BMW M3 E30 vs CSL vs GTS vs CS drag race
Carwow has gathered some of the most iconic BMW M3s for the ultimate showdown. From the original E30 M3 to the very latest CS, place your bets
There have been a lot of very special BMWs that have worn the M3 badge. In fact, very few over the past 30+ years have garnered serious criticism. The sports saloon has evolved over the decades and today has the performance to shame most sports cars despite its practicality. Carwow decided to put four BMW M3 icons against each other in a drag race to see which is the fastest.
On the grid was the classic E30 BMW M3 that started it all, a true homologation special designed to comply with Group A rules. Next to that was a fan favourite in the form of the E46 M3 CSL, a modern classic that is a seriously appreciating asset. A hardcore E92 M3 GTS joined the party with its cabin stripped of luxuries as standard. Completing the quartet was the latest turbocharged F80 M3 CS. Place your bets!
More great BMWs!
- How does it feel to drive the BMW 507?
- BMW 3200 CS Bertone: V8 beauty or a beast?
- Great classic BMWs for sale!
The results are maybe unsurprising with the oldest car finishing last and the newest car revealed to be the fastest, but there were a few interesting moments. Firstly, the E30 M3 had an amazing launch thanks to being the lightest of the bunch and the only car blessed with a manual gearbox. The CSL’s performance was a little disappointing, particularly in the rolling start race, mainly due to its sluggish SMG semi-automatic gearbox. M3 progress over the years was clearly highlighted by the latest M3 CS with 443lb/ft of torque on tap to quickly dispose of its ancestors.
While the BMW M3 CSL might not have stood up to the test of time in regards to a drag race, its impressive 50:50 weight distribution makes it a master through the bends. It weighs 110kg less than the standard car thanks in part to a carbon fibre roof. Today these cars are highly sought after with values going up at quite a rate lately. A well looked after but reasonably used example will set you back over £50,000 ($64,940) today with low mileage cars approaching £70,000 or about $91,000.
Which BMW M3 would you take home?
Classic Cars for Sale
This 1987 BMW M3 was originally delivered in Italy. Over 15 years ago the car was exported to Belgium where it is registered to this day. The car came in to the possession of a chief mechanic at BMW Belgium who kept the car in incredible condition. You could say this M3 is in better shape than when it was newly delivered. The car is in almost concourse condition technically as well as optically. N
The BMW M3 is a legend, no two ways about it. And while there were purists who were upset with BMW for putting a V8 engine in their legendary sports sedan, it turns out that it made for one heck of a car. This 2010 BMW M3 sedan delivers the kind of thrills you used to have to buy a 2-seat supercar to enjoy, while maintaining its daily-driver demeanor. Talk about having your cake and eati
1998 BMW M3 evolution coupe finished in individual Technoviolet- Purple. 54 000 Miles from new with service history and 10 months mot. Very clean example - No rust in the common areas - Arches/sills/boot. Superb bodywork - No major dents with just stone chips at the front. Alloy wheels are in superb condition with matching tyres all round. Excellent engine and gearbox which, is very tight unli
Finished in Individual San Marino metallic with full Individual Opel extended Merino leather interior. OPTIONAL FEATURES FITTED TO THIS CAR. BMW M Performance carbon fibre rear spoiler. BMW M Performance carbon fibre front bumper inserts. BMW M Performance carbon fibre rear diffuser. BMW Icon adaptive LED headlights. Individual paint finish. Individual leather interior. DCT automatic transmission.