BMW M3 GTS faster than M3 CSL at Nurburgring

BMW M3 | August 21st, 2010 by 15

The highly awaited Nurburgring track time of the BMW M3 GTS is just in: 7:48. German magazine Sport Auto publishes an extensive test drive of …

The highly awaited Nurburgring track time of the BMW M3 GTS is just in: 7:48. German magazine Sport Auto publishes an extensive test drive of the M3 GTS in their latest print edition.

In comparison, the enthusiasts’ favorite M3 CSL was timed at 7:50. On the other hand, the M3 GTS is 17 seconds faster than the M3 Coupe.

In a conversation with a BMW driver from the ALMS program, the Nurburgring times came up and the factors that influence these comparisons.

BMW M3 GTS Wallpaper 151 655x436

One of them, clearly, the driver behind the wheel, his experience with the car and the track. Second, the preparation of the car for the race track, including the extremely important tires they run on. For example, the CSL was sold with distinct 19 inch lightweight forged BBS alloy rims that came with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup semi-slick racing tires.

Last but not least, weather conditions and other external factors that could influence the final outcome.

Let’s also have a look at other cars’ lap times.

Other comparison times:
7:46 – Porsche 911 GT2
7:46 – Lamborgini Gallardo Superleggera
7:46 – Jaguar XJ220
7:47 – Porsche 911 GT3 RS
7:47 – Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
7:49 – Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06

15 responses to “BMW M3 GTS faster than M3 CSL at Nurburgring”

  1. the 911’s lap time are for the pre-restyling model, the actual 911 GT3 RS is noticeably faster than M3 GTS (7:34 lap time).

  2. wazon8 says:

    I was expecting better result.

  3. 1Mc says:

    I agree with the sentiment that we should use the current 911 GT3 RS time as it looks like we’re trying to skew the data in the GTS’s favour.

    Okay, so it’s a good time for a car of it’s weight. We still don’t know what the price is in (in the UK anyway) so it’s hard for us to compare it to these other sports cars. Some estimates are now saying £120,000, others pip it just over the 100k mark.

    As for the CSL/GTS comparison. Well it’s the better driver, on the better day sort of rivalry when the times are that close. Only the CSL is 25k and the GTS might be 120k now. I’d like to hear the justification for this car from someone at M, I’d have liked to have seen a 7.40 time personally on the Ring.

    • wazon8 says:

      How expensive was CLS when it was new? I really don’t like this way of putting things. You can always argue in favour of used car because of price difference. But from economical point of view GTS is better investment than CSL. I bet that it’s current value on the secondary market is higher than BMW price for it. Since there are only 25 units, it’s collector’s car also. We shouldn’t forget about this fact, when we talk about prices.

      At Hockenheim Short GTS is 1 sec. over CSL, that shows real difference between these cars. Do you still cosider GTS as pointless?

      As for 7:48, I bet that BMW’s test drivers achieved 7:40 at Ring. Remember that von Saurma made only 3 laps in the car, whereas test drivers made numbers of them and had more opportunities to find themself in optimal whether conditions. Setting aside fact that von Saurma is not the fastest driver.

      • 1Mc says:

        Well that’s true, but have a look at the new price of the CSL – £58,455. Only 5 or 6 years ago, so not exactly like we were in a different era of inflation or anything. The GTS is looking to be twice the cost of the CSL. I guess the justification for it now must be that the GTS is a limited edition, and the CSL was produced at attainable number (1400).

        If the GTS can do the 7.40, I hope someone’s going to come out with it. That would be really great for the brand.

  4. Auday says:

    the numbers are very close although the GTS has a better power/weight ratio, which means the CSL is a more balanced car around the corners.

  5. wazon8 says:

    Remember that the car was driven by Horst von Saurma and he is known to be slower than some other race drivers who perhaps will drive GTS also. One can also find amateur video from driving CSL through the Ring with result 7:52, despite the traffic and limits of speed due to roadworks. Otherwise car seemed to be able to achieve 7:48 – 7:49.

    Hockenheim Short lap time of GTS is 1:12,5 which places it 1,5 sec. over M3 e92 DCT, almost 2 sec. over M3 e92 (manual transmission), 1 sec. over M3 e46 CSL, 1,8 sec. behind Nissan GT-R and 3 sec. behind new GT3 RS. Hockenheim Short seem to show real difference between CSL and GTS. Pretty good result for GTS, if you aked me.

    Of course, GT3 RS Nurburgring lap time is right now 7:33 (after facelift the car was improved heavily).

  6. Laszlo says:

    arghhh, lame. very lame. I was defending the GTS full force but I guess those who ditched it people were right. 2s faster on a Nurburgring means its actually about the same. Although the head-to-head comparo would be accurate, same date, same driver, etc. I guess the porky E92 even with the HP advantage can not pull away from a E46 CSL. BMW get your act together and make the GTS lighter. More carbon fiber pieces would have made it lighter but more expensive.

    Now I agree that a CSl is a better choice for enthusiast. I still think the GTS is not expensive at 125 large, but not the best choice either.

  7. viper says:

    what a disappointment .
    bmw is not that fast after all..on the track..
    bmw is 2nd league in everything.

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