Can boost overcome the atmospheric 911's better traction?
In February of last year, the Porsche 911 GT3 was presented as Stuttgart's finest sports car to date, but as a GT product, it comes with a big rear wing that can be a little intimidating for some buyers. For those who want a little more subtlety, the GT3 Touring deletes the rear wing, but it no longer comes with rear seats.
If you don't care about a lack of rear seats, another German sports coupe was revealed this year: the BMW M4 CSL. Both cars are in high demand, both vehicles come with six-cylinder engines, and both cars cost six figures. But which is faster in a straight line, the more powerful CSL or, the lighter GT3?
Strictly speaking, these two cars aren't direct rivals, but they're a lot more similar than you may think.
That said, there are some glaringly apparent differences. The M4 CSL is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six engine producing 543 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, this makes the sports coupe capable of 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, with the CSL's top speed arriving at 191 mph.
In the Porsche, a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six generates 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. With a manual transmission, 0-60 is dispatched in 3.7 seconds, and the top speed arrives at 199 mph. However, we suspect this race features the PDK-equipped model, which gets to 60 in just 3.2 seconds and tops out at 197 mph.
The GT3 gets away from the line far easier - that's the benefit of most of the weight sitting over the driven axle. The naturally aspirated engine also has less weight to lug around, with the manual version tipping the scales at 3,126 pounds and a PDK weighing 3,164.
Meanwhile, the CSL weighs a portly 3,640 lbs. But once it gets going, that extra power shows itself. We think that BMW may have lied about how much power the CSL really makes, so it's all the more remarkable that the GT3 could keep up.
The CSL starts at just under $140,000, while the GT3 has a base MSRP of $161,100, but as impressive as the Bimmer is in this race, it would be hard to convince any driving enthusiast that the Porsche is not a better buy.