociously rapid through the twisty section up at Hohe-Act, I'm not sure it is going to beat the 911's time.

But, amazingly, the stopwatch says otherwise. The Skyline does an 8min 28sec lap, l0sec quicker than the 911, even though I wasn't trying as hard. It's an astonishing achievement for a car that weighs 1600kg and has only 277bhp at its disposal. I still fail to believe that the mere removal of the speed limiter would enable it to do 7min 59sec, or even beat the staggering 8min 6.2sec lap that Nearn finally manages to coax out of the Caterham, but it leaves us all gasping for a moment all the same.

Tuesday, 4.30pm: it's getting dim here, but I must do what I've been craving to do since the alarm went off two days ago - a proper, no-holds-barred lap in the Superlight R. I strap myself in, recalling the fearsome road trip that I had in this very car a few short weeks ago on a rainy October evening. All the memories flood back as I set off down the hill towards the Flugplatz, an amazing, big dipper bend at the bottom of which Nearn reckons the change-up light was flickering in sixth on a fast lap, which equates to over 140mph. In a Seven!

Immediately it feels in a different league from the others. Everything is so pure, so direct that you barely need to move your hands more than an inch at a time through most corners. And as the exhaust note barks off the hillsides as the K-series devours gear after gear, it strikes me that motoring experiences really don't come much better than this.

The braking and acceleration on offer are outrageous in this 470kg car, but it's the speed that you can carry into the corners that truly distinguishes the Seven. There are some bends here that can be approached as much as 15mph faster, I reckon. And through the heart-in-mouth sections at the top of the circuit it's just heaven the only car here that feels genuinely at one with the circuit.

I can't bring myself to pull in after just one lap, so I carry on past the sea of bewildered faces at the start/finish line. One final taste of car heaven. Maybe they've got the watch running. Maybe I'll go even quicker than that new lap record. Dream on, Sutcliffe. It's time to go home.

Caterham Superlight R: 8min 6.2sec

Ruf CTR II: 8min 15.0sec

Nissan $kyline GTR: 8min 28.1 sec

Porsche 911 Carrera: 8min 38.4sec

Thanks to Bridgestone for all its tyres_______________________________________________________________


Dude thanx for more. I don't have time to read all of that now, but thanx for reminding me; I regularly check fast-autos.net and I love their articles and photos. I also know what Nurburgring is so you don't need to tell me! It's too famous, and most people should know what it is, so believe me I know about it! But I didn't know what car he was talking about (with the record and all, in the Nurburgring). I just wanted to know if he was talking about the M3's Nurburgring track record or all cars in general.


haha sorry about hte mix up....but yea that is a good article, damn i ddint know the skyline had the record at one time.....

Btw read it when yo uhave a chance, it is good...funny at times, werid at other, and informational mostly!!


LOL. "Weird at other..."! Hehe! Oh believe me I will. I don't usually pass up on reading on cars!

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