Now that we’ve all seen the BMW M3 CS, the latest in a line of special edition M3s. While pricing hasn’t been released yet, it’s likely that there are already potential buyers inquiring about all 1,200 units to be sold. However, if you’re one of those potential buyers, should you instead put your money elsewhere, perhaps on the E46 BMW M3 CSL?

Widely considered to be the finest driving machine BMW ever produced, the E46 BMW M3 CSL is an icon among BMW enthusiasts. Not only was it based off of the best M3 of all time, the E46 M3, but it’s a hardcore, stripped out, lightened, carbon fibered and more powerful version of the best M3. It’s a sensational car that is still raved about over a decade since its debut.

The new BMW M3 CS seems like it will be an excellent car. It’s based off of the F80-gen M3 but it’s a bit lighter, a touch more powerful and much better looking. It’s also sharper and more dynamic. And considering that the M4 CS is better to drive than the standard M4, the M3 CS should be much of the same. However, is it worth the money?

Even though BMW hasn’t released pricing on the 1,200 units, expect it to be similar to the M4 CS, which was around $125,000. That’s quite a lot of money for a car that’s just a bit better than a $70,000 M4. So if the BMW M3 CS is priced in that range, its value starts to come into question. Especially when that’s about the same price as a really nice example of the E46 M3 CSL, which is, again, quite possibly the finest driving BMW of all time.

This specific example of the E46 M3 CSL currently only has 21,000 miles on it and is selling for $105,000. So it’s actually a bit cheaper than what the BMW M3 CS will likely be. It also looks better, being one of the most iconic looks BMWs in history, drives far better, will appreciate in value as it gets older and is an absolute legend.

The BMW M3 CS seems like a really cool car and we’re sure it’s going to drive really well. But if it were my money (I wish) and I had to choose between an M3 CS or an E46 M3 CSL, the only real question would be which color I wanted my CSL to be.