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      04-15-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
dan99
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E46 M3 CSL vs M235i Coupe Track Test Review (Autoexpress)

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      04-15-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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Wanna bet the m235i with the 8 speed was faster and that's why they tested the 6 speed?

Great find on the video btw!
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      04-15-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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I owned 3 E46's, The last one my 2004 cost $57K without Nav and my M235 cost $48K 10 years later. That alone says a lot. I'm actually getting the M235 because I miss driving the E46 and used ones all have 100,000 miles on them or have been beat to hell.
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      04-15-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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AutoExpress video comparison: M3 csl vs M235i

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      04-15-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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ah, someone beat me to it. delete thread please!
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      04-15-2014, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uponone76 View Post
Wanna bet the m235i with the 8 speed was faster and that's why they tested the 6 speed?

Great find on the video btw!
Not so sure. It seems that the European press demo cars were 6-speed and the US ones were 8-speed autos.

Imagine what a m235i on some nice coilover's, stronger bushings and some real light wheels could do.
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      04-15-2014, 01:07 PM   #7
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The 2 series just needs an LSD and that would make the difference.
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      04-15-2014, 01:26 PM   #8
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M235i available with dual clutch huh? Come on, I hate it when journalists get it wrong. It's your damn job, do it correctly. Really frustrating.
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      04-15-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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Pretty interesting that they have the same lap times - the M235 is heavier, with slimmer tires, and less horsepower. More torque with the N55 though...

Fun video for sure...man that CSL sounds and looks awesome.
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      04-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmboone25 View Post
Pretty interesting that they have the same lap times - the M235 is heavier, with slimmer tires, and less horsepower. More torque with the N55 though...
My money is on tires. Despite the fact that the CSL uses Pilot Sport Cups, tire technology has come a long way in the last decade- something close to a 30 second lap time reduction on the 'Ring due to tires alone if reports are to be believed. Depending on the age/ spec of the PSCs used, expect up to a .05 G advantage to PSS, enough to wipe out the power, weight and and handling advantage the driver noted in his review. It'd be very interesting to see them on equal rubber...
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      04-15-2014, 03:29 PM   #11
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Very Impressive giving that the E46 csl was/is the best bmw ever made
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      04-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #12
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Very impressive for the little M235i. Thx for sharing
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      04-15-2014, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_vB View Post
My money is on tires. Despite the fact that the CSL uses Pilot Sport Cups, tire technology has come a long way in the last decade- something close to a 30 second lap time reduction on the 'Ring due to tires alone if reports are to be believed. Depending on the age/ spec of the PSCs used, expect up to a .05 G advantage to PSS, enough to wipe out the power, weight and and handling advantage the driver noted in his review. It'd be very interesting to see them on equal rubber...
That's a great point - the reviewer also talked about not pushing the brakes too hard as well because their age and whatnot.

The CSL is such a great car - it's cool the M235 was even in the same ballpark in my mind.
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      04-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #14
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      04-15-2014, 07:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky13 View Post
I owned 3 E46's, The last one my 2004 cost $57K without Nav and my M235 cost $48K 10 years later. That alone says a lot. I'm actually getting the M235 because I miss driving the E46 and used ones all have 100,000 miles on them or have been beat to hell.
If you look hard enough you can find plenty of examples under 100,000 mi. Just be ready to spend around 25k+
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      04-15-2014, 07:12 PM   #16
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I don't know, for me this video only exposes some of the M235i weaknesses. It puts a lot of distance between M235i and true M cars, highlights how not-special-at-all the n55 is (unfortunately) and further elevates the legendary status of the e46 M3. The n55 as beautiful as it sounds and performs, is no match for BMW inline 6's of yesteryear.


I could listen to that e46 M3 sound track all day long.


And I do agree, an 8 speed auto would probably best the M3 CSL time. But the e46 would probably leave you with better memories and more endorphins.
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      04-15-2014, 07:46 PM   #17
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ok, so...a 3100lbs. 360hp, NA, track tuned suspension car, with "almost" slick grippy tires not to mention a real M diff vs a 3500lbs. car with street tires, soft suspension, 320hp, and an open diff....older or not, that M235i is impressive, considering how comfortable, it is to match that M3's time. But, ultimately I'm sure a proper driver would wrangle a much improved and much better time over the M235i in the CSL.
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      04-15-2014, 07:51 PM   #18
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Guys the E46 M3 CSL set a 7:50 ring time by Sport Auto . The M235 can't touch it on track if driven well / on non dry rotted tires . I strongly suspect the CSL tires were wayyy too old , and the driver was overly cautious bc of the rarity of the vehicle . Let's get real here the M235 is a good car but it's no CSL .
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      04-15-2014, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinweiss 335i View Post
I don't know, for me this video only exposes some of the M235i weaknesses. It puts a lot of distance between M235i and true M cars, highlights how not-special-at-all the n55 is (unfortunately) and further elevates the legendary status of the e46 M3. The n55 as beautiful as it sounds and performs, is no match for BMW inline 6's of yesteryear.
Huh?

How does it expose the weaknesses? If anything, doesn't it show its strengths?

The CSL is a hardcore track car. Tuned suspension, motor, carbon roof, LSD, and barely street legal tires (BMW warns you not to drive the car in the rain or cold weather). Yet it posts the same time as a car that's "not a real M car", lacks the fancy "s" motor, no LSD, and is more of an all around performer instead of focused track car.

I get it, the CSL is an amazing car, but come on........
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      04-15-2014, 08:16 PM   #20
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Interesting/entertaining, but it's like comparing apples and oranges for me. You've got one car specifically tuned for the track, yet on the other hand you've got a daily street car.

I'm sure with some weight reduction, suspension, tires, and an LSD, you could get some pretty impressive results out of the 235.
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      04-15-2014, 08:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Uponone76 View Post
Huh?

How does it expose the weaknesses? If anything, doesn't it show its strengths?

The CSL is a hardcore track car. Tuned suspension, motor, carbon roof, LSD, and barely street legal tires (BMW warns you not to drive the car in the rain or cold weather). Yet it posts the same time as a car that's "not a real M car", lacks the fancy "s" motor, no LSD, and is more of an all around performer instead of focused track car.

I get it, the CSL is an amazing car, but come on........
X2. I am a huge CSL fan but I think it shows that if you had an lsd some track tuned suspension the m235i would be a fantastic track car. Or you could buy the BMW factory m235i race car.
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      04-15-2014, 08:20 PM   #22
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This shows the strength of the M235 not weakness. Put it up against a stock E46 not CSL where the weight is almost equal instead of a 400 lb deficit put it at 100 lbs. Quit making the BS tire argument if your not willing to acknowledge its not a regular E46 that costs a hell of a lot more than the M235. Didn't notice if the CSL had 18" or 19" wheels. Every fricken thread is if it had this or if I did this or if the driver did this just accept the fact that it is a very good car. Had 3 E46's and yes they were great but your talking about a car that was close to $60 grand 8 years ago against a $44-50K today that isn't claiming to be an M. For the $5-10K additional cost for the CSL over a stock E46 think of the mods you could do on the M235 and then tell me who gets smoked.
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