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      12-20-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
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Lightbulb BMW M3 GTS vs 3.0 CSL, According to Chris Harris

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BMW M3 GTS vs 3.0 CSL, According to Chris Harris
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Chris Harris of EVO pits two lightweight motorsports-geared BMW coupes against one another - the M3 GTS and 3.0 CSL

For those not familiar with the 3.0 CSL, it was created in 1972 when BMW needed a machine to make it competitive with Ford in the European Touring Car Championship. As the article points out, "L" stands for for leichtbau, or lightweight. The 3.0 CSL kicked off a line of impressive hardcore road legal BMWs geared for the track. The latest in the lineage is the E92 M3 GTS.

For the full review and photos, head on over to EVO UK, but here are some salient points from Harris regarding the two cars.

3.0 CSL
Quote:
... when you approach the CSL, you giggle at the body alterations, clink the little metal door-handle open and fill your lungs with the unmistakeable pong of vinyl-impregnated air. If your objective intentions aren’t already shot to bits, then they soon will be: that shoulder-cut bucket provides the perfect, suggestively laid-back ’70s posture, the leather-trimmed wheel is thin and delicate, and there’s no slack at the straight ahead. The motor takes a few seconds to fire, but does so cleanly, settles to that trademark Bosch-mechanical-injection-idle and, if you weren’t already snared, you now will be.

The throttle weight is just perfect; prod lightly and the VDO rev-counter leaps. The straight-six makes a gruff rumble, but at low revs is partially obscured by the noise of the cooling fan. The steering is comically heavy at low speed but all it takes is 15mph showing on the speedo for the wheel to free up and provide the driver with an experience unavailable in any modern car. The rack is slow, but that doesn’t matter in the context of the CSL: it is quite perfectly matched to every other control. And to think that non-Batmobile CSLs are still well under 50K – what a bargain.

I’m surprised how pokey it feels today. The immediacy of the throttle adds to the impression of speed, but it has heaps of torque (215lb ft) and four gear ratios that might have been designed for cross-county adventures in 2011. Within a few miles, I’m smitten. Like anything old and unassisted, the car is only as good as your inputs, and you quickly focus your attentions on the areas where you can make the most difference – matching revs on each downshift and, moving up through the gearbox, hanging just a few extra mm of throttle to make the clutch re-engage smoothly. The shift exposes all that is wrong about modern, short-throw manual changes: there’s no obstruction, just a lever that requires shoulder movement and whose lengthy action reminds us that the longer the shift, the longer you have to enjoy the sensation.

The car wants to rev too: it pulls strongly from 2500rpm, builds as generous helpings of induction noise blend into the cabin through 3000rpm, then assumes a more aggressive tone all the way to 6000rpm – and it’s worth using all of it because the reward is a car that to me feels faster than the claimed figures. It isn’t 2.7 RS quick, but so what? Of far greater significance is how different it feels to a Porsche. There’s less mechanical grip – the 195-section rubber squirms about and you apply small amounts of corrective lock at quite high speeds – and all the while you’re ensconced in the wee bucket, afforded unrivalled visibility past the skinny
A-, B- and C-pillars and using those wing-mounted strips to guide you.
M3 GTS:

Quote:
Cars are getting louder. We all think wistfully of straight-sixes snarling around European race venues, but when the GTS fires on the moor, walkers assume the arrival of another low-passing Tornado. BMW has remained tight-lipped about the reasons for making so few GTSs (150 in total), but you’d have to assume that certain aspects of the package were only suitable for low-volume type approval, and the most obvious is the noise. From header to tailpipe, the exhaust is undiluted Akrapovic loveliness, and there is not the vaguest hint that it complies with any drive-by regulations. I am entirely cynical about the price of the GTS, but with all throttles open, from 3000rpm to 8000rpm, it might just be worth the money.

The exclusivity can’t be ignored either. Just as I find it difficult to move beyond the trinket-like appeal of the CSL’s chrome details, so the knowledge that you will probably never see a GTS on the road in the UK does somehow add to its cachet. It’s an emotional response that quickly subsides once you’re driving, though – in fact it dissolves and hardens your resolve in the opposite direction. It’s a crime that more of these cars weren’t built and the unit cost didn’t tumble as a result. The 997 GT3’s legacy would not have been so glowing with such competition around.

Does it feel aloof and computerised after the CSL? I think that’s too banal an explanation for the differences between the two – perhaps the key word is ‘consistent’. The GTS offers its driver a level of consistency through its controls that was unimaginable 40 years ago: regardless of load, angle or speed, the steering is heavy but precise, the throttle heavily sprung but instantaneous in its response. The sharp, near-perfect shifts from the DCT transmission only add to the feeling of imperious consistency, and as a driver it’s impossible not to be impressed.

In the CSL you moderate your inputs according to the conditions, largely because you can’t be entirely sure what mood the car will be in – under load into a turn it might be a little reluctant to shift from third to second; the inside-front brake might grab slightly and the throttle could require some added shove. So you improvise – you glean what you can from the information available through your hands, bottom and feet and you adjust your inputs accordingly, because the controls never remain consistent. That’s the joy of classics.

The GTS really is the anti-GT-R, though. As honestly rear-driven as any car on the planet and easily as strong as its 444bhp would suggest, I challenge anyone not to drive it with some level of oversteer. Owners will need to be followed around by a large Pirelli truck.

It is a very different machine to the base M3, or even the Competition Pack version. The geometry changes have wrought much more steering weight and feel, there’s less understeer and less ride comfort. The dampers and ride-height are adjustable too, so nothing is definitive. As presented, it lacks the suppleness of a GT3 RS, but is similar to the Porsche in that its overall road manners are so palatable that each glance in the rear-view mirror comes as a slight shock: it reminds you of the deleted rear seats and bolt-in roll-cage.
Quote:
For the few owners... they will have in their possession a car that looks and sounds unlike a normal M3, plus all the future benefits of low volumes. Everyone knows that scarcity is the secret to long-term financial appreciation. The GTS doesn’t have the narrative to support its existence, though – whereas the CSL will always be the car that laid the foundations for BMW M, the machine that beat Ford and which begot perhaps the most bizarre set of spoilers ever plastered onto a production car.
Full review @ http://www.evo.co.uk/features/featur..._v_30_csl.html


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      12-20-2011, 02:53 PM   #2
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Thumbs up M3 GTS Vs. 3.0 CSL

Check out this comparison by evo.

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http://www.evo.co.uk/features/featur..._v_30_csl.html
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      12-20-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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nice find, I would also like to see the comparison with the E46 CSL
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      12-20-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.
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      12-20-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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both cars are
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      12-20-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.

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      12-20-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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That csl looks so badass.
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      12-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.
I wish everyone has this idea because buying a classical car is difficult in these days. Please ignore historical mumbo jumbo, I will take care of it.
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      12-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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old but still shines..
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      12-20-2011, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
[bpnews=BMW M3 GTS vs 3.0 CSL, According to Chris Harris]
Attachment 621664Chris Harris of EVO pits two lightweight motorsports-geared BMW coupes against one another - the M3 GTS and 3.0 CSL
Thanks for posting this Jason, it give me ideas to modify our e28 1987 535is some more

Right now it is all original stock ... if I can convince my daughter to sell her back to me then I'll mod the hell out of this babe and take her to the track

Here is our almost 25 year old babe (was my first new BMW back then)

This way to the ===> GARAGE I just replaced the 2 front fenders this past summer. Inside work will follow next year.

Always nice to have something new and something old in ones garage
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      12-20-2011, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.
I'm not even sure what to say to this.... 3XTR3M3 seems to have said it best

Id take either car in a heartbeat

I think its a cool comparison that you don't see very often, it shows how far they've come, yet how the heritage of the cars and their purpose remains the same.
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      12-20-2011, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.
Erm, a track tuned civic could rub out a stock 3 series. Does that make the 3 series less of a car?

I'm not sure why you're on an enthusiast forum when appreciation for BMW heritage pretty much defines a true enthusiast.
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      12-20-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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This is a great article. The styling of the CSL was way ahead of it's time. I would take either one, but would love to have a classic BMW in the garage.
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      12-20-2011, 09:44 PM   #14
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The csl styling is bold, and forever a classic
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      12-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ateam View Post
what is the point of this? The cars are SO different generation that it really provides no meaningful comparo. The e46 csl and the gts would be much more exciting and comparable. The car is 40 years old. A base honda civic would likely beat it around a track these days.
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      12-20-2011, 10:40 PM   #16
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Love both cars and whoever can land either one in their garage is awesome for it.
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      12-20-2011, 10:43 PM   #17
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I wonder what BMW would make if people didn't demand gadgetry in new cars.
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      12-20-2011, 11:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
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      12-20-2011, 11:09 PM   #19
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I enjoyed the read.
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      12-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #20
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How is this not awesome and totally related to the current car?
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Thickness feels good to me and my hands aren't that big.
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      12-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #21
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Another great analysis of two amazing cars. Going to miss Chris Harris writing for EVO.
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      12-21-2011, 12:43 AM   #22
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Great article.

One day hopefully I can get my hands on an E9... what a car!
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