Located near Chemnitz, in what used to be East Germany, the Sachsenring race track is best known as the home of the German motorcycle Grand Prix since 1998. It’s also used by the German magazine Autobild to test cars, often in multi-vehicle shootouts.

One recent BMW M-Series-only Autobild test, uncovered by Bimmerpost, ran the M3 CRT against the new M5, the 1-Series M coupe, the M3 coupe, and the M3 sedan. Also included for good measure were an M3 convertible, an X6 M, an X5 M, and a previous generation M5.

The results were certainly conclusive, with the M3 CRT lapping in 1:38.87, faster than even the new M5 (which took 1:38.90). Following were the 1-Series M coupe (1:40.18), the M3 coupe (1:40.52), the M3 sedan (1:40.60) and the M3 convertible (1:42.63).

Batting clean-up were the X6 M (1:43.67), the X5 M (1:43.72) and the previous generation M5 (1:43.77). While the M3 CRT was fastest, it’s worth noting that the out-of-production M3 GTS, on semi-slick tires, holds the BMW Sachsenring record, with a lap time of 1:37.30.

What’s the take-away from all this data? First and foremost, the M3 CRT is as fast as you can go in a BMW on a tight racetrack, at least at the moment. Using the same qualifier (a tight circuit), the 1-Series M is even quicker than the current M3 coupe or sedan.

The new M5’s performance is impressive, too. Despite its additional bulk, the uber-sedan managed to crank out a lap nearly two seconds faster than the M3 sedan, and very nearly matched the M3 CRT’s lap time.


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