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Discussion Starter #1
I'm waiting for this comparo in the next couple of months in the car mags.

While the price differential is obvious, making the Z a bargain, I'd love to see how it does compared to the current benchmark.

Saw a couple in the last week. Still working on g/f to trade in lease next year on Z3 for a 350Z convertible.
 

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RChoudry said:
I'm waiting for this comparo in the next couple of months in the car mags.
Comparo unlikely. They are in different classes, price and performance-wise.
 

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Correct, the 350Z and M3 are in two totally different classes. Not even the G35 coupe is in the same class, although it's somewhat closer. I would say that the E36 M3 comes very close to the 350Z in terms of performance and price, although the Z appears to be a better bargain if you look just at the numbers.

Then again, Car and Driver pitted an S2000 against an SLK, Boxster S, and M Roadster...and beat them all. Of course, the S2K boasts performance equal or superior to the others in that review; it was just incredibly lower-priced (and showed it in the amenities department). The new Z is no match for the M in a straight line and I imagine in other respects, but perhaps we'll see some obtuse comparisons in the coming months.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree, obtuse definitely is the right word. I can see the Z get dubbed the "price fighter", etc... against a Vette, M3, and Boxster.
 

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sounds like a great comparison to me.

the new M3 is less of a pure sports car, so it's perfect to compare it to the G35coupe and/or Z car plus the 996-chassis 911.

would give great feedback for car buyers to see if you're really committed to spending anywhere from $20k to $35k extra for the german variants.
 

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Re: sounds like a great comparison to me.

blackdawg said:
the new M3 is less of a pure sports car, so it's perfect to compare it to the G35coupe and/or Z car plus the 996-chassis 911.

would give great feedback for car buyers to see if you're really committed to spending anywhere from $20k to $35k extra for the german variants.
The new M3 is more of a pure sports car than the E36 M3...In fact, the new M3 is the definition of what advancement in technology can do to a car. In every way it's faster, corners better, and more luxurious than the E36. It should be compared to the current line of 911s (not the TT).

The G35 coupe and the 350Z are to the E46 M3 what the Lexus IS300 is to a 330i...Alternatives for people willing to settle for less performance and save a bundle.

Just like the E46 M3 is a great alternative to a 911.
 

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Re: sounds like a great comparison to me.

blackdawg said:
the new M3 is less of a pure sports car, so it's perfect to compare it to the G35coupe and/or Z car plus the 996-chassis 911.
Since when is the 996 not a sports car?
 
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Re: Re: sounds like a great comparison to me.

The HACK said:


The new M3 is more of a pure sports car than the E36 M3
Even if I didn't have one, I'd argue this point.

Comapred to the E36 M3, the E46 M3 is extremely overweight and far too luxurious. Plus it is way too isolated.

Comparison write-up after comaprison write-up calls the E36 M3 more visceral. Sure, the E46 M3 can outperform it. But lighter, more tossable and more visceral are all things I think of when I consider what it means for a car to be a pure sports car.

That said, neither one is a pure sports car.

But it's laughable to use "E46 M3" and "pure sports car" in the same sentence.
 

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m3 "sports car" maybe but not "pure". pure would be like no luxury features and 2 (or 1) seat, super light. i've always thought of the 3er as a reasonable compromise between sports, convenience and luxury but it is no "pure sports car".
 

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yeah.

i don't think many people would argue the e46m3 is a pure sports car. it's not. it's too heavy. the CSL wouldn't exist if it were good as is.

it's a GT. even people who own both an e46m3 and a 996 will admit that. with that said, it's a great compromise car.

the 996 is a closer to being a sports car, but mostly in its GT3 variant would i argue that ti's a sports car. the standard car is pretty damn good. it's got all of the parameters i can think of, but they make you pay through the nose for the track brakes, the 2910lb. curb weight, the 6 speeds, and the 320-345hp.

the m3 is one of the best GT cars out there, but it's not a sports car. and neither is the new Z car. which, back to the original point, is why it's a valid comparison.

two cars built on mainstream-chassis components with some serious tart.
 

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I was using "pure" on a more subjective, comparative basis. None of the ///M cars can be considera pure sports car after the M1 and the E30 M3...They're all compromises between sports and luxury and streetability. Sorry if that cause some confusion. :dunno:
 

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Re: Re: sounds like a great comparison to me.

The HACK said:


The new M3 is more of a pure sports car than the E36 M3
I don't really see anything wrong with this at face value when you consider that neither of them is close to a pure sports car at all.

The G35 coupe and the 350Z are to the E46 M3 what the Lexus IS300 is to a 330i...Alternatives for people willing to settle for less performance and save a bundle.
I don't see it that way at all. Toyota brought the IS300 here to steal sales from the 3 series. Comparing and contrasting the cars are valid and they share the same target market. The G35 Coupe and 350Z don't share the same target markets with the M3 and don't directly compete with each other. That's a big difference IMO.
 

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The HACK said:
I was using "pure" on a more subjective, comparative basis. None of the ///M cars can be considera pure sports car after the M1 and the E30 M3...They're all compromises between sports and luxury and streetability. Sorry if that cause some confusion. :dunno:
I think that the M Coupe/Roadster come reasonably close...a lot closer, in fact, than the E30 M3 which was more of a streetable race car than a sports car.

But it all comes back to the definition of "sports car" and as came up in a thread recently...if it ain't an old British two seater with side curtains (or maybe not even those) with faulty electronics some will say that car x is not a sports car while someone else will.
 

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The 350Z will be compared to the E46 M3 just as the NSX was compared to the last 300Z Turbo. Most (intelligent) people at that time complained the old "apples to oranges'" argument... but Z enthusiasts kept it all alive. I was selling NSX's at the time, and I would always get the question "Why should I spend $60,000 on the NSX when comparable performance can be had in the Z for $32,000?" Idiots just didn't get it.

The E46 M3 is softer than the E36 M3 (which is softer than the E30 M3).

The current Porsche 996TT is softer than the 993T (which is softer than my turbo 930).

As cars get 'refined', they get softer. Some argue they are 'less of a sports car', others say they are 'better' this way.

In most cases, the performance numbers get better, while the fun quotent drops (IMHO).

I personally would not compare the 350Z to the M3. They are completely different cars. On that same line, I don't like to compare the M3 to the 996.
 

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agree with emission...

....the 993tt is really quite fascinating to me...but it's quite heavy at almost 3500 pounds. grip and brakes and turbos can only overcome so much.

and the 996tt is slightly lighter, but still heavy. does nothing for me.

i'd take the 996 GT3 anyday (when it comes here next year). it's probably 2600-2700 pounds, 380hp and street legal.

i think the M3 is pretty much a giant slayer, but at the cost of the CSL, the one that i would buy, you're in 75k territory, and at that level, it seems less compelling and also down to personal preferences.

the 350Z is a damn fine car and i'll bet in experienced hands it will come close enough in laptimes tot he new M3, but we'll see. it's still heavy and cannot take advantage of gearing liket he M3 can because of its low 6200rpm redline, though.

if they made the 330 slightly faster......(i.e. in about a year), i'd still buy that over a Z car, however.
 

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This is funny.. i always thought that it was the other way around.

I thought that the term "sports car" applied to all cars that were "sporty" (which would include almost any car with two doors-- i.e. Pontiac Grand Am).

Respectfully, a GT is a higher category of "sports car" which intales specific power/handling requirements to qualify.

I guess when you say "pure sports car", I'm assuming you're talking about a Sports GT or "racing car"?

The terminology is a bit confusing here. :dunno:
 

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modern definition of gran turismo...

the modern GT definition appears to be luxury sports car, which places a premium on sybaritic driving and less import on weight and ultimate performance.

the 996, for example, is closer to a GT; the 996 GT3 is a sports car.

the M3 is a true GT at a bargain price, the M3 CSL is a sports car.

that's how i define it. sports cars are non-apologetic about anything and can be instantly tracked for hours without anything apparently failing, fading, warping, overheating, heat-soaking.........etc.

does that mean they're barely streetable and stupidly useless for american roads? of course it does. :D
 

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i saw on tv that the term GT came from grande tourismo (grand tour). back in the horse'n'buggy days, a young man in his early 20's would go on his "grand tour" and travel abroad to become more educated and worldly. back then they would use a horse'n'buggy since cars were not reliable. as cars become more reliable people began considering using cars for their grand tours. the first cars were topless and so people began fitting tops onto the cars so that they could endure the weather while on their grand tour. so to me a gt car would have a top, is reliable to endure long trans-continental trips, luxurously appointed for comfort, and fast/hi-perf for highway driving. i think the m3 fits in this category.
 
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