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BASHING THE M3 need help!!

1681 Views 23 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  scottn2retro
Hey guys! I need some help on a post over on ZCAR.COM. Here is the LONG story.......... I have two friends, our plan was to get the sweetest cars. We are all around 21 and they are brothers.... anyways the one brother got a 02' WS6 Transam and the other has the new Z on order and I'm looking to get whats in my signature this July.

Well the story is they are bashing up on M3 vs everything like crazy! Not that I care that much about their feelings, cuz I know whos on top ;). I'll post their replies below. Anyways! I need help in some good SOLID technical data about the M3 that makes it the ultimate driving machine. I know their is some good stuff out there. I think the one and only category the M3 loses is straight 1/4 mile time because of the transams low 13 times. But as far as a nice track with lots of corners and turns hands down, and luxury no contest... I just need some good info or if you wanna post yourself by all means! Its on and then click on 350Z Forum then search for BMW and look for Re: Again - BigBadBuford this is my buddy. If I could have some good solid info that would be great! I'll post their messages in a new post.
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I agree with jc280zxt. My brother has an '02 Trans Am WS6 and he pulled a 13.5 @ 107 totally stock on his first night out with it. The people who blindly think BMWs are king are either blinded by brand loyalty or just believe whatever they read in a magazine. I drove the Trans Am and an '02 M3 back to back and I have to say the M3 feels like the lesser car in pretty much every area except for luxury. The all out acceleration of the M3 was totally underwhelming, totally gutless on bottom end with only a slight surge at high rpm. Nothing like the tremendous torque of an LS1 (and nowhere close to my 455 Buick, I might add). The BMW feels solid in the corners, but those who say the F-bodies handle like a brick compared to an M3 are kidding themselves.
The M3 is a nice car, I almost bought one (until I drove it). I used to be a huge BMW fan, I was pulled in by all the "Ultimate Driving Machine" BS, but after driving new 3 series and other cars back to back, I don't really see anything that makes them so much more special than any other make. Some people just hear "BMW" or "M-series" and think nothing else has a chance. The Z has every chance of meeting the "Almighty M3" in terms of performance, and I'm sure in some areas the Z will even beat it. BMW's may have prestige, but I think calling them the "Ultimate Driving Machine" is a joke.
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What are you basing your opinions on? Magazine articles? I go by what I see at the track. That 13.5 was the first night he was out on a 30 degree day on an un-prepped track with a 2.2 60' time. The best I have ever seen an M3 run is a [email protected], and that was on a 60 degree day on a prepped track and with a very good driver. Plus, the next week BMW's superb reliability displayed itself when the motor decided to spit out it's cams.
I used to be a hard core BMW enthusiast, but after getting a chance to drive more high performance cars, I found there are cars that can perform just as well for a lot less money. So maybe the BMW can pull .01 more on the skidpad. Oh, it feels a tad better at the limit? You going to pay $20000 for that? I'm sure with the extra $20,000 you would put into a T/A you would thoroughly destroy an M3 in braking, acceleration, and handling, and still have enough money to pay for your track time and gas bill for a year.
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Hmmm... last time I checked throwing the camshafts out of the block is a bit more important than loose fitting T-Tops. Well, you saw the BMW isnt a drag racer, and the Trans Am is, does that make it less of a car? I'm sure on a road course a well driven Trans Am would be able to be fairly close to an M3. Have you driven a new one lately? Have you driven the new M3? I'm not saying the M3 is a bad car, I'm just saying its not the end all, be all of sports cars like so many people make it out to be. Until I drove the M3, I was a huge fan of BMW. I believe all the "incredible handling, awesome accleration, impeccible manner, etc" comments about the M3. It sounds like an awesome car on paper. After I drove it, I came away unimpressed. Everyone talks it up so much, and it was a big let down to actually drive it. I still wouldnt mind getting a BMW, they are nice daily drivers, but when it comes to performance cars, they just leave me cold.
Too many people judge the American cars too harshly and say they have issues with quality that have been dead since the '80s. So many people think they are slow or clumsy when in fact they havent sat in one for 15 year, or if ever. Also considering the fact that they sit in a platform designed in the late '70's/early '80s, it is very impressive that it can keep pace with today's high tech, high dollar machinery.
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ANOTHER POST..........

I had a '95 240SX until a few months ago, and my brother's Trans Am would destroy it in handling. We used to race down back roads with a lot of mid corner bumps, and his Trans Am was less affected by them than my 240SX was. I'm not saying the Trans Am will destroy the M3 in terms of handling, I'm just saying that it would be able to keep up. I didn't know there was a law of physics that stated a BMW M3 was the best handling car in the world.. I guess I'd better go check my physics book. Live axle rears don't automatically mean they handle like crap. In fact, live axles can be a benefit on the race track with their added rigidity, and race tracks are usually pretty flat, so mid corner bumps wouldnt be an issue. And I still stand by my statement that a WS6 or SS would beat an M3 in acceleration. And don't quote me meaningless magazine test numbers. I'll put $100 on a race if you feel like bringing out your M3 for a friendly race.
I'm not trying to bash the M3, and I'm not saying the WS6 is the best sports car in the world either, but it is insane for people to think that the WS6 or 350Z or any other car is less of a performer because it does not have the M badge on the back. And to actually get back to the original post, I wouldnt be surprised to see the 350Z beating up on some M3's at the track either.
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Hmm, My T-Tops don't leak a drop! And the LS1 engine runs like a dream, as does the T-56 tranny. 16k miles in 8 months and counting :) Now I gotta give the new Nitto's a workout!

I would be willing to bet an M3 would be able to take me stock - for - stock on a roadcourse with equal drivers without a problem. However, this description of "handling like a brick" is pure BS. I'd wager that audittrules has never even driven an LS1 F-body, and is probably making assumptions after driving someone's beat 3rd gen Camaro Berlinetta about ride, handling, braking, and luxury.

Unfortunately, GM has done little to promote these fine cars, and everyone that I have taken for a ride in mine, or let them drive it, is blown away by the car's capabilities.

Also, I'm not a BMW hater, they're fine pieces of machinery, but --

1) They're not my cup of tea
2) The BMW's purpose is much different than the F-body (As MatthewZ pointed out)
3) EVERYONE has their turn with reliability problems from time to time, even BMW
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There you have it......

So you see now why I need some good technical stuff to throw theses guys in line. I've read articles left and right about how much better the BMW feels as far as a connection to a part of your body. I bet we can flood that thread ;O) I'll start searching let me know what you guys found! and feel free to post yourself! Thanks in advance.

Your fellow BMW LOVER! --- Justin
Your "friends" won't ever be convinced.

Btw, search the archives on, someone took his manual M3 to the strip and ran a 13.0x, he even posted time slips.
Car and Driver just did their long-term test on the M3 and also got a [email protected] 1/4 mi.
I'm with Nate

Your friends will never be convinced until you do one thing. Go do some AutoX's to work on your skill and then when you get your M3, challenge them to an AutoX and kick their a***es!

The one guy who said a TransAm should do well with an M3 on the track? Why would car magazines do track comparisons of the M3 with things like Porsche 911s and Corvette Z06s if a mere TransAm could do the job? :tsk:
I'm not getting the M3 unfortunately... I'm getting a 330 :O) But we are comparing M3 and Transam vs. 350Z(which isn't out yet) .. You are right why not compare Z06....

I'm still searching for good stuff it looks like Car and Driver July 02
has what I'm looking for, for when BadBuford said 13.6 which this clearly shows 13.1 ;o)

Originally posted by bobb:
Car and Drive (July edition) tested '02 M3 and performance for SMG (manual mode) was as follows:
0-60 mph = 4.8 sec
0-100 mph = 11.6 sec
0-130 mph = 20.3 sec
0-150 mph = 27.8 sec

street start 5-60 = 5.0
1/4 mile = 13.4 (107 mph)

And in the same article they pointed out that the 6 speed they tested did 0-60 in 4.5 and and the 1/4 mile in 13.1 (107).


I know they won't be convinced and I still get bashed everyday about buying a 330Ci instead of a muscle car/extreme sports car... but I tell them... I'm going to turn more heads, its a "bmw", and even though its a 330 which i feel its better then a Z and a transam it probably handles better and I know it has bigger brakes... Don't worry I'll put them in line when the car gets here :O) They spent 32k (WS6) and 37.5k (350Z) and I spend 41k (330Ci loaded)... I feel I made the right choice.

If anyone gets a jpg or more good article information on M3 please post a personal timeslip finish the discussion if it was 13.1 or lower.

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I found my match on thanks Nate! 13.2 is plenty to whoop my friends 13.5 in his WS6 ;O) If you find any more low 13's in a M3 let me know

Message Title: E46 M3 Track times
Posted by: From the 300ZX twin turbo board. on 2001-05-07 at 20:10:46
(posted from: Host: dialup- IP:


Never would have beleved it if I didnt see it with my own eyes. This car was bone stock. No nitrous. No mods. Stock tires. 1/4 tank of gas.
Asked if running race gas said "no". I looked at the tail Pipes, no signs of gray. (IE. A sign of race gas if pipes are gray. The exhaust was black and this was after 3 runs.)

Didnt see first run but someone said a new M3 just ran and it was quick! Saw the 2nd run and 3rd run. Un-fu$*ing real!!!!!!
Per slip and my own eyes on the board at the end of the track. I even ckecked the lane because I didnt beleve it! Asked to copy the slip. "Said sure, why not" Cool guy, wasn't a putz.(Go figure BMW guy).

57.2 Temp.
51 Relative Humidity
31.47 Abosolute Barmometer

Car # 275

RT 1.169
60 2.058
330 5.798
1/8 8.8913
MPH 88.59
1000 11.212
1/4 13.229
MPH 111.7

Rnd to 302/303

............Compulink StarTrak

The thing sounded like a bike going down the track all motor sound very sweet! Asked if running open intake, he opened the hood with people all around. Damn if it wasn't a stock intake or at least what looks like a stock intake. Hard to beleve it made so much sound with this intake on it. I wounder what this thing could have done with a set of Drag Radials. I know I was not the only person to see this so I am sure someone with a camera or digi camera got it. Please post if you were at Cecil Dragway MD. Baby blue car w/ gray intr.
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I think the guy who ran 13.0x posed in the main E46 forum, there might have even been a video. I know he posted timeslips.

A trap speed of 111.7 is FAST
I've been searching all day. This post seems alittle bogus... Main E46 forum where on Let me know if you find it.
Man!!!!!! YOU ARE MY LIFE SAVER!!!!!!!! AAAHHH I love you!! Thanks man this is a great post! Everyone give this guy a round of applaus :O)
That should do them ;) A video clip of 13.08 and a post from the driver saying he did a 13.03. Man that guy must really know how to drive! Thank you everyone for helping me out on this. I feel proud to defend the BMW name :bigpimp: check out and search for bmw to see the post!

Thanks again everyone!
Rufus330Ci, you are wasting your time. Most F-body owners refuse to agknowlege the possibility that any other car isn't total crap (save for the vette). Having been a Mustang owner I always gave them the credit they deserved and never seemed to get it back. I think you'd have better luck trying to create peace in the Middle East ;)
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