BMW E46 Owners: Keep an Eye on Vorsteiner’s Carbon M3 CSL Body Kit

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By Car Brand Experts

Rarely do vehicles captivate BMW enthusiasts as much as the E46 M3 CSL. Unfortunately, this exceptional driving machine never made its way to North America. Through various modifications, tuning shops and private owners have endeavored to emulate the essence of the M3 CSL, with one of the notable attempts being made by Vorsteiner, a carbon fiber and wheel specialist based in California. Recently, Vorsteiner has taken its original CSL aero kit to new heights – and let me tell you, the outcome is striking.

In October, Vorsteiner reintroduced its CSL-inspired aero kit named the V-CSL. This kit was crafted to give a standard E46 M3 the appearance reminiscent of BMW’s iconic vehicle from the early 2000s. While it does not enhance the engine’s power or modify the suspension, steering, or brakes, it does reduce the overall weight and enhance the visual appeal of the M3. Each carbon fiber component is available for individual purchase, but when purchased collectively, it includes a carbon fiber front bumper (featuring a distinctive single asymmetrical air intake), a rear diffuser, and even a carbon fiber trunk lid with an integrated ducktail spoiler in CSL style. The latter provides the most significant weight reduction. Regrettably, it does not come with the iconic cardboard-like trunk floor of the original CSL, but one could possibly craft a homemade version using old Amazon boxes.

Vorsteiner has now unveiled a new kit – the V20. This kit amplifies the CSL essence of the original aero kit. The carbon fiber front bumper now features two symmetrical air intakes, the rear diffuser exudes a more aggressive stance, updated fender vents are included, and the V20 also introduces a carbon fiber hood, further reducing the curb weight. Additionally, the V20 kit comes with a carbon fiber front splitter, which Vorsteiner claims can also be paired with the V-CSL front bumper. While the V20 kit may deviate slightly from the classic appearance of the V-CSL, it commands more attention on the road and boasts an impressive aesthetic.

Internally, Vorsteiner offers a complete carbon fiber CSL-style center console for both the V-CSL and V20 kits, reminiscent of the simplicity of the original CSL’s design. Having had the opportunity to drive numerous CS and CSL BMW models previously, I can confidently state that the marginal weight savings achieved through such a minimalistic center console do not justify sacrificing the comfort of an armrest.

Despite the heftier price tag, the carbon fiber center console alone costs $995, making it the most affordable piece. The complete V20 package is priced at $11,795, equivalent to the value of two typical E46 3 Series vehicles in the pre-owned market. Nevertheless, for aficionados and proud owners of the E46 M3, this set transforms your vehicle into a more radical variant of the renowned elusive fruit you’ve always yearned to savor.

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