Illustration for article titled Watch The Legendary BMW M3 CSL Battle The 2015 M235i

Top Gun. Top dog. The best of the best. That's how I would describe the M3 CSL version of the E46 BMW M3. This Euro-only special edition dropped the weight and added the paddle-shift SMG transmission to make a great car even better.

The M3 CSL may be a decade old now, but it was so good I'd be wary of pitting any modern BMW up against it. But that's exactly what Auto Express does in this track test, where they attempt to see if the new 2015 BMW M235i can topple a legend.


The M235i may not be a "real" M-car because it wasn't done up by the folks at the M division, but it still packs a twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight six with 322 horsepower and a traditional manual. But it's also heavier than the CSL and down on power; that car put out 360 horsepower.

As Auto Express notes, they're similar in price these days. Which is really better to drive and to take to the track? The results of this test will surprise you.

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