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.