Anyway, the Sport Auto people managed to make the M3 GTS lap the 'Ring with a time of 7minutes 48seconds. This 'unofficial' time is only 2seconds slower than a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and a second slower than the mighty Ferrari 599GTB. It is however faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S with full ceramic brakes, dual clutch gearbox, sport chrono plus kit and sticky Michelin Cup tires. Pretty impressive until you notice that the 2003-04 E46 M3 CSL (pictured below)lapped the same circuit in about 7minutes 50 seconds.
They also tested the M3 GTS at Hockenheim, which is a a normal few kilometers long circuit unlike the epic 20 over kilometers long Nurburgring. Here, they found out that the M3 GTS does a lap time of 1minute 12.5seconds, which is only a second faster than the M3 CSL.
What we now can tell is that for $170,000, you get a car that is only a second or two faster than a car that is $70,000 cheaper. It also tells us that after 5 years of tuning and so called progress, the latest and most ultimate M3 is only 2 seconds faster than the older car.
444bhp over 360bhp and about 1,660kg over 1,385kg. When you get down to the details, the power to weight ratio of the GTS is 267bhp/ton compared to 264bhp per ton. So the extra power has been negated by the weight in the GTS. The one or two seconds gained must have been from handling improvements instead of actual power gain over the older car.
Whatever it is, the $70,000 extra that someone had to fork out over the older car isn't that justified. So much for actual progress, it seems the older car could still be the best M3 ever made. So if anyone is interested in getting the ultimate M3, the E46 M3 CSL could still be the one to get.
Source and main pic:bimmerpost/m3postvia jalopnik