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    Tested a new M3 today

    My dealer finally took delivery of their first M3's today, and they called me for a test drive. I had an e46 for 3 years, so that's the basis of my short comparison, FWIW.

    1. The clutch pedal is soft, too soft, but then I have a 997S so that's my benchmark. It's certainly softer than the e46 and I would compare it to a Cayman S. It is very responsive and easy to get moving though, and you'd have a hard time lurching the car in first gear.

    2. The steering wheel is magnificent. Fat and leather wrapped, with blue and red stitching. And it doesn't cost you an extra cent. Porsche could learn something here.

    3. The exhaust note is thrilling. My major complaint with the e46, which was shared by many, was the raspy, metallic exhaust note. The e46 is throaty and loud. The noise in the cabin is far from annoying, but very noticeable, and there is no noticeable drone at speed.

    4. The transmission is awesome. The shifts are short and sure and there is of course no vibration in the shifter knob.

    5. Power. The power is a leap ahead of the e46. Overall, the car is more visceral than the e46, and the seat-of-the-pants power is thrilling. With M mode on and traction control off, I launched the car hard with tons of wheel spin, but no hop. The back end shifted a bit but once it hooked up it pulled hard. I was at or on the rev limiter for a few seconds and power delivery was consistent. The 997S pretty much shuts itself off in that scenario. (why is this? my Boxsters would hit the rev limiter and just maintain that rpm...)

    6. Handling. Unfortunately the car had Pilots on it, and it was just above freezing today so I couldn't push it in the corners too hard. The car seems stable though, and inspires confidence.

    Overall, the new car impressed me. It's still a bit heavy, but the car feels substantial, or solid, like it's really well built. As a daily driver this car would excel.

    As a side note, the new 18" wheels look bizarre. The shape of the wheel is concave, and makes the factory tires look like balloons. This isn't just my observation, the dealer staff mentioned it too. In fact, a guy was picking up his coupe when I was there and was trying to switch his 18"s for 19"s for that very reason.

    The new grey paint looks great, little gold flecks in it. The black in the pic below, is 'Jerez' black, which can look really blue in the sun.

    Verdict: I would have bought one if I didn't have the 997. I've always been a BMW fan and I would definitely go back.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    2

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    great cars indeed! I checked out a white one we just received and its magnificent! Didn't get to drive it so i could only look at it

    only that bulge in the hood looks weird in RL... other than that an amazing driving machine

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    BMW did a great job with this M3, the only problem is that it's 2 years too late.

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Heist said:
    BMW did a great job with this M3, the only problem is that it's 2 years too late.

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    I agree, that precisely what I've done. Put down a deposit for the GT-R

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Minus the bump in the hood the M3 looks much better than the GT-R.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Thanks for the great review. Sounded really good.

    THEN I see the pics and my heart sinks. Damn thing looks soooo bloated (sides) and aggressive (front).

    Honestly, I _want_ to like it (looks wise) and I can't.

    Wanna trade in my E46 M3 someday and it doesn't look good for a new one.

    Maybe it's the photographs. Does it look less bloated and "angry reptile" in real life?

    Awwwwwgh..., then there's that rear end junk:

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    @MMD... come on - that rear is not that bad as you mention! Yes.... its a bit to much home-garage pimp but overall it doesnt look bad

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Interesting write-up

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    What's your impression about the brakes?

    I felt they were just okay and also that the gear shifts are actually quite long, it definitely needs a short shifter.

    BTW is that Budds BMW?

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Heist said:

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    BMW knows this too and hopefully will be inspired to make the CSL as fast as the GTR - as well as at lot lighter and more fun to drive.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Lars997 said:
    @MMD... come on - that rear is not that bad as you mention! Yes.... its a bit to much home-garage pimp but overall it doesnt look bad



    Geez, I hope you're right Lars. I haven't seen one in person yet.

    Maybe I gotta loosen up and get with the program, new cool cars are gonna look different as the decades pass.

    OTOH, Why can't BMW or aftermarket mfgrs offer an "aerokit" option for us 40-something M3 drivers!?


    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    SlvSurfer said:
    What's your impression about the brakes?

    I felt they were just okay and also that the gear shifts are actually quite long, it definitely needs a short shifter.

    BTW is that Budds BMW?



    Stellar. Lots of grip, not quite 911, but then it weighs 500lbs more. The shifter is a little long on the throws, but it's not a major complaint for me!

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    AUM said:
    Quote:
    Heist said:

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    BMW knows this too and hopefully will be inspired to make the CSL as fast as the GTR - as well as at lot lighter and more fun to drive.



    Unfortunately for us, once again, no 'CSL' variants coming to North America according to my dealer.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Atzporsche said:
    great cars indeed! I checked out a white one we just received and its magnificent! Didn't get to drive it so i could only look at it

    only that bulge in the hood looks weird in RL... other than that an amazing driving machine



    Oh yeah, you really notice the power dome when you're in this car. Takes a bit of getting used to. Only one of the two air vents on the hood is functional, but the second only has a rubber gasket on it which is easily removed for after market add-ons. There's a nice little spot for the supercharger too.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Heist said:
    BMW did a great job with this M3, the only problem is that it's 2 years too late.

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    I admit that I've never sat inside a GTR, but the Nissan will not come close to the BMW in build quality and fit and finish. If that's a factor to the buyer, it's a big one. BMW interior quality is top end.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    MMD said:
    THEN I see the pics and my heart sinks. Damn thing looks soooo bloated (sides) and aggressive (front).

    Honestly, I _want_ to like it (looks wise) and I can't.




    Amen...i kept my E46 M3 and didnt even consider this abomination. Not doubting its abilities. Just hate the way it looks

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    JoeRockhead said:


    I admit that I've never sat inside a GTR, but the Nissan will not come close to the BMW in build quality and fit and finish. If that's a factor to the buyer, it's a big one. BMW interior quality is top end.



    Gotta agree. For a street car I don't care about relatively small performance differences. I'm not racing GT-Rs when I see one in traffic. I just want to be able to massively/safely blow off brain-dead slowpokes in front of me. I'd rather have an interior and exterior I can examine closely and not find any cut corners or less-than-best materials. Any shortcomings I discover bug the crap outta me over time. Hard to explain.


    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    BMW's build quality has been better. Have you seen the amount of orange peel in the paint? My 335 has it and the M certainly does. It has been the topic of discussion in several reviews. The M's interior is certainly nothing special either. Great car, but BMW's level of quality has lessed a bit, imo. We will see what the Nissan brings. Several reviews have stated that the GT-R has a very high build quality, too include the interior. It is not a Porsche, but it doesn't cost what a Porsche does either.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    ^you are right.
    I remember the first e92 I saw. It was black and the day was sunny.
    And I'm sorry to say even from a 4m distance it was the first thing I noticed.

    Hope they correct/ed that soon.
    Or at least prevent it from becoming a habit on 5ers, 6ers and 7ers.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    AUM said:
    Quote:
    Heist said:

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    BMW knows this too and hopefully will be inspired to make the CSL as fast as the GTR - as well as at lot lighter and more fun to drive.



    Even BMW's forthchoming CSL wont be good enough to outclass the mighty GTR..... Im pretty confident of that.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    The new CSL will be probably weigh no more than 1440 kg, and have about 440 BHP. The old CSL had just 360 BHP and still did 7.50 at the Ring (the same time as the GTR according to Sport Auto rumours).

    Light weight is the main advantage of the CSL. The GTR is fast but way to heavy for sustained track use.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    skazzy said:
    Quote:
    AUM said:
    Quote:
    Heist said:

    I actually know of 2 people who sold their M3 deposits once the GT-R's figures and performance numbers hit the net

    The GT-R is going to make a lot of people reconsider an M3 and definitely cannibalize sales.



    BMW knows this too and hopefully will be inspired to make the CSL as fast as the GTR - as well as at lot lighter and more fun to drive.



    Even BMW's forthchoming CSL wont be good enough to outclass the mighty GTR..... Im pretty confident of that.



    Very true. M3 wont stand a chance against the GTR. Doesnt mean the m3 is no good. Just means GTR is better

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Tupps11 said:


    Very true. M3 wont stand a chance against the GTR. Doesnt mean the m3 is no good. Just means GTR is better



    LOL. "Better." IMO, it's like saying Rosie O'Donnell would make a better wife if you want kids, Pamela Andersen if not.


    But seriously, you're probably right. Both cars are attractive to the same kind of major buyer, maybe. That would be young guys who like to cruise around in car culture hot spots.

    That hi-HP Nissan is perfect for them. The "ugly" look of it isn't so ugly to them; it's almost normal looking with a bit of a twist.


    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    I've had the new M3 since January and highly rate the car. Like a porsche you discover its talents over a period of time and devlope a relationship as you learn to take advantage of its abilities and compensate for its deficiencies. I am getting a lot more fun out of it now that when I first got it as it takes time to learn how it responds in different circumstances. The engine is an absolute peach. I cannot rate it less than 10 out of 10. I tested it back to back with an AM V8 Vantage (same config) and wanted the Vantage to win as it looks georgeous but they are night and day. For driver appeal, the M3 easily beats the AM Vantage having the better engine, chassis and handling, performance and ride. Anyone who buys this car will not be disappointed in the driving fun it serves up. So forget the orange peel paintwork etc and get one as this car is fun with a capital F.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    Pink Panther said:
    Anyone who buys this car will not be disappointed in the driving fun it serves up. So forget the orange peel paintwork etc and get one as this car is fun with a capital F.



    Good to hear you say this.

    I'm praying that when I see one in real life it won't look so bad to me.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    MMD said:
    Quote:
    Pink Panther said:
    Anyone who buys this car will not be disappointed in the driving fun it serves up. So forget the orange peel paintwork etc and get one as this car is fun with a capital F.



    Good to hear you say this.

    I'm praying that when I see one in real life it won't look so bad to me.



    There's a guay who owns a white one a few blocks away from me and I also see a black one quite often. The car looks nice. Not visually striking, mind you, as you can hardly differentiate it from an ordinary coupe at first glance, but not bad at all.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Had a chance to drive shortly(45mins) M3 Coupe with M-DKG(press car with M plates). In short-awsome! Best buy all-over... IMHO all sequential manuals a la F1, e-Gear or R-Tronic will be history in less then two years. YES, M-DKG is that good IMO. Blistering fast in gearchanges, smooth enough at the same time, no stupid need for throttle modulation as on sequential manual... Fantastic... For me new M3 only with M-DKG. I am so impressed that I will order one...
    One last thing-M3 with M-DKG is faster then R8 with R-Tronic. In fact belive it or not above 200km/h a lot faster.

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    KresoF1 said:
    Had a chance to drive shortly(45mins) M3 Coupe with M-DKG(press car with M plates). In short-awsome! Best buy all-over... IMHO all sequential manuals a la F1, e-Gear or R-Tronic will be history in less then two years. YES, M-DKG is that good IMO. Blistering fast in gearchanges, smooth enough at the same time, no stupid need for throttle modulation as on sequential manual... Fantastic... For me new M3 only with M-DKG. I am so impressed that I will order one...
    One last thing-M3 with M-DKG is faster then R8 with R-Tronic. In fact belive it or not above 200km/h a lot faster.



    Kreso,

    how do you feel about the new RS6?

    Re: Tested a new M3 today

    Quote:
    KresoF1 said:
    Had a chance to drive shortly(45mins) M3 Coupe with M-DKG(press car with M plates). In short-awsome! Best buy all-over... IMHO all sequential manuals a la F1, e-Gear or R-Tronic will be history in less then two years. YES, M-DKG is that good IMO. Blistering fast in gearchanges, smooth enough at the same time, no stupid need for throttle modulation as on sequential manual... Fantastic... For me new M3 only with M-DKG. I am so impressed that I will order one...
    One last thing-M3 with M-DKG is faster then R8 with R-Tronic. In fact belive it or not above 200km/h a lot faster.



    Interesting experience My only major complaint about the manual shift M3 was... the gear-box / clutch setup. With the all new DSG this car should be highly attractive. Good to hear that the new DSG is a refined product already

     
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