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    Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    I am thinking about picking up a new (2003/2004) M3 w/ SMG.
    What do you like or dislike about the car. I currently own a 1999 996 aero coupe as well as a 2002 325ci. I have driven one and it feels much quicker than the 996.

    I was thinking about picking up a 2001 996 turbo but didn't feel that it would be worth it since the new 997 turbo were just a couple of years away. (I like the future look!)

    Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    we have an 03 SMG and the only thing i'd change (if it wasn't my wife's) is to a more firmer suspension. the car has a lot of roll.

    btw, it is quicker than your 99, but an 02 or newer 996 has better torque available earlier than in your 99. ie: a 99 m3 is slower than a 99 996 and an 02 m3 is slower than an 02 996, but if you want to compare bmw's newer technology (ie: 01 to present) with porsche's older (01 and older), it's closer.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    ...actually my 996 is modified to have 320+ HP.
    The 2003 M3 still feels faster (there were 2 others in the car when I was test driving it)...
    The Car & Driver tests on the car seem to confirm this when they ran a 0-60 time of about 4.5 s. The 200x 996 are not significantly different enough for me to want to pick another one up. I'm essentially wanting to get a vehicle that holds me over till the new 997 models appear.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    "...actually my 996 is modified to have 320+ HP."

    where did you have it dynoed? is that 20 extra hp available all over the power band? the 02 and newer has power come on about 1k rpm earlier than in our 99 - 01s. did someone sell you one of those snake oil kits (air intake, mufflers, and chip?) with a claim of 20 hp which really puts about 10 extra hp way high up in the power band - maybe even borrowed from power down low - or has your car actually been dynoed - before AND after the modifications?

    "The Car & Driver tests on the car seem to confirm this when they ran a 0-60 time of about 4.5 s"

    lol, 4.5. uh, sure. maybe one car, one time, by one magazine. they are MUCH closer to 5 on a consistent basis. in the corners? say night night to the m3 sedan. the 3400+ lbs of pork shows up in the brakes too - if you don't have more than plenty of time in between needing hard brakes. i think it "feels" quicker - in a straight line. but, i think that "feeling" is primarily owing to the high reving motor IMO. there's not more than a .20 to .30 diff between any two m3s or 320 hp 996s and that's just not "feelable".

    great car (i love ours), but a 911 is isn't. have a friend with an 02 SMG which he has lowered to about 3100 lbs (installed coilovers, some real brakes, and R compound tires) and my 996 was hanging right with him in the twisties. if you want some power that more than "feels" faster, call up todd at evo and tell him to supercharge your 996. you're in s. cal and you're welcome to come down to SD in a week or two and see what it's like when my car is due back. i bet it cures you of m3 fever :-) judging from all the posts on the internet by m3 owners whose motors have blown (02 and 03 ones included - which are not supposed to have the trouble any more), i wouldn't think your 996 would be any less reliable with a supercharger.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    I find the car is great fun to drive, more so than the 996 regardless of what the performance numbers show. The few shortcomings are:
    - The steering could be a bit more direct.
    - The suspension moves too much when it expands (after it compresses)

    The modifications I would recommend for the car are:
    - Chip reprogramming (SuperChip)
    - K&N Ramcharger airfilter
    - Sport exhaust with racing cat or without cat (Super Sprint?)
    - Bilstein adjustable suspension
    - Brembo 355 mm front brakes (rear ones are optional). You'd need 19" wheels for this modification.

    The chip, exhaust and airfilter significantly change the car's character. It has a lot more torque and feels a lot more agressive with the redline raised to 8,200. High octane fuel (98 RON or higher) would be required to fully enjoy the car.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    I've got an M3 cab, and i like it very much. It drives like hell and it's got a lot of comfort. The only thing I haven't is the SMG. But the rest is OK... [

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    18" are ok with 355mm brakes, you don't need 19".
    even 380mm are possible with 18" wheels. (993 GT2 CS-brakes)

    cheers
    wolfgang

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    Ben you have a point about why the M3 feels quick. Also, the sensation of SMG shifting violently also enhances this experience. However, my C32 accelerates better in a straight line at virtually any speed provided that we aren't doing a racing launch.

    If I were modifying my M3, I'd get the ground control unit as suggested by a friend. The outside tire will no longer "howl like a lonley coyote" on sweeping turns.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    The standard M3 18" wheel does not have enough depth for the thickness of the Brembo 355 caliper, but the 19" one does. It's not the diameter that is the problem. Trust me. This is from first hand experience.

    Re: Question to those that own or have owned an M3...

    sorry - i was talking about the porsche-wheels i know, i didn't read that you were talking about M3-wheels.

    cheers
    wolfgang

     
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