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car history

Posted on 2007.09.21 at 23:07

Comments:


Nick Rubenstein
nrubenstein at 2007-09-23 02:51 (UTC) (Link)
The E46 has the same front tire and a lot more weight. Basically, the E46 M3 pushes like a pig hunting for truffles.

The E36 is much lighter and more agile.

My girlfriend is sitting next to me demanding that I put down "the E46 is great if you want a fast Camry." But she drives a 911 Turbo (993), so her opinion is slightly suspect. The basic problem with the M3 is that you HAVE to spend $4K on the suspension to make it drive acceptably well. The stock package really just sucks.
betternewthings at 2007-09-23 14:49 (UTC) (Link)
Want an M3 that handles?

Buy an E30.
melis
siwwy_wabbit at 2007-09-23 16:57 (UTC) (Link)
Oh God. I LOVE the e30's. And much of that love does stem from the whole handling thing. But I almost never see them around here, which makes me extremely sad.

/melis
betternewthings at 2007-09-24 02:03 (UTC) (Link)
I had an E30. Black on black, with a race head, 302 degree cams, an a 2.5l crank. Made close to 280hp, and had a Ground Control suspension kit on it.

Came and went faster than a priest in a preschool.

I also blew it up :-(
Colonel Angus
scosol at 2007-09-23 17:41 (UTC) (Link)
you're only talking about a couple hundred pounds-
i'll take that in exchange for the more rigid structure it provides

yeah, the 225 front stockers are way too small and they heat up much too fast on a track, but that's not really a statement on the "handling" of the car is it?
(see the E46 M3 CSL nurburgring times to see what the chassis/engine can do)
255s on 17s all around actually seems to be a good setup in terms of heating and grip balance

i dunno what the point of the $4k is- for strict race duty *any* car is going to require a spring and shock change-
i personally find the E46 M3 the most acceptable daily-driving compromise i've ever expereienced-
but i've got a CS so my brakes, suspension, and steering are different from what you had-
ymmv-
Nick Rubenstein
nrubenstein at 2007-09-24 01:27 (UTC) (Link)
The Competition package actually came with a SOFTER suspension that handles worse than the old one if you put better tires on it. And the CSL did its Nurburgring times with R-tires, which basically means that it's irrelevant. R-tires are worth 1-2 seconds per minute per lap, which makes the CSL's time a heck of a lot less impressive.

I tried 255s all around, but they would cook fast on track - I needed 275s or 285s to make the car feel good. On the street, it drives perfectly "fine" stock, except that the suspension has way too much compression damping and way too little rebound, which results in mediocre handling and unnecessary discomfort. $4K is for a street suspension, by the way - you can get away with spending $3K for a Koni SA based setup with sways, but that's about it.

As for the brakes, the only difference with the brakes in the CS package was the front rotors (and the caliper brackets to clear the front rotors). The brakes on the E46 are acceptable, but not exactly great for what the car costs.

So no, I'm not that impressed with the M3. It tries to be a sports car and a GT car all at the same time, and it misses both targets.
Colonel Angus
scosol at 2007-09-25 17:49 (UTC) (Link)
Look at the list of faster cars:

http://forums.streetfire.net/showthread.php?t=12129

That's pretty rarefied air, and I'm betting most of those had gumballs too- it's faster than MANY cars with superior power/weight ratios, so I stand by my statement that there's nothing wrong with the "handling" of the car.
It's balanced and controllable and provides a very connected level of feedback through the chassis and steering.

Like I said- it's a daily-driving compromise- but I don't think the E36 M3 is any less of a compromise.
Nick Rubenstein
nrubenstein at 2007-09-25 18:56 (UTC) (Link)
The problem with the E46 M3 is that BMW deliberately left a huge amount of performance on the table, AND they made the car much less interesting to drive.

Also, most of the cars in that area did not come with sticky tires.

The E46 M3's basic problem is that it's quite capable, but it's boring and it delivers that capability in a pretty unpleasant way.

I flat out don't like the package, and I regret burning $40K on mine. (Depreciation plus mods over 2.5 years.) It tries to hard to be all things to all people, and it fails. Worse yet, I ended up with 3 cars instead of the all in one package that it was supposed to be.
Colonel Angus
scosol at 2007-09-25 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
> Also, most of the cars in that area did not come with sticky tires.

Really? IIRC the run was done on Pilot Sport Cups, which again IIRC is the same tire that comes on the GT3/GT2/Carerra GT.
What else is up there- Murcielago? F1? Veyron? XJ220? SLR? CCR? Zonda?
I'm not going to look them all up, but I'd be *very* surprised if any of those cars came with anything less than barey-DOT-legal R's too...

> I flat out don't like the package, and I regret burning $40K on mine. (Depreciation plus mods over 2.5 years.)

Ahh- that's your problem- "mods"- even the earliest clean examples still fetch $35k these days- so you spent... ~$20k on mods?
If you're building a racecar a new M3 is not a cost-effective place to start.
For something that is competent on a track, enjoyable on coastal twisties, and proper for an intimite night out, I feel there's no equal for the $$$-
Nick Rubenstein
nrubenstein at 2007-09-26 14:00 (UTC) (Link)
Those "super"cars came with much more streetable tires than the CSL. The GT3 gets the PSCs as an option, same for the GT2. I don't believe that the CGT gets PSCs.

62-32=30+10 in mods. Early cars absolutely do not fetch $35K these days, people just ask it. I might have been happier if the M3 didn't also spend nearly three months at the dealer.

The M3 requires too much work to be safe on track.

It's too ponderous for narrow twisties.

And I've never dated a girl who didn't absolutely despise the car in any form.

The M3 is the only car that kind of delivers an all in one package, it's true. The problem is that it just doesn't. (And it never entered my mind to build a race car out of the M3 - I was only stupid enough to build a race car out of the 323.)
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