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Which M3 is Best M3?

Which M3 is Best M3?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Which M3 is Best M3?

  2. 2. Most Hated M3



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Im taking my birdwatching to an urban setting and walking down many-a alleyway. If perhaps I stumble upon a briefcase full of 100 dollar bills and am able to get a BMW again, Id like to see what the group thinks is the better M3.  E9X or E46

My observations and thoughts thus far:

E46: Induction sound with carbon fiber airbox is to die for. I prefer the styling of the E46 M3 ever so slightly to the E9X (though the right wheels and mods can send an E9X style points through the roof). Can be had for cheaper, though they are older and will be in need of things sooner. More raw driving experience out of the box??

E9X: Seems to be a more reliable engine, no chassis tearout issues to address, more power, DCT and 4 doors is family friendly

I hope this debate becomes heated and becomes a fight to the death where the Superior M3 prevails

 

Image result for e92 vs E46

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10 minutes ago, patsbimmer1 said:

I agree with his first statement.  The best engine with the best chassis.

To be the best it would have to be all around better. The noises that come out of an s54 are awful and almost no one has found a way to fix that.

http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-s50b32/

http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-s54/

Not to mention they aren't too far removed from each other. 

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I love my e90 M3 and it does a lot of things really well.  With limited amount of time in an e46 it's really hard for me to compare but the knock against the e9x is always weight.  Nobody talks about the s65 weighing less than the s54 or the power to weight being greater in the e9x or the e9x running faster lap times (stock vs stock).  They're both great cars but the e9x M3 is a sports car you can live with on a daily basis without much sacrifice.  The s65 is fucking glorious to listen to every day and the low torque number isn't even missed in daily driving.  It has confidence inspiring handling even with the nannies turned off.  I can fit a car seat in the back with no issues and has all of the creature comforts my wife wants.  The e46 is a great track day toy because of the cost of entry and parts pricing at this point and I'd certainly love to have one some day for that reason but i'll take my e90 every single day.

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1 hour ago, Earl said:

To be the best it would have to be all around better. The noises that come out of an s54 are awful and almost no one has found a way to fix that.

http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-s50b32/

http://mywikimotors.com/bmw-s54/

Not to mention they aren't too far removed from each other. 

No it doesn't.  To be the best it just needs to be better.  Which it is.  I don't hate the s50b32 but the s54 is a better engine.

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2 hours ago, patsbimmer1 said:

No it doesn't.  To be the best it just needs to be better.  Which it is.  I don't hate the s50b32 but the s54 is a better engine.

What makes it better?

Do you believe the S54 is better than the S65? From what I see the 100lb weight difference is more than made up with the 100hp gain. Not to mention that an S65 seems to be more reliable and require slightly less maintenance than an S54. 

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2 hours ago, Earl said:

What makes it better?

Do you believe the S54 is better than the S65? From what I see the 100lb weight difference is more than made up with the 100hp gain. Not to mention that an S65 seems to be more reliable and require slightly less maintenance than an S54. 

Copied from the link you sent me:

Cast-iron cylinder block of this engine has been improved: increased bore to 87 mm, forged crankshaft with a stroke of 91 mm and with 12 counterweights. Also applied reinforced forged connecting rods (length 139 mm), new high compression pistons (CR=11.5), their compression height 32.3 mm. The pistons are cooled by oil spray nozzles.
There were following changes in cylinder head: improved continuously variable valve timing system Double-VANOS, used new cast iron hollow camshafts (duration 260/260, lift 12/12 mm) and decreased weight of the cylinder head. Valves as on S50B32.

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We haven't defined what best means. 

If we are talking about the best overall package for driving on the street and to/from the track, the E9x wins by a fucking landslide. The tech and creature comforts and interior are a cut above the E46, and as Pat already noted - the lap times are on the same page or better in the E9x. 

If we're talking about raw driving experience overall - the E46 wins. It is the pinnacle of the "pure driver engagement" factor of the M cars. E30 started it but E46 perfected it. 

If we're talking about the engine - the S65 perfected what the E46 started with 100+ hp per liter, because the S65 did it with 2 more cylinders and a significantly higher redline. There's no question that the S65 mechanically is the more impressive piece of engineering. It's simply a fact of physics and design. 

For a dedicated track car it is a no brainer - the E46 wins. But only as a dedicated track car because it's cheaper and parts are plentiful and the aftermarket has had an extra decade to perfect itself compared to the E9x. 

For literally anything other than a dedicated track car, the E9x is a superior vehicle choice on paper because it retains everything that made the E46 good like hydraulic steering and high revs, and improves everything else inside the cabin. The only reason to get an E46 M3 at that point is because it's cheaper, or if you simply just arbitrarily "like it" more than the E9x. But in terms of facts and engineering achievement, the E9x is just simply better. 

My next track car will very likely be an E46 M3.

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The E90 DCT is the obvious choice for practicality. 

E46 M3 is the obvious choice for putting a half cage in, adding suspension, and beating the crap out of.

my heart is somewhere in between as it is the difference of what you want vs what you need

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3 minutes ago, patsbimmer1 said:

Man, of money were no object I might say a stripper e9x would be my track car.  Now money is a very real object in my life so I'd take an S54 for a track toy but I really love the e9x chassis.

Ok well if we're talking money is no object then I'll bring a GT3 RS and destroy any E9x M3 no matter how many hundreds of thousands you put into the car. 

Let's keep it realistic because if you think the E9x would be your track toy if money were truly no object, then you're just letting your bias in because you are still high on your recent jump into ownership. 

The M3 is not even close to the end-all be-all of track cars if money is no object. 

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2 hours ago, i_love_cars said:

There's no question that the S65 mechanically is the more impressive piece of engineering. It's simply a fact of physics and design. 

But in terms of facts and engineering achievement, the E9x is just simply better.

those are opinions, not facts.

whats more of an engineering achievement - a single man using a shovel, wood and ropes to tip a 20 ton rocks on its end, or modern crane that lifts it into place? ya, the crane is faster at completing the task, but it took millions of dollars in equipment and tools, thousands of pounds of materials, and hundreds of hours to build it first. the man just ate some tacos,  sawed some trees, and dug a hole.

in my opinion a car/motor that is simpler is more of an engineering achievement.

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What's the point of owning the Datsun and an e9x M3? Maybe I'm too ignorant for this conversation, but they seem too similar to me. The e46 at least adds a little spice. I have limited experience, but my general impression is that e46s in general are kind of cheap and crappy, whereas e9x is a pretty solid car.

I think the e46 will be less reliable, and require more pain and suffering to live with, which results in more frequent and entertaining posts, so that's my vote.

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5 hours ago, patsbimmer1 said:

What I meant was between the two options presented.  Yea, if I can pick anything then a 997 GT2 RS or some variant of the GT3 or  Cayman GT4 are my choices.

I would look for a open wheel race car, the grip on those are crazy. I only drove Skippy open wheel on street rubber, but taking the boot in Watkins Glen trying to keep up with the instructor (which he complimented me on) was almost too scary. 

I would get the e46 over the e9x, but neither are the best m3, that would be a debate between the e30 & the euro e36 (s50b32). 

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