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      08-04-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
Brigadier General

Drives: BMW
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Germany

iTrader: (0)


Whether they were able to afford it or not, many wanted to see a CSL version of the M3 E92, just as there was a CSL verson of the M3 E46. Why? Because the M3 CSL E46 was, and probably still is, one of the best BMW's ever built, but as there is always somthing new, they wanted a new M3 CSL E92. It seemed not to come, but then a surprise: M3 GTS E92.
(Nearly) all BMW enthusiast, andI was one of them, where very happy to see an M3 GTS after the mastodons, X5 M and X6 M. The M3 GTS, was "back to its roots". The specs were amazing: 1490 kg, 185 less than M3 DCT, H/R NA 4.4l V8 with 450 PS and 440 Nm, roll-cage,....
"We wanted M3 CSL, BMW gave us better: M3 GTS".
The M3 GTS was (seemed) even more hard-core than the most hard-core BMW, M3 CSL.

But now, after some analyses (no test-drive) the M3 GTS is still quite disappointing, and does not have the M3 CSL spirit.
M3 E92 (DCT)
1600 kg (DIN)
1675 kg (EU)
M3 E46
1495 kg (DIN)
1570 kg (EU)
1490 kg (DW)
1530 kg (DIN)
1605 kg (EU)
1385 kg (DIN)
1460 kg (EU)
1350 kg (DIN)
1425 kg (EU)

The M3 GTS lost 75 kg over the M3 E92 (DCT), whereas the M3 CLS lost 110 kg over the M3 E46. The real hard-core M3 GTR, having the same philosophy as the M3 GTS, track car made street legal, lost 145 kg compared to the M3 E46. Eventhough the M3 GTS looks like having lost very much weight, as being a stripped down M3, having no rear seats for example, it is still not so stipped as the M3 CSL. Where did the M3 GTS lose weight? Mainly by removing back seat, putting leight weight Recaro seats in front and the titanium exhaust. All the rest of the small "grams come from the lack of comfort features, electric seats for example, and the lighter inner door panels, without pockets.

M3 E46
3.246 ccm I6
343 PS @ 7.900 rpm (105,67 PS/l)
365 Nm @ 4.900 rpm (112, 45 Nm/l)
Redline @ 8.000 rpm
M3 E92
3.999 ccm V8
420 PS @ 8.300 rpm (105,03 PS/l)
400 Nm @ 3.900 rpm (100,03 Nm/l)
Redline @ 8.400 rpm
3.246 ccm I6
360 PS @ 7.900 rpm (110,91 PS/l)
370 Nm @ 4.900 rpm (113,99 Nm/l)
Redline @ 8.000 rpm
4.361 ccm V8
450 PS @ 8.300 rpm (103,19 PS/l)
440 Nm @ 3.750 rpm (100,89 Nm/l)
Redline @ 8.400 rpm

The V8 is better than the I6, it has more power, more torque, and yet is lighter. But the work done to the S54 is still more impressive than the work done to the S65. The S54 of the M3 CSL gains only 17 PS, with carbon airbox, the M3 GTS has huge gains thank to capacity increase, but the PS/l ratio stays the same. Also it does not have the famous BMW Motorsport carbon airbox with that special sound. The S65 has much more potential, and can get up to 500 PS, even from the 4.0l S65 engine.

M3 E46
0-100 km/h: 5,2 sec
0-1000 m: 24,2 sec
Vmax: 250 km/h
N-Ring: 8:13 min
M3 E92
0-100 km/h: 4,6 sec
0-1000 m: 23,3 sec
Vmax: 280 km/h
N-Ring: 8:00 min
0-100 km/h: 4,9 sec
0-1000 m: 23,5 sec
Vmax: 280 km/h
N-Ring: 7:50 min
0-100 km/h: 4,4 sec
0-1000 m: 22,5 sec
Vmax: 305 km/h
N-Ring: 7:40 min

In performance, the M3 GTS is without argue the fastest. But there is still more difference between the M3 E46 and M3 CSL than M3 E92 and M3 GTS, even if it is not so important.

M3 E46
~60.000 €
M3 E92
~70.000 €
~85.000 €
~140.000 € (150 units)

The price is the worst thing about the M3 GTS. For the price of one M3 GTS, you can get two M3 E92. Why the M3 GTS is so expensive, is because it is very exclusive, only 150 units, compared to the 1500 units of the M3 CSL. The M3 CSL costs "only" 25.000 € more than an M3 E46, but not the double. Such a car will never be able to rival a 911 GT3 or GT3 RS. The ones looking for a street legal track car, do not surch for exclusivity. If the M3 GTS was not limited, and sold for 95.000 € it would really scare the 911 GT3 sales.
The parts of the modiffied M3 GTS are "better" than the ones of the M3 CSL, coilovers, fixed caliper brakes, titanium lightweight exhaust and so, but they all these parts are nothing else than the best aftermaket performance parts: KW V3 CS, Brembo, Recaro, Schroth, with exception of the exhaust system, but there is Akrapovic, which is better than Boysen, the exhaust that has the M3 GTS. The only parts that are not available is the moddified engine, and the M style interior finish. Twice the price of an M3 E92 is expensive for M certifiaction (OEM-isation) of aftermarket parts.

I do not doubt a second that the M3 GTS is an amazing car, and so the fastest BMW ever built. Compared to the M3 CSL, the M3 GTS is still quite heavy, and I think the M1 E82, will be closer to the M3 CSL, in terms of handling and feel, than is the M3 GTS.
IMO, the M3 GTS is not the true successor of the M3 CSL, and we'll have to wait for something else, also something more affordable and less exclusive: This could be the M1 or maybe the M1 CSL, which may revive the "CSL" badge.
I have the feeling, BMW built the M3 GTS, not because they just wanted to have such a car in there line up, but more for image, and to "close the mouth", of those saying M has gone away from its roots, wiht the coming of AWD, AUT, FI and SUV M's.

Conclusion: However good the M3 GTS is, I do not think it will take away the M3 CSL's title, though it maybe could if it was priced lower. For example the Lexus LF-A could be a very serious 911 Turbo, R8 V10, Gallardo, 458 Italia and MP4-12C rival, if it was priced lower. As for the coming M1 CSL to take away the M3 CSL's title, will also not be an easy job, because of FI, it will never sound and feel like the H/R I6 of the M3 CSL. But it is not bad to hope.

PS: I did not test-drive the M3 GTS, and I do not judge its performance. Sport will test it.

Any thoughts from the new M3 GTS owners are welcome.