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GWC
09-30-1999, 07:06 PM
Will a circa 3500lb E46 M3 handle well? I have had the good fortune to drive a current M5 (which weighs circa 4000 lb) round the challenging Oulton Park race track in the UK. The handling is incredible considering the weight and size. The only downside was the slightly intrusive traction control. Immediately prior to the M5, I drove the following BMWs and the comparisions are worth noting:<p>1. 535i with AC Schnitzer suspension/wheels AND manual transmission. The handling was good considering the up front weight of the V8 engine, however, it did understeer on tight corners. The M5 was on a different plane and did not feel nose heavy. <p>2. M3 E36 convertible Manual with Euro 321bhp. The top was down so there were other stimuli and some body flex. I felt that the M5 handled better, although maybe the V8 growl and low down thrust biased my opinion. I did not red line this car.<p>3. Z3 M Coupe with Euro 321 bhp. It had excellent body control. The small size and high power to weight made it fun to drive. I used all the revs in this one. Other than the easy placement of the Coupe due to its size, the M5 still had my vote in the faster corners.<p>4. 740i auto with Alpina suspension/wheels. It handled not too badly for a "bus" but the understeer in the tight corners was as expected. The M5 thrashed it.<p>5. 318i E36 coupe (I don't think the 318 was sold in the USA). This car was obviously slow compared to the others BUT it was possibly the most fun in the tight corners due to its excellent balance (light 4 cylinder engine).<p>If BMW manage to deliver better handling in the E46 M3 than the E39 M5, and I think that is a certainty, then it will be outstanding! Incidently, a recent track handling test by Autocar of an Alpina B3 3.3 coupe (292 bhp + 247 lb ft)demonstrated that the E46 can be made to handle superbly (same track as my M5 etc experience).<p>I can't wait for my E46 M3. Deposit paid. UK delivery 2001.<p>GWC <br>P.S. Sorry for the double post. I want to stimulate debate.<br>

Jason L2
10-01-1999, 12:21 PM
I STILL would love to know where everone is getting the idea the E46 M3 is going to weigh sooooo much!? <br>

more POWER!!! ---Jason L
10-02-1999, 12:17 AM
<i>: I STILL would love to know where everone is getting the idea the E46 M3 is going to weigh sooooo much!? <p></i>

Mark G
10-02-1999, 06:57 PM
The M3 will be expected to weigh 100 or so more lbs than the coupe because of larger axles, hubs, wheels, brakes, radiator, drivetrain, body components, oil system +/- cooler, and other chassis upgrades. Plus the new engine with the individual throttle bodies makes a difference. <p>The E46 328ci is 80 lbs heavier than the E36 (3200 vs. 3120 according to BMW figures), and the E36 M3 is 50-150 lbs heavier than the 328, depending which source you read. So, you might expect the E46 M3 to weigh somewhere around 3250-3350 lbs. Some Euro mags have reported they expect the weight to be around 3500 lbs, which seems exaggerated.<p>Mark G

JIMMY O CONNOR
10-04-1999, 02:51 PM
<i>: Will a circa 3500lb E46 M3 handle well? I have had the good fortune to drive a current M5 (which weighs circa 4000 lb) round the challenging Oulton Park race track in the UK. The handling is incredible considering the weight and size. The only downside was the slightly intrusive traction control. Immediately prior to the M5, I drove the following BMWs and the comparisions are worth noting:<p>: 1. 535i with AC Schnitzer suspension/wheels AND manual transmission. The handling was good considering the up front weight of the V8 engine, however, it did understeer on tight corners. The M5 was on a different plane and did not feel nose heavy. <p>: 2. M3 E36 convertible Manual with Euro 321bhp. The top was down so there were other stimuli and some body flex. I felt that the M5 handled better, although maybe the V8 growl and low down thrust biased my opinion. I did not red line this car.<p>: 3. Z3 M Coupe with Euro 321 bhp. It had excellent body control. The small size and high power to weight made it fun to drive. I used all the revs in this one. Other than the easy placement of the Coupe due to its size, the M5 still had my vote in the faster corners.<p>: 4. 740i auto with Alpina suspension/wheels. It handled not too badly for a "bus" but the understeer in the tight corners was as expected. The M5 thrashed it.<p>: 5. 318i E36 coupe (I don't think the 318 was sold in the USA). This car was obviously slow compared to the others BUT it was possibly the most fun in the tight corners due to its excellent balance (light 4 cylinder engine).<p>: If BMW manage to deliver better handling in the E46 M3 than the E39 M5, and I think that is a certainty, then it will be outstanding! Incidently, a recent track handling test by Autocar of an Alpina B3 3.3 coupe (292 bhp + 247 lb ft)demonstrated that the E46 can be made to handle superbly (same track as my M5 etc experience).<p>: I can't wait for my E46 M3. Deposit paid. UK delivery 2001.<p>: GWC <br>: P.S. Sorry for the double post. I want to stimulate debate.<p></i>


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