27 January 2004

BMW has ended production of the M3 CSL. Just 422 cars were built in right-hand-drive form, between June and December last year; a handful remain unsold.

The lightweight £58,455 derivative of the M3 offers 360bhp – up from 343 – thanks to re-profiled camshafts, modified exhaust valves and larger air intakes. Munich’s hottest M3 made the rostrum in our Performance Car of the Year test last September, behind only Ferrari’s 360 CS and Porsche’s 911 GT3. Fans may mourn its passing, but owners should be comforted by the improved residual values that very limited supply ensures.

Meanwhile, BMW has confirmed prices for the models to strengthen its 3- and 5-series line-up in March. The 330 Cd coupé will start at £29,400, rising to £31,325 for the Sport trim-equipped model. The new smaller capacity 5-series common-rail turbodiesel, the 525d, will start at £28,050.

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