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E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)
4th generation E90 M3 sedan, E92 M3 coupe and E93 M3 convertible. The last of the naturally aspirated M3s, powered by a 4.0 liter V8 making 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:55 AM
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335iS or M3?

I hate the fact that it's so hard to make this decision. I hope BMW adds something to the M3 coupe to make my decision easier in about 10 months. If not, I don't see myself getting an M3, because the 335iS seems to be an M3, without the gas guzzler tax and a V8. Please convince me to get an ///M3. We all know that the numbers on the 335iS are all underrated.

350hp and 369 ft lbs of torque is what BMW states. Put that on a Dyno and you're pretty close to 400+. Someone please help me justify the ///M3 over the 335iS. I feel stupid even thinking about it. It even has a 7 speed Duel Clutch Transmission, and ducting like the ///M3 for engine coolong! PLEASE, I'm begging! Convince me to get the ///M3.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2010, 03:56 AM
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Go drive them. The M's V8 is an awesome unit.
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2010, 06:19 AM
KingJaffeJoffer KingJaffeJoffer is offline
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Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
It's basically an M3 without the V8 and Gas guzzler tax.
Because the first time you see an M while driving your 335IS, this is what you will think. And you will not like the 335IS as much afterwards, while still pining for the M. Newer and more advanced FI engines will continue to arrive, but V8s may be going the way of the do-do. Get the E9X while you can. The body style will not even be dated for another 3-4 years.
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2010, 09:24 AM
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I can tell you ten different reasons why I would get the M3 over the new and improved 335is, but everyone is different, and you may be better suited for the 335.
Also, I highly doubt that the LCI version of the E92 M3 will offer any performance bump over current specs.

Here's why I'd take the M3 6 days a week and twice on Sundays:

1. V8 at 8,300 rpm. If you haven't felt this rush in the M3, you have no basis for making the comparison. It is an exhilerating feeling that the 335 will never be able to replicate, regardless of the 335is's increase in power.

2. M3 suspension. It's my understanding that the 335is is not getting a significant suspension upgrade. The M3's suspension and EDC is one of the things that helps the fat pig of an E92 defy physics and handle like it does. Without this, the 335 is just a wallowing fat pig. At the same time, the M3 also feels much more solid and much less "crashy" over bad roads.

3. M differential. Without a true LSD, traction is seriously compromised. What good is all that power if it can't be properly put down to the pavement? Not long ago, I went on a drive in the Texas hill country which a bunch of M3, 335, and 135 owners. It was great fun and I was impressed with all of the cars there. The one disadvantage of the non-M cars that stood out to me was the problems they had accelerating hard into turns. This is a disadvantage even in daily driving, when opening up the throttle in turns.

4. Exterior appearance. The 335, even with the M-sport fascia, is such a flat and generic looking car, especially from the side. Don't get me wrong, the 335 is a good looking car, it's just not special. The M3 looks infinitely better and more aggressive from every angle.

5. Exhaust note. I'm pretty sure this doesn't need any explanation. Interestingly, my E46 ZHP had a better exhaust note than the E92.

6. M-Drive, MDM, etc. The amount of adjusting and fine tuning that the M3 driver can do to adjust throttle response, suspension settings, steering effort, and traction control to fit his personality and the current driving conditions is amazing. The fact that one can transform this car from a docile and comfortable daily driver to an absolute track beast instantly with the touch of a button is incredible.

7. M reputation/cache. No, women don't immediately recognize the M3 for what it is and fall over themselves trying to talk to you, but the M3 (no matter what generation) is respected in the enthusiast community as a driver's car and gets special attention. The 335 does not and never will have the same pull.

8. Much more track ready. This factor is sort of captured in the above reasons, but worth a separate post. If you want to track your BMW, the M3 (aside from a recommended, but not necessary, brake fluid and pad change) can be driven straight onto the track and driven hard. Obviously, the 335 can also be tracked, but its weaknesses are quickly exposed and its not nearly as rewarding of an experience.

9. Only V8 3 series ever. The E9X M3 almost certainly will be the only factory V8 3 series ever produced. Will that make this car a collectible? Not any time soon, but it does make it a very unique and desirable model.

10. Leather. The M3's leather is vastly superior to the leather in the 335 and much softer and more comfortable to the touch.

11. No HPFP. 'Nuff said.

Really, there are only two downsides to the M3 compared to the 335is: initial cost (which I suspect will be less than $10k more when similarly optioned) and fuel efficiency, which will likely only be a few mpg different (I get almost 17 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway), and only a few hundred extra dollars per year.
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:41 PM
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^ That's the type of post that makes me want an ///M. Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2010, 07:20 PM
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I think you need to sh*t or get off the pot with this...or at least come to the pot when you think you are ready to sh*t.

Bottom line: M3 drivers never question their car, 335 driver's do...why's that then?
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:30 AM
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I think you need to sh*t or get off the pot with this...or at least come to the pot when you think you are ready to sh*t.

Bottom line: M3 drivers never question their car, 335 driver's do...why's that then?
So True.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:12 AM
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1. Where do you get those 350hp from? I read they are only bumping it up to 322.
2. How much is a well-optioned 335is going to cost? If they push it into the 50K range, you might as well consider a base M3, not sure what the ED option is but probably under 60K anyway.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post

Here's why I'd take the M3 6 days a week and twice on Sundays:

1. V8 at 8,300 rpm.
2. M3 suspension. ...EDC is one of the things that helps the fat pig of an E92 defy physics and handle like it does...
3. M differential. ...true LSD...
4. Exterior appearance...
5. Exhaust note.
6. M-Drive, MDM, etc.
7. M reputation/cache.
8. Much more track ready.
9. Only V8 3 series ever.
10. Leather.
11. No HPFP. 'Nuff said.
1. Oh, my, YES. A friend has one and the motor...just. keeps. going.
2. The single best thing about the car, hands down. It handles better, off the showroom floor, better than any car BMW has ever made. Even the stock E30M3. It's not snappier than the E30, for sure, just more solid. And it's a bazillion times more competent than the E46 was.
3. Yes
4. Yes. It just looks better.
5. That's something that can easily be changed, and, frankly they kind of sound like azz at idle. WOT? Very sexy.
6. Yes. You can actually dial the car in to your preferences and quirkiness. Just awesome.
7. Sure, why not
8. See #2 & #6.
9. Correct. But that's not *that* important an item. The motor is Godly, yes, but that's a bit of a grasp when saying "it's better than a 335"
10. So nice and supple.
11.

I want the wagon version, which they'll never make, so I'll have to win the lottery and scrap one together out of an E91 chassis and an E90 drive train and front body work.

THAT would be a sweet little sleeper.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ffej View Post
1. Oh, my, YES. A friend has one and the motor...just. keeps. going.
2. The single best thing about the car, hands down. It handles better, off the showroom floor, better than any car BMW has ever made. Even the stock E30M3. It's not snappier than the E30, for sure, just more solid. And it's a bazillion times more competent than the E46 was.
3. Yes
4. Yes. It just looks better.
5. That's something that can easily be changed, and, frankly they kind of sound like azz at idle. WOT? Very sexy.
6. Yes. You can actually dial the car in to your preferences and quirkiness. Just awesome.
7. Sure, why not
8. See #2 & #6.
9. Correct. But that's not *that* important an item. The motor is Godly, yes, but that's a bit of a grasp when saying "it's better than a 335"
10. So nice and supple.
11.

I want the wagon version, which they'll never make, so I'll have to win the lottery and scrap one together out of an E91 chassis and an E90 drive train and front body work.

THAT would be a sweet little sleeper.
Yes! I've been ostracized for voicing the same opinion. I would have taken an E91 M3 no question if it had been available and debadged it before it ever left the lot.

I may have gotten a little carried away on #9.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:09 PM
HueyG HueyG is offline
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Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post
I can tell you ten different reasons why I would get the M3 over the new and improved 335is, but everyone is different, and you may be better suited for the 335.
TLudwig- Wow, great... NOW I HAVE to get an M3. Thanks!

Seriously, great post for a person like me who is new to the whole "M-Thing."
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2010, 04:39 PM
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Grentz Grentz is offline
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Drive them both. You have to drive them to understand the differences IMO.

Ms are just different, closer to a real track car and a much sportier drive. My E46 M3 still feels way better (even if it is not necessarily that much quicker) than a new 335i and just makes you know it is a M every time you start it. It is not the V8, but the I6 still screams (I can always tell when a e9x or E46 M3 goes by, they have a unique sound)

I also like the idea that the e9x M3 seems like it could be more of a daily driver, the E46 M3 never seemed like a DD to me (it is harsh at times).
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:56 PM
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^ That's the type of post that makes me want an ///M. Thanks!
Me too!
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 05:34 PM
smokinjoe64 smokinjoe64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post
I can tell you ten different reasons why I would get the M3 over the new and improved 335is, but everyone is different, and you may be better suited for the 335.
Also, I highly doubt that the LCI version of the E92 M3 will offer any performance bump over current specs.

Here's why I'd take the M3 6 days a week and twice on Sundays:

1. V8 at 8,300 rpm. If you haven't felt this rush in the M3, you have no basis for making the comparison. It is an exhilerating feeling that the 335 will never be able to replicate, regardless of the 335is's increase in power.

2. M3 suspension. It's my understanding that the 335is is not getting a significant suspension upgrade. The M3's suspension and EDC is one of the things that helps the fat pig of an E92 defy physics and handle like it does. Without this, the 335 is just a wallowing fat pig. At the same time, the M3 also feels much more solid and much less "crashy" over bad roads.

3. M differential. Without a true LSD, traction is seriously compromised. What good is all that power if it can't be properly put down to the pavement? Not long ago, I went on a drive in the Texas hill country which a bunch of M3, 335, and 135 owners. It was great fun and I was impressed with all of the cars there. The one disadvantage of the non-M cars that stood out to me was the problems they had accelerating hard into turns. This is a disadvantage even in daily driving, when opening up the throttle in turns.

4. Exterior appearance. The 335, even with the M-sport fascia, is such a flat and generic looking car, especially from the side. Don't get me wrong, the 335 is a good looking car, it's just not special. The M3 looks infinitely better and more aggressive from every angle.

5. Exhaust note. I'm pretty sure this doesn't need any explanation. Interestingly, my E46 ZHP had a better exhaust note than the E92.

6. M-Drive, MDM, etc. The amount of adjusting and fine tuning that the M3 driver can do to adjust throttle response, suspension settings, steering effort, and traction control to fit his personality and the current driving conditions is amazing. The fact that one can transform this car from a docile and comfortable daily driver to an absolute track beast instantly with the touch of a button is incredible.

7. M reputation/cache. No, women don't immediately recognize the M3 for what it is and fall over themselves trying to talk to you, but the M3 (no matter what generation) is respected in the enthusiast community as a driver's car and gets special attention. The 335 does not and never will have the same pull.

8. Much more track ready. This factor is sort of captured in the above reasons, but worth a separate post. If you want to track your BMW, the M3 (aside from a recommended, but not necessary, brake fluid and pad change) can be driven straight onto the track and driven hard. Obviously, the 335 can also be tracked, but its weaknesses are quickly exposed and its not nearly as rewarding of an experience.

9. Only V8 3 series ever. The E9X M3 almost certainly will be the only factory V8 3 series ever produced. Will that make this car a collectible? Not any time soon, but it does make it a very unique and desirable model.

10. Leather. The M3's leather is vastly superior to the leather in the 335 and much softer and more comfortable to the touch.

11. No HPFP. 'Nuff said.

Really, there are only two downsides to the M3 compared to the 335is: initial cost (which I suspect will be less than $10k more when similarly optioned) and fuel efficiency, which will likely only be a few mpg different (I get almost 17 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway), and only a few hundred extra dollars per year.
I cannot agree more with TLud
...if you can swing the initial cost you WILL NOT go wrong, even if you spend the ~$10K incremental difference for mods to 'compensate', you'll never have the unique equipment or performance only the M3 offers...et all. That alone is justification enough, but wait there's more!!!!
There's nothing at all wrong with a 335; however, just because you even ask says there is recognition that the 335 is not an M car. BTW, it's track capabilities are only frosting on the cake, the M3 allows for a Jeklye & Heckle personality/performance change at the simple press of the M button while maintaining the daily driver ability not present in any other model available today bar none IMHO.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:47 PM
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TGray5 TGray5 is offline
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Great post. Do you mind elaborating a little bit on question #2. Not having test driven an M3 I'm not sure how well the suspension adjustments work, but I do love the idea of being able to adjust it for a comfortable ride in pothole ridden areas and then race track firm for some fun smooth twisties....does it really have a smoother ride than a stock 335?Do you have 18s or 19s on yours?

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post
I can tell you ten different reasons why I would get the M3 over the new and improved 335is, but everyone is different, and you may be better suited for the 335.
Also, I highly doubt that the LCI version of the E92 M3 will offer any performance bump over current specs.

Here's why I'd take the M3 6 days a week and twice on Sundays:

1. V8 at 8,300 rpm. If you haven't felt this rush in the M3, you have no basis for making the comparison. It is an exhilerating feeling that the 335 will never be able to replicate, regardless of the 335is's increase in power.

2. M3 suspension. It's my understanding that the 335is is not getting a significant suspension upgrade. The M3's suspension and EDC is one of the things that helps the fat pig of an E92 defy physics and handle like it does. Without this, the 335 is just a wallowing fat pig. At the same time, the M3 also feels much more solid and much less "crashy" over bad roads.

3. M differential. Without a true LSD, traction is seriously compromised. What good is all that power if it can't be properly put down to the pavement? Not long ago, I went on a drive in the Texas hill country which a bunch of M3, 335, and 135 owners. It was great fun and I was impressed with all of the cars there. The one disadvantage of the non-M cars that stood out to me was the problems they had accelerating hard into turns. This is a disadvantage even in daily driving, when opening up the throttle in turns.

4. Exterior appearance. The 335, even with the M-sport fascia, is such a flat and generic looking car, especially from the side. Don't get me wrong, the 335 is a good looking car, it's just not special. The M3 looks infinitely better and more aggressive from every angle.

5. Exhaust note. I'm pretty sure this doesn't need any explanation. Interestingly, my E46 ZHP had a better exhaust note than the E92.

6. M-Drive, MDM, etc. The amount of adjusting and fine tuning that the M3 driver can do to adjust throttle response, suspension settings, steering effort, and traction control to fit his personality and the current driving conditions is amazing. The fact that one can transform this car from a docile and comfortable daily driver to an absolute track beast instantly with the touch of a button is incredible.

7. M reputation/cache. No, women don't immediately recognize the M3 for what it is and fall over themselves trying to talk to you, but the M3 (no matter what generation) is respected in the enthusiast community as a driver's car and gets special attention. The 335 does not and never will have the same pull.

8. Much more track ready. This factor is sort of captured in the above reasons, but worth a separate post. If you want to track your BMW, the M3 (aside from a recommended, but not necessary, brake fluid and pad change) can be driven straight onto the track and driven hard. Obviously, the 335 can also be tracked, but its weaknesses are quickly exposed and its not nearly as rewarding of an experience.

9. Only V8 3 series ever. The E9X M3 almost certainly will be the only factory V8 3 series ever produced. Will that make this car a collectible? Not any time soon, but it does make it a very unique and desirable model.

10. Leather. The M3's leather is vastly superior to the leather in the 335 and much softer and more comfortable to the touch.

11. No HPFP. 'Nuff said.

Really, there are only two downsides to the M3 compared to the 335is: initial cost (which I suspect will be less than $10k more when similarly optioned) and fuel efficiency, which will likely only be a few mpg different (I get almost 17 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway), and only a few hundred extra dollars per year.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:05 PM
zibawala zibawala is offline
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:17 PM
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TLudwig TLudwig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGray5 View Post
Great post. Do you mind elaborating a little bit on question #2. Not having test driven an M3 I'm not sure how well the suspension adjustments work, but I do love the idea of being able to adjust it for a comfortable ride in pothole ridden areas and then race track firm for some fun smooth twisties....does it really have a smoother ride than a stock 335?Do you have 18s or 19s on yours?

Thanks!
There are three different suspension settings with the EDC: comfort, normal and sport. I would say that even comfort is a little bit firmer than the 335's suspension, but overall the M3's suspension is much more "solid" and composed over uneven pavement, and the couple of 335 owners who have test driven my car preferred the feel of the M3 to the 335. The EDC makes a big difference and allows you to have a very tight, minimal body-roll seting like the E46 M3 when you want it, and a much softer daily driver setting for other times.

I have the 19" wheels and I'm very happy with the ride in comfort mode. Those who have tried both have confirmed that, as you would expect, the 18" wheels are even more comfortable over bad surfaces.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:33 PM
zibawala zibawala is offline
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Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post
There are three different suspension settings with the EDC: comfort, normal and sport. I would say that even comfort is a little bit firmer than the 335's suspension, but overall the M3's suspension is much more "solid" and composed over uneven pavement, and the couple of 335 owners who have test driven my car preferred the feel of the M3 to the 335. The EDC makes a big difference and allows you to have a very tight, minimal body-roll seting like the E46 M3 when you want it, and a much softer daily driver setting for other times.

I have the 19" wheels and I'm very happy with the ride in comfort mode. Those who have tried both have confirmed that, as you would expect, the 18" wheels are even more comfortable over bad surfaces.
steering response is quite diff between the two too

z4 35s, current one was a perfect middle ground for me but alas! 2 seats only.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:22 PM
Shiftinggeerz Shiftinggeerz is offline
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I had the same dilemma. My lease on my 07 335I Coupe is coming to an end. I was questioning the 335 vs the M3. I loved my 335, however I wanted something different. I wanted something with power, panash, and something that was different. The M3 spoke to me when i test drove it. It just felt so different than a 335 to me in so many ways. Yes, you are going to pay a bit more, however for the extra money, I think it is well worth it. I made my decision a few days ago and special ordered my M3 coupe due in April. I know I made the right choice and if you look at all these posts, I think it will make your decsion much easier. Good luck!!
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  #20  
Old 01-16-2010, 08:02 PM
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I must baby my M3 during break in but a firend just explained the awesome power of M3 in "launce mode" and it sounds like a rush unavailable with the 335 you are compating the M3 to. As others have said, you must drive and feel the difference.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:01 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLudwig View Post

4. Exterior appearance. The 335, even with the M-sport fascia, is such a flat and generic looking car, especially from the side. Don't get me wrong, the 335 is a good looking car, it's just not special. The M3 looks infinitely better and more aggressive from every angle.

.
I won't comment on the other 9 but this one alway gets me. To 99.9% of the population the 328, the 335i and the M3 are indistinguishable from each other.

This sort of reminds me of Clark Kent wearing a suit and glasses and no one can figure out that he's Superman.

Don't get me wrong I have a lot of respect for the M3 and I think it is a great car but for all practical purposes it looks like a 3 Series. Sticking on a different front and rear bumper and some side skirts does not significantly change the appearance of the car.

As for drivability I don't think that the 335IS is going to be an "M3 without the V8" and may be close enough to the price of an M3 to make getting the M3 a no brainer. The M3 may cost more initially but it will probably hold its value better than a 335IS. M3s have traditionally had high resale value.

I proabably should not even be stating my opinion here since it is extremely unlikely that I will get another BMW.
I have issues with the 335 but have generally enjoyed it but I am going to go more upscale with my next car.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-16-2010 at 09:24 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2010, 09:03 PM
Shiftinggeerz Shiftinggeerz is offline
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I cant wait. When I test drove the M3, it was in a totally different realm than my current 335. I cannot wait till April, when my M3 will be delivered. I just love this site for all the info I have access to. Thanks for the imput.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:12 PM
veightkiller veightkiller is offline
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handsdwon on the M3 man, like the other guy said test drive one and you'll feel the difference between 2 cars.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:53 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by xrated335 View Post
I think you need to sh*t or get off the pot with this...or at least come to the pot when you think you are ready to sh*t.

Bottom line: M3 drivers never question their car, 335 driver's do...why's that then?
I am a 335 driver and I never question my car. I am perfectly satisfied with it and have no particular interest in an M3. I understand that the M3 will outperform the 335 and frankly I could not care less. I would not trade my 335i convertible for an M3 sedan if it was an even trade. If I could trade it even for an M3 convertible I would think about it but the 335i will probably be my first and last BMW. It was fun while it lasted but it is time to "move on up to the East Side". Actually I am already on the East Side so it is time to move on up to an Aston Martin or Maserati.

Is the M3 a better track car than the 335? No question, it is a much better track car. Is the M3 what I would (and will) buy as a dedicated track car? Not a chance.
Do I understand why people buy M3s? Absolutely, it is a great car, but for what I use my car for (which lately has been Costco runs) it is way overkill. Will a Maserati or an Aston be overkill as well? No question about it, but nobody is going to mistake one for a 328.

M3, great car, but not for everyone.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-16-2010 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:46 AM
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TLudwig TLudwig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I won't comment on the other 9 but this one alway gets me. To 99.9% of the population the 328, the 335i and the M3 are indistinguishable from each other.

This sort of reminds me of Clark Kent wearing a suit and glasses and no one can figure out that he's Superman.

Don't get me wrong I have a lot of respect for the M3 and I think it is a great car but for all practical purposes it looks like a 3 Series. Sticking on a different front and rear bumper and some side skirts does not significantly change the appearance of the car.

As for drivability I don't think that the 335IS is going to be an "M3 without the V8" and may be close enough to the price of an M3 to make getting the M3 a no brainer. The M3 may cost more initially but it will probably hold its value better than a 335IS. M3s have traditionally had high resale value.

I proabably should not even be stating my opinion here since it is extremely unlikely that I will get another BMW.
I have issues with the 335 but have generally enjoyed it but I am going to go more upscale with my next car.

CA
CA, given your background and experience, I very much respect your opinions, and I'm glad you shared it here. I too suspect that this will be my last BMW, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about 'em.

You make a good point, and I hinted at it above. To most people, it's just another 3 series and there's nothing exotic looking about it. Still, my response would be that to those of us enthusiasts here on the forums and in real life (and most importantly, to me), the difference in appearance between the M3 and the 335 is fairly dramatic. And others (like my wife, for example) may not really differentiate much between the various iterations of the 3 series, but when she does point out what she thinks is a good looking 3er, almost every time it's an M3. She probably couldn't tell you what the specific cosmetic differences are, she just knows it looks more aggressive and purposeful.

I was actually expecting you to mention that if you really want to get into tracking, the M3 really isn't the best choice either (and you'd be right), but for a more casual track enthusiast with limited garage space like me, it makes a great choice.
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