Bimmerfest BMW banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
am curious because now that i've been to several track events, i realize that HP is not the end all and be all to my problems there.

the issue is driver ability.

but i really need a backseat, so i'm trying to sell my SC'd M coupe soon and move into either a 330 or an M3 (i've given up the thoughts of a pure sports car for a couple of years).

would like input from those who shopped both cars and why you went with either? obviously, here a case can be strongly made for the 4 door 330i.

thanks in advance, fellas (and gals).
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
10,856 Posts
Well... I would say that you probably have the four door side covered pretty well... And it's not like the M3 is cramped in back, or anything. OTOH, if you're looking at sticking a baby seat back there, I can imagine that it would be rather unpleasant.

Go for the M3. :D You know you want it.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
dunno....

at the track this weekend, there was an instructor who had absolutely no problem keeping up with the rest of hte field (pcars and e46m3s) in his 330i.

so, it tells me i could definitely deal with that car on the track.

i would gladly give up straightline speed for two rear doors.

just some thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
have a 325i but....

i gotta say the back seats arent THAT much bigger than in the coupes.... doors are nice... but if you arent worried about carting too much around, i'd go m3
 

·
Registered User
Joined
·
10,856 Posts
I would tell you to get the 330 if it weren't for the fact that you already have an xiT and a useless beast. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ordered the m3, but am impatient....

....and i also saw firsthand that it would be nice for resale and all of that stuff to have an M3, but when it comes down to it, on the track in my run group (group 3 of 5, 5 being the instructors), that i would do just fine in a 330, too.

and those are so easy to get.

anyways.

the 3 series platform is oh-so-freaking-much-more forgiving than the z3 platform. my coupe wags its tail like a dog on the track if there are any abrupt inputs or you manhandle the car.

in the e46m3, you can brake and/or lift midturn and the car just sits there waiting. my M coupe will spin like a top if you do that.

(sigh).
 

·
A sudden sense of liberty
Joined
·
3,939 Posts
blackdawg said:
am curious because now that i've been to several track events, i realize that HP is not the end all and be all to my problems there.

the issue is driver ability.

but i really need a backseat, so i'm trying to sell my SC'd M coupe soon and move into either a 330 or an M3 (i've given up the thoughts of a pure sports car for a couple of years).

would like input from those who shopped both cars and why you went with either? obviously, here a case can be strongly made for the 4 door 330i.

thanks in advance, fellas (and gals).
In your situation (and assuming you've considered and discarded the idea of picking up an M3/4) I'd go with the 330, and I'd put a little bit of money into some suspension work (e.g., sways) just to firm things up a tad. The M3 costs a lot, provides performance that you'll never use on the street and only rarely use on the track, and gives up a lot in practicality by forcing you to use two doors. Moreover, the performance envelope of the 330 is plenty large enough to allow substantial driver development, as you point out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
interesting you bring that up, TD...

the e36m3 handles very well. maybe the most neutral handling car (or one of) in BMW's recent history.

however, i spoke at length with 3 instructors (all 3 were jones-ing big time to drive the M coupe yada yada yada) and they concurred about one thing:

WHICH CAR MOST OFTEN GETS TOTALLED AT BMW DRIVERS' SCHOOLS?

and why? it's the e36m3's. the car is so neutral, it tends to confound novices because right at the limit things are groovy and then WHAM. crash away.

and the e46m3, like the e30m3, is so much more forgiving at the limit. i wasn't kidding. my instructor drives an e30m3 and i got a ride (instructor) in an e46m3. you can literally pause in the corner, unsettle the car, and then continue merrily on your way. no way you can do that with confidence in either an e36m3 or my m coupe.

so, that threw out my idea to grab an e36m3.
 

·
The Original Dr. Phil
Joined
·
10,985 Posts
TD said:
Um, E36 M3/4? (Just a thought...) ;)
The answer to everyones question:confused: :rolleyes:

The OUDMPTD



Only Ultimate Driving Machine per TD

:D ;) .......j/k Tom
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
PM 325xiT said:

The answer to everyones question:confused: :rolleyes:

The OUDMPTD



Only Ultimate Driving Machine per TD

:D ;) .......j/k Tom
If you read his description of what he's looking for, it's actually a perfect fit. 4 doors. Great track car.
 

·
The Original Dr. Phil
Joined
·
10,985 Posts
TD said:


If you read his description of what he's looking for, it's actually a perfect fit. 4 doors. Great track car.
I did I was just having some fun with you:) I'd love to have one myself, preferably in that "Barney" color:bigpimp:
 

·
desmoquattro addict
Joined
·
55 Posts
I cross-shopped the M3 and 330Ci....for about 1 hour. Here in the SF Bay Area, dealers are still slapping $10,000 premiums on the M3s. Given the choice of paying MSRP+$10,000 for an M3 and $1500 above invoice on a 330Ci, the choice was simple.

Even if money WASN'T an issue, I think I'd refuse to pay the M3 premium on general principle!
 
T

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
PM 325xiT said:

I did I was just having some fun with you:) I'd love to have one myself, preferably in that "Barney" color:bigpimp:
You mean like THIS one? http://www.nwicars.com/sedans.htm##bmw

I absolutely love techno violet. It would have been my second choice (with estoril blue my first choice). But the only sedans in those colors I found were high-mileage and ragged on.
 

·
I like cookies.
Joined
·
18,102 Posts
The M3 is really a great car and the E46 is an excellent platform at the track and it is incredibly forgiving. You would have to do something truly stupid to hit a wall in one.

I find my car to be very well balanced and it can be steered with the throtte a bit even in 3rd gear. But, reassuring light understeer when you are going too fast. I don't want to spin my car into a wall, so light understeer is nice. Feels great at the track too. And if you really want to dial up oversteer, stiffen up the rear sway bar.

For 4 doors, the 330i is a great choice. M3 would be ideal. The back seat is plenty big and comfortable and great when you need it.
 

·
Cheapassaurus Rex
Joined
·
128 Posts
Re: interesting you bring that up, TD...

blackdawg said:
however, i spoke at length with 3 instructors (all 3 were jones-ing big time to drive the M coupe yada yada yada) and they concurred about one thing:

WHICH CAR MOST OFTEN GETS TOTALLED AT BMW DRIVERS' SCHOOLS?

and why? it's the e36m3's. the car is so neutral, it tends to confound novices because right at the limit things are groovy and then WHAM. crash away.

and the e46m3, like the e30m3, is so much more forgiving at the limit. i wasn't kidding. my instructor drives an e30m3 and i got a ride (instructor) in an e46m3. you can literally pause in the corner, unsettle the car, and then continue merrily on your way. no way you can do that with confidence in either an e36m3 or my m coupe.
Makes ya wonder what one could do to make the E36 M3 less neutral and more predictable at the limit. De-stagger the wheel/tire fitment? Futz around with antisway bars? Ought to ask those instructors.......
 

·
I like cookies.
Joined
·
18,102 Posts
Re: Re: interesting you bring that up, TD...

SteveMD said:


Makes ya wonder what one could do to make the E36 M3 less neutral and more predictable at the limit. De-stagger the wheel/tire fitment? Futz around with antisway bars? Ought to ask those instructors.......
To make it less neutral, more understeer, you would stagger the tires more, stiffen the front roll bar, alter tire pressures (high in rear, low in front), or even play around with spring rates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
my own experience with my e36m3...

....was a small amount of understeer at the limit which snaps into oversteer without a lot of warning.

that's probably what yahoos going too fast in their e36m3s are doing. they feel the understeer at the limit, feel fine, and push it too abruptly the next lap around.

my car is already fishtaily before the limit. throttle steering with a short wheelbase and 340++ HP is an exercise in brass plating one's reproductive organs.
 

·
BFE 2003
Joined
·
95 Posts
I sort of cross-shopped them, and basically the M3 was just too much money. A pretty loaded 330ci is about 15K less than an M3 I would want, and then to top that off, there is a nice discount on the m3, the BMWCCA discount didnt exist on the M; the M goes for full list, and then there is the gas guzzler tax. And then insurance...

It really comes down to driver skill, with just a fraction of the money you would spend on the M, you could redo the 330 suspension to however you like, and add a few basic performance mods to make it a little more interesting.

Of course, if money is no object..then the M :thumb:
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top