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  #1  
Old 12-22-2002, 03:37 PM
CaliChris CaliChris is offline
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Comparison of my 350Z and M3

So I recently purchased a fully loaded Touring 350Z and also have a M3 SMG Cabrio...Not perfect for a direct comparison (a M3 COUPE would've been better) however, this is what I think..









Lookswise: The M3 has a much more classic look, the 350Z is sportier and very modern. My preference goes to the Z...

Speed: Hehe, the 350Z feels faster, however the M3 has a much faster revving engine and the SMG is just wonderful to drive. Engine sound wise, the 350Z takes the cake. I removed the resonator on the car and it sounds pretty damn close to a Ferrari exhaust (and no droning either).. . In this case I think a Coupe would fare much better, would be a bit quicker than my Z...

Driving: The M3 feels much more toned down and less visceral, turn in response is a bit better than the Z, but steering feel is lacking and the chassis is not as rigid (IT IS a convertible). I drove my friend's coupe M3 and I have to say the Z gives a sportier driving experience, less body roll, and more tossable. The M3 HOWEVER gives you the luxurious aspect. The Z is quite barren on the inside compared to the Z.

Interior: The M3 definately wins, I love the accents, the little LED's that light up at night and the expanses of leather. The Z is also nice, it has real aluminum trim, but it feels slightly plasticky. However, in no way cheap as some reviewers have said. The M3 does feel more solid though when opening and closing doors and the general feeling of the buttons, etc.. The M3 wins here.

Ride: The M3 wins out here. The 350Z has a slightly rougher ride and its shorter wheelbase means some porpoising on the freeway, it is right on the edge of being uncomfortable. The M3 is stiff, but in no way uncomfortable.
(The ride HAS changed somewhat since adding bigger and wider rims, after putting on my 19" Volk TE-37's and some Toyo T1-S rubber the Z has actually rode SMOOTHER...very interesting).

How fast are they? Recently there was a Best Motoring Video in Japan where an M3, 350Z, S2000, and Boxster S were put up side by side on a track. What happened? The 350Z came in first, the M3 second, the S2000 3rd, and the Boxster 4th. Apparently the M3 couldn't keep up in the straightaways, and in the corners the several hundred extra lbs meant it couldn't keep w/ the much lighter Z.

My conclusion? The M3 is a much more luxurious car, it's definately sporty, but more of a compromise. If you want a pure sports car that's more visceral, has more grip, more steering feel, and more tossable, i'd go with the Z. If you want something that's luxurious but can still hang with the best i'd go w/ the M3. Pricewise they're also very different. I am lucky enough to drive both, and I appreciate both of them in different ways.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2002, 03:45 PM
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nate nate is offline
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RE: Best Motoring video

I don't really know how trust worthy they are. They really have some ****ed up results that seem to be discredited on the .org M3 board.

I remember them having an EVO7 beating both an M3 and an F360. In the same comparo, they have an M3 manual beating F360 F1. I dunno, messed up to me.

Most reviews and hard test data supports the M3 being faster than the 350Z. Yes, it is heavier, but not by a huge amount. The M3 coupe also has a much more usable back seat and trunk.
  #3  
Old 12-22-2002, 09:50 PM
CaliChris CaliChris is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by nate328Ci
RE: Best Motoring video

I don't really know how trust worthy they are. They really have some ****ed up results that seem to be discredited on the .org M3 board.

I remember them having an EVO7 beating both an M3 and an F360. In the same comparo, they have an M3 manual beating F360 F1. I dunno, messed up to me.

Most reviews and hard test data supports the M3 being faster than the 350Z. Yes, it is heavier, but not by a huge amount. The M3 coupe also has a much more usable back seat and trunk.
True.. it is subjective. But in the video the M3 couldn't keep up in the corners and in the straightaways when both cars were flooring it the 350Z kept on pulling away. The weight difference is about 300 lbs I believe... The M3 is MUCH heavier. I could definately see an EVO 7 beating an M3 or a F360, my friend has one in Hong Kong and those things grip like nothing else... Toss it and accelerate, no thinking involved. They're like lightweight S4's with more power.
  #4  
Old 12-22-2002, 10:40 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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If that was the video with the six speeds and the sequentials, one thing I noticed was that driver skills varied dramatically. Some of the drivers just plain sucked. It was also CLEAR that all the bad drivers got the semi-auto cars, hence skewing the results towards the guys with the real trannies.

If it's coming from that group, the results are pretty meaningless. It would be like putting me in an M3 and Hunter or Clyde in a 330. I'd bet they'd come in first, because they are BETTER DRIVERS than I.

Edit: That said, nice comparo.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2002, 12:46 AM
CaliChris CaliChris is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nick325xiT 5spd
If that was the video with the six speeds and the sequentials, one thing I noticed was that driver skills varied dramatically. Some of the drivers just plain sucked. It was also CLEAR that all the bad drivers got the semi-auto cars, hence skewing the results towards the guys with the real trannies.

If it's coming from that group, the results are pretty meaningless. It would be like putting me in an M3 and Hunter or Clyde in a 330. I'd bet they'd come in first, because they are BETTER DRIVERS than I.

Edit: That said, nice comparo.
Actually they were all manual (stickshift) and they were all great drivers. They had videos of the driver's feet. All of them executed perfect heel/toe and power-shifting (shifting without removing the foot from the gas pedal). They're all professional race car drivers btw.
But I think we're ignoring the fact that during the video both the M3 and the 350Z drivers hammer the throttle at high RPM's and the 350Z keeps on pulling away every time. Lets' also not forget the M3 has almost no upgrade potential whereas the Z has many parts.. Intake and exhaust on it has been proven to add 12RWHP.. Meanwhile Nismo is going to put out a package w/ the intake/ecu/exhaust to pump the car up to 320-330HP and there are multiple FI options available and many more on the way. It's definately the best bang for the buck in terms of performance.. It's like the WRX in that respect except it actually looks good.
  #6  
Old 12-23-2002, 06:30 AM
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nate nate is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaliChris
True.. it is subjective. But in the video the M3 couldn't keep up in the corners and in the straightaways when both cars were flooring it the 350Z kept on pulling away. The weight difference is about 300 lbs I believe... The M3 is MUCH heavier. I could definately see an EVO 7 beating an M3 or a F360, my friend has one in Hong Kong and those things grip like nothing else... Toss it and accelerate, no thinking involved. They're like lightweight S4's with more power.
per edmunds, the M3 coupe is about 190lbs heavier than the 350Z Track edition

loot at lbs per HP:

M3: 10.26
350Z Track: 11.24

Then take a look at the gear ratios:

M3:
I/II/III/IV/V/VI/R
4.23/2.53/1.67/1.23/1.00/0.83/3.75
Final drive ratio (:1) 3.64

350Z:
1st: 3.794
2nd: 2.324
3rd: 1.624
4th: 1.271
5th: 1.000
6th: 0.794
Final Drive Ratio: 3.538

The only gear that the 350Z has on the M3 is the very slightly stronger 4th. Also, the M3 redlines at 8K, not a lower 6600.

Sorry, it just makes NO SENSE why a 350Z would be faster than an M3 in the straigtaways. The only way that I could see that happening is if the M3 got caught out of its power band at high speed, the S54 is a bit peaky...

BTW, The 350Z is as dissapointing from a weight standpoint as the M3 is. Its 3225 is heavier than my 328Ci, but lacks 5 seats and a large trunk

Last edited by nate328Ci; 12-23-2002 at 06:36 AM.
  #7  
Old 12-23-2002, 06:34 AM
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nate nate is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaliChris
Intake and exhaust on it has been proven to add 12RWHP..
I'm sure that it will be obscenely expensive, but how's +28hp with intake/exhaust & throttle body

  #8  
Old 12-23-2002, 09:51 AM
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HW HW is offline
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what is the hp of the 350z according to advertized specs? you know that the japanese cars are limited to an advertized 280hp right. so there could really be more hp from the engines than advertized. or more hps can be had by some minor tweaking.
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2002, 10:08 AM
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Spectre Spectre is offline
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Let's see.

The Lexus LS 430 is advertised at 290 HP. The Acura NSX is also rated at 290 HP.

Surely they must be allowed to advertise at least 290 HP.
  #10  
Old 12-23-2002, 10:39 AM
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nate nate is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spectre
Let's see.

The Lexus LS 430 is advertised at 290 HP. The Acura NSX is also rated at 290 HP.

Surely they must be allowed to advertise at least 290 HP.
Infiniti Q45 advertised at 340hp...

The 350Z is 287...
  #11  
Old 12-23-2002, 10:48 AM
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HW HW is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spectre
Let's see.

The Lexus LS 430 is advertised at 290 HP. The Acura NSX is also rated at 290 HP.

Surely they must be allowed to advertise at least 290 HP.
i think it's actually 280PS. not sure what it converts to in HP. perhaps the 280PS max is only done for the JDM..
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2002, 11:55 AM
Akakubi Akakubi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaliChris
True.. it is subjective. But in the video the M3 couldn't keep up in the corners and in the straightaways when both cars were flooring it the 350Z kept on pulling away. The weight difference is about 300 lbs I believe... The M3 is MUCH heavier. I could definately see an EVO 7 beating an M3 or a F360, my friend has one in Hong Kong and those things grip like nothing else... Toss it and accelerate, no thinking involved. They're like lightweight S4's with more power.
The track was wet and the tester really complained about the poor grip of the Michelins. The brakes were much better in the M3, though it was quite a bit heavier than the Z, so the Z could outbrake the M3.

On the straights the M3 was faster. Look at the track times and you'll see that M3 had a faster lap. The driver was a "Drift King" so putting the M sideways was fun for him. All drivers are from the JCGT series, so they are all great.

As for the fastest car out there, GT-R just blew everyone away by 6 seconds in just 3 laps! With only 280bhp (350 in real life) ... Did you notice the launch? AWD and power make up for a great start.
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2002, 04:01 PM
jk330i jk330i is offline
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All I have to say here to the Z owner is that those VOLK's are
 

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