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BMW M3

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Comments

  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    we are suppose to get the brochures in late june and pricing in july. i work for bobby rahal BMW in pittsburgh. what kind of car do you have now
  • cdwing16cdwing16 Posts: 1
    Okay the m3 is quicker around the track against some awd cars, try it against the audi RS4, or hmmmm the new porsche 911 turbo?
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    Hey, I REALLY appreciate the posts by ultimatedriver #74 and especially by acbrbmw #75! Thanks a bunch for the very convincing and detailed info. I'll be reading acbrbmw's post several times in fact. I'm open and eager to learn which type of transmission to get on my next purchase. If I pay alot of money for a car, I wanna choose the right transmission (SMG or manual) that will make me happiest. This probably means, I'll have to learn stick well enough to compare.

    The M5 is out of my price-range. The M3 however is on my radar for my next lease/buy in 2.5 years after my current 06 330i lease is up. A few questions,
    will the 08 M3 have the smooth SMG III (like the current 06 M5)? Is it possible to lease an M3 and also, is it necessary to be on a waiting list for the up and coming new M3?? I don't wanna be stuck with a rental or worse, forced to get a lesser car due to availability in 2.5 years. Also, I wonder what your (everyone's) thoughts would be on how the new M3 will fare against Audi's RS4.

    Until then, I'll be enjoying my 06 330i.
    I must mention that the handling on the 06 330i with sports package is a real joy. I love churning through some of these roads here in San Diego, especially this one leading to Pacific Beach from Lajolla Village Drive. I just gotta feel that road every day after work.

    Joseph
    in San Diego
  • Nice hypothetical, cdwing. There are a lot of variables at work here. As any racer knows, stats and numbers don't tell the whole story.

    Both companies field very accomplished racing programs. It's obvious that they can't trickle down all the technology of a mega-buck single seater into a compact sports sedan. However BMW seems to understand the factors that are required for production car-based road racing a bit better than Audi ever has. These factors include weight distribution, low weight engineering(not just replacing steel pieces with aluminum ones), powertrain/drivetrain engineering, polar moment of inertia, steering quickness, etc.

    Not that Audi doesn't know about these things, but it doesn't reflect in their product nor has it since the Quattro coupe in the 80's.

    That's also dependent on what type of track these cars have it out on. If it's a tight track, I'd say their numbers are going to be closer(with the BMW on top, of course) because of the Four Ringer's ability to put the power down more efficiently out of the tighter corners.

    However if BMW decides to leave well enough alone, the Variable M differential will remain. Anyone with technical knowledge of the automotive market's offerings will tell you that this is one of the best differentials on the market today and it makes all the difference in the world when your trying to go around a corner. Hopefully the one in the new M3 will be the same unit(or updated) used in the E46, as that one was flawless and can handle insane amounts of torque.

    As far as the Porsche 997 Turbo is concerned, I'm not sure if the M3 will be able to beat it around a big track. The shear speeds the Turbo is capable of producing would overtake the M on the straight(I should know, I just crashed my 993). It would definitely shut it out around a smaller track if this new one is anything like the 996 series(the AWD system didn't act fast enough in the tighter, faster transitions).

    If BMW decides to do a CSL version of the E90 M3, I'll have my money on the M. With the tighter suspension geometry, a warm set of Michelin Primacy Sports(used on the E46 CSL) and the Variable M differential, BMW can definitely send the 997 S packing and the 997 Turbo sweating.

    Everyone racing fan here should remember how much noise Porsche made the last time BMW put a V8 in an M3(please refer to below, hehe).
    :mad: :cry:
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    a very storied racing heritage of it's own. Ultimate driver thinking that a new M3 will beat a 911 turbo around a "smaller track" reminds me of a certain DC mayor smoking crack. I'm not even sure it could beat a new Lancer evo but that's neither here nor there. I got nothing bad to say about bimmers. They make awesome cars. You have to consider that these companies are going in separate directions. [eerrrr with the exception of BMW putting all wheel drive in everything to get Audi customers, and Audi working hard to better weight distribution to get bimmer customers.] The biggest issue to me is that Audi builds a more complete GT car IMO as well as great rally and now endurance racing car being added to the list. BMW has it's own list of accomplishments but lets not get ahead of ourselves. All of these companies do what they do well but back to the original point....The new M3 will "shut out" a 911 turbo around a short track :confuse: :sick: Let's wait till it comes out before we make ridiculous statements.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    first off a the new m3, if it does infact have 425bhp out of the 4.0 V8....look out! the e46 currently puts out 104 bhp per liter in the smooth easy reving straight six set up. if m can pull of 425 in the e90 thats 106 bhp per liter out of a 90 degree V8, wow! look out porsche.

    yes the new m3 will have a twin clutch smg, its in the works right now and although bmw is tight on releasing info with all their upcomming cars, rumor has it that it will be a 7 speed.

    just my thought, the V8 will bring the m3 up to play with the porsches, but a 7 speed smg will make it king on the short circuit. also the fact that bmw is now putting the compound floating rotors off the m3 csl on all m cars makes me think that the m3 will out brake the porsche.

    with concern to weight, the e39 m5's v8 is actually heavyer than the v10. that takes engineering! so i'm confident m can pull of a v8 4 door m3 and make it under 3600 pounds.
  • I really hate quoting myself, but here goes nothing. My words read as follows:

    "It would definitely shut it out around a smaller track if this new one is anything like the 996 series(the AWD system didn't act fast enough in the tighter, faster transitions)"

    I'm a Porsche enthusiast through and through. However I've also been behind the wheel of my own BMW against numerous rwd Porsches in the GT2 category of the SCCA. I don't even consider replying to a statement if I think it doesn't hold water.

    The 996 Turbo is an awesome street car, whose limits are hard to experience. That being said, on the track the Turbo isn't as good a tool as it's rear-drive stable mates because the all wheel drive system is set up to kill understeer. This makes the car harder to set a rhythm with, leaning towards a "slow in, fast out" cornering style.

    The new M3, with it's redesigned suspension, , M differential, sticky tires, high compression V8, etc. will undoubtedly be able to walk the Turbo on a short track if it acts like the last generation Turbo in tight, quick transitions.

    Remember that horsepower doesn't win races as much as being able to maintain momentum and achieving rhythm. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but the M3 is no stranger to the track. The Turbo? Not so much a track car as it is one of the best street cars money can buy.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    The new M3, with it's redesigned suspension, , M differential, sticky tires, high compression V8, etc. will undoubtedly be able to walk the Turbo ...............

    i can't argue with that since i'm a bimmeraholic.

    ultimatedriver, have you had a chance to drive a sitck and smg in a m3. have you had the chance to compare that with the new m5's smg????
  • Yes and yes, acbr. I've tasted all three generations of SMG in various M machines and I must say that the 7 speed unit takes everything to a whole new level. I think it's because it's hooked up to such a fabulous powertrain. I haven't driven the M5 yet, but I've been to hell and back in the M6.

    I'm not going to review all the positives in this post, as they've been lauded upon many times in this forum. I appreciate the SMG at this level of horsepower and speed; helping novices contain supercar levels of horsepower and torque, taking the semi-professional to professionals and allowing them to truly challenge the chassis, and then turning the dial back down to 1 for the long drive home.

    In my personal opinion, the E46 M3 never needed SMGII. Maybe the Competition Package and definitely the CSL(awesome!). I leased a 2004 for a few months and automatically ordered up a short shift kit for the 6 speed. This change alone put the car two notches below nirvana (an accomplished clutch artist can shift in about 90-150 milliseconds with this kit).

    All M drivers should know what the program is before they even think about taking a test drive. Manual transmissions belong on M cars. I'll never stop believing that.

    Yet the third generation SMG is cheaper to manufacture in-house than it is for BMW to contract out to Getrag. It's also lighter, less complex and less of a bear on the other driveline components (anyone want to replace the clutch on the new 6 speed M5?).

    However when the M3 is packing a V8 and 400+ horses, the evolution of SMG will become a necessary evil to us purists. Unfortunately, BMW customers shopping in the Motorsport division no longer want the task of knowing how to operate a manual transmission, but they still have money to spend. And since more money is better than less money, BMW will continue to make a positive business case for the SMG.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    Unfortunately, due to the convincing arguments shed here, some for SMG and some for Manual, the decision has not been made easier. I'm confident that there is a reason, some experience or argument yet to be made, that will tip the balance. I look forward to the moment that this truth is revealed. Maybe different people will require different reasons that will do the trick for them. I hope to find my reason/s. I have some time before the end of my lease to ponder and learn from other perspectives. Ultimately, the decision will be a personal one.

    So far here's the Summary:

    2007/8 M3 with SMG III
    Pros:
    - silky smooth, telepathic, and super-human fast shifts
    - promotes an average driver's capability to take the car closer to it's limits
    - reduces chance of damaging transmission
    - can revert to automatic mode while in traffic
    Cons:
    - Less control of engine power transfer with no clutch
    - Less fun than Manual??

    2008 M3 with Manual
    Pros:
    - Infinite flexibility of engine power transfer due to clutch and direct control of gears
    - More Fun than SMG??
    Cons:
    - Alot of physical activity.. seems tiring to me
    - Must practice to get good at shifting fast but will never be as fast as SMG
    - Easier to burn transmission with 400+hp V8, than with SMG

    I may have missed and distorted some points here.
    To me, the Fun factor advantage of the Manual, if it is true, has alot of weight in the consideration. The utility of SMG, by simplifying the driving activity while providing supreme performance, is attractive as well. How to choose?? I have no clue.

    Joseph
    in San Diego
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    i don't know what to say to make it easyer for you.

    bottom line, you are not a "purist". i think that because of that you will have fun with either set up. the safe choice is smg, because you will never get tired of it like you would with the stick.

    for ultimatedriver he could never go without the stick, but he finds the control and shifting fun. he's not wrong, you're not right....its two different people with different perspectives.

    why do yout think there are some 250 plus cars for sale in north america......people have different needs and tastes.
  • jim2727jim2727 Posts: 7
    I have a 98 M3 with stick and had a Subaru WRX with stick. Because of the torque available on the M3, it did not have to be shifted very often in traffic (unlike the Subaru).

    I test drove an M3 with the lastest SMG offered in that model and while it was impressive, it did not shift very smoothly at all when driving around town.

    Just my 2 cents. I hope this is helpful.

    BTW: I got an email from Audi saying the US RS4 is over 3,900 pounds. I doubt BMW will be that silly and make the next M3 such a pig.
  • I agree with acbr. Go with the SMG and have a blast. Make sure you chose the right shift program regardless of what mode you're in. Any of the 4 available extremes may be too much too soon for you, just as it was for me. After you acclimate yourself to the car's power and torque characteristics, play around and see what it'll do.

    As far as that RS4 is concerned Jim2727, I don't think any of us at the BMW camp need worry. I haven't seen any weight figures of the new M3 but I doubt it'll register higher than 3600 on the scales, giving the weight to horsepower advantage to the M3. Besides, the M6 is about 3700 and change, so there's no way the M3 is gonna be that heavy.

    Let's cross our fingers for some scaled down M6 engineering weight saving tricks like a CFP roof and bumpers, along with fiberglass-reinforced plastic side panels and rear decklid. Along with the inevitable aluminum suspension pieces and lighter engine, I feel we have very little to worry about as far as the weight of the M3 is concerned.

    What does concern me is the direction the M3 program is headed in general. As I stated previously, I fear that we are losing the lithe, agile sports car hidden away in every M3. We're getting further and further into supercar territory with this horsepower war.

    I am also a bit dismayed over the loss of the straight 6, though I do look forward to the V8. I've been an automotive technician for most of my life, both free lance and professional, and have come to adore the way that engine makes it's power in it's multiple guises. I'll admit I didn't like the iron block at first, but I grew to appreciate it's strength.

    Call me selfish, but I was sort of hoping for a final evolution of the inline six cylinder engine. This last one was a 3.2 liter, 343 horsepower powerhouse that had very similar figures to the 3.2 liter powerplant in one of the "special" versions of the mid-seventies 3.0 CSL. One of the final evolutions of that engine displaced 3.5 liters. It made approximately 430 horsepower and made the car fly like a "bat" out of hell on the racing circuit. A modern successor to that engine would've been a nice curtain call for the straight six.

    image

    Call me sentimental, but cars like these are the essence of BMW Motorsport.
  • acbrbmwacbrbmw Posts: 19
    i understand your sentiment, but if bmw makes a new m3-like every new car bmw makes-it will blow away the older one and your sentiment for the 6 will turn into lust for the 8
  • I've had lust for V8 engines since childhood. Yet I've always had a preference for a good fight. I loved the fact that, at it's debut, the E46 M3 could nearly match the Corvette's horsepower and acceleration numbers with a highly tuned six. Even in my current car, which is a modified 325i, I'm untouchable by most V8 challengers out there.

    There's something to be said about light weight and an awesome top end kick. While the new M5 may not be able to take a lot of competition off of the line in the hands of the average driver, trying to keep pace with it on the highway is a different story all together. The same can be said of the E46 M3. It isn't as impressive off the line as it is a terror above 40mph. No unnecessary wheel spin or break of traction, just precisely metered acceleration all the way up to 175mph (trashed the gov'nah). All that fury was hard to keep up with for V8 sports cars/GTs. But now with most of the class achieving 60mph in the low to mid 4s, I guess the V8 is a necessary evil as well.

    About "blowing away the older one." As much as I love every evolution of the 3 series, my all time favorite is the E36. Even though the E90 is idiot proof in it's handling character, the E36 begged to be tossed around in a manner the heavier succeeding models couldn't understand. When you were done playing, it would take off the sneakers and put on the loafers and quietly take you home, whether it was an M3 or not.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    there be a traditional manual offered for the new 4 door M3?
  • I sincerely hope so, dhamilton. If there isn't, I'm not going for it. I draw the line at 500hp, unless it's up high. That's why I'm looking forward to the 6 speed M5. However, ~400hp is controlable.

    I do have a question about the V8, though. Acbr, you may be able to find an answer for me. Are the bore and stroke of the new V8 going to be identical to the ones on the M V10? BMW can really do whatever they want to make the V8 4.0 liters, not necessarily leaving the architecture alone.

    The reason I ask is because I remember the S52B32(read 3.2L inline six from E46 M3) having an unusually long stroke, not consistent with engines that operated at the speeds that engine worked at. If BMW tightens the bore a bit, and makes the stroke longer to make the claimed displacement figure, AND keeps the redline as lofty as the M5's, then we M3 fans will have something new to rejoice about other than driving the best sports sedan in the world. A compact V8 that has awesome low-end torque characteristics.
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