The M4 CSL is the fastest BMW around the Nurburgring, proving it’s the fastest and most capable road-going BMW of all time. However, it comes at a difficult time for hardcore, track-oriented BMWs because its competition is better than ever before. The M4 CSL finds itself competing against cars like the Corvette Z06 and Porsche 911 GT3 RS. In this new video from Hagerty, we get to see just how well, or not so well, the M4 CSL stacks up against such fierce competitors.
In the video, Randy Pobst hot laps each car around Willow Springs in the same conditions, on the same day, to see which is fastest. They also had telemetry equipment on board, to see how fast each car went through each corner, their braking forces, and lateral g forces. So it was easy to see which car was more capable through each corner.
Each car is drastically different, in terms of layout, engine type, layout, and price. However, each car is the most capable track product each brand has to offer.
The BMW M4 is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive sedan-based coupe with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo I6 making 543 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque and an eight-speed torque-converter automatic. From America, the Corvette Z06 is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive supercar with a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 with 670 horsepower and 640 lb-ft and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Lastly, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car with a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six with 518 horsepower and 342 lb-ft and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Two of the three cars are relatively lightweight, as the M4 CSL tips the scales at 3,580 lbs and the Z06 checks in at 3,670 lbs. However, the 911 GT3 RS is actually lightweight, weighing just 3,211 lbs. The Porsche’s low curb is also met with the most extreme aero of the two cars, as it not only has a massive fixed rear wing, it also features an active DRS-like flap. The Z06 has a small wing and some impressive front aero but can’t match the Porsche’s. While the M4 CSL has a barely-there integrated ducktail spoiler and a little front lip. So, in terms of aero, the Bimmer is at a massive disadvantage.
The M4 CSL also had a massive tire disadvantage. While the Porsche and Z06 wore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires (which are barely street-legal track tires) for this race, the M4 CSL had Pilot Sport 4S tires, which are normal high-performance street tires. BMW does offer Cup 2 Rs on the M4 CSL but couldn’t provide them for the test (that happens sometimes, as manufacturers can’t always fulfill every journalist request, for a variety of different reasons).
So how did the three cars stack up at Willow Springs, with Pobst behind the wheel? I don’t think I’m spoiling it by saying the 911 GT3 RS won the test, as that’s pretty obvious. But how it won, and how well each car performed, is genuinely surprising, so it’s well worth a watch. Check it out.