The mere suggestion of the E46 M3 CSL could be inferior to another BMW that would be punishable by death in the BMW community. However, despite the potential threats to my life, that’s exactly what I would do. Now I’m not honestly saying that the E92 M3 GTS is better than the E46 M3 CSL, but I’m not saying that Not both better. The M3 GTS actually has a few components that beat the M3 CSL and are better in ways that might actually make it a better car to drive.
First, let’s start with the engine. The legendary M3 CSL has a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter six-cylinder, with 360 horsepower. It’s a great engine, producing over 100 horsepower per liter, spinning cleanly, and making a great metallic noise. However, the E92 M3 GTS’ engine is a compact version of the standard M3 V8, so instead of displacing 4.0 liters, it displaces 4.4 liters. However, it still sucks naturally and generates a very healthy 444 horsepower. However, despite having two more cylinders and more than a liter of extra displacement, the GTS actually spins higher than the CSL, to 8300 rpm in the stratosphere. And as good as the M3 CSL sounds, the GTS sounds even better, thanks to its fast-paced V8 nature, high revs and Inconel/titanium exhaust. Therefore, the E92 M3 GTS is not only more powerful but also more exciting to use. Point: M3 GTS.
Both cars were only sold as automatic when they were new, although there have been some manual shift modifications made to M3 CSLs over the years. However, the E92’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic was and still is much better than the M3 CSL’s six-speed SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) in every way. It’s much faster to shift, it’s smooth around town, works well in automatic mode, and most importantly, it’s fun to use. The M3 CSL’s SMG is all the rage, which is why many owners will pay big bucks to replace an SMG with a proper manual. Point: M3 GTS.
The E46 M3 CSL has a beautiful interior. It’s essentially the same as the standard E46’s interior, only with some carbon fiber trim, a carbon roof, and a sophisticated E46-series styling. While the E92 M3 has proper six-point Recaro racing seats, a roll cage, and probably the best watch faces of any car I’ve seen in ages. Point: M3 GTS.
One of the areas where the older E46 M3 CSL starts to resist is in the appearance department. Personally, I think the E92 M3 GTS looks better but I’m lonely. Most enthusiasts prefer the look of the E46 M3 CSL and I get it – its sleek, sophisticated design is timeless – so it wins here. M3 CSL point.
The M3 CSL’s engine is said to have better steering, too. I’ve never driven either of these cars, so I can’t say for sure but some people who’ve driven both a CSL and a GTS say the former is better. And it’s likely, considering the E46 3 Series has a slightly better steering feel than the alternative, the E90. Point: M3 CSL.
If you add it all up, it’s the E92 M3 GTS that comes out on top, not the revered iconic legend that is the E46 M3 CSL. Does this mean the M3 GTS is the best car? not necessarily. Great cars are always so much more than the sum of their parts. However, when it comes to certain aspects of the driving excitement – a naturally aspirated high-speed engine, a fire-fast transmission, and a killer exhaust tone – the M3 GTS is best equipped to excite its driver. The M3 CSL’s engine may still drive better for many, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting the latest GTS.
#E92 #BMW #GTS #E46 #CSL