BMW’s M division has produced some of the finest sports cars the world has ever known, and for Autocar’s latest test, its editors decided to find out which is the best among them.
For the test, the publication put the E30 M3, E46-generation M3 CSL and new M2 Competition alongside each other.
There’s no doubt that these are three of the very best ever developed by the M Division, if we were organizing the test, we would have tried to also get an E92 M3 GTS and a 1M Coupe. Anyhow, if you can’t get ’em all, then you’ll have to make do with what you have.
The first car tested is E30 M3. It may not be the first M-branded road car built, but it is perhaps the most famous, even though just 16,202 examples were built. Powering comes from the company’s S14 naturally aspirated four-cylinder, with displacement ranging from 2.0-liters to 2.5-liters depending on the year (and market).
The journos then jumped into the E46 M3 CSL, whose production was capped at a mere 1,383 units. It is 243 lbs (110 kg) lighter than the standard model and the desirable S54 straight-six engine was modified to deliver more power and provide an even more intoxicating note.
Last, but in no way least, is the M2 Competition – and its inclusion might come as a surprise to some simply because it is so new. Powering the car is the same S55 twin-turbo inline-six as the previous-generation M3 and M4, which pumps out 405 HP and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque between 2350 rpm and 5230 rpm.
All of them are true masterpieces and any petrolhead would love to have them in their garage. Which one gets the nod, though?