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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:24:07 PM   #61
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
While I agree that BMW has gone soft and mainstream generally speaking(smart business move, ultimately) that doesn't mean they still don't produce some amazing and hardcore driving machines.

Every M car/generation is unique and brings with it a new set of strengths, and, compromises. All that matters at the end of the day is that the strengths far outweigh the compromises so that the end result is a car that's super FUN to drive in anger.

We tend to get very hung up on things like "feel" (I'm highly guilty of this myself) and prioritize that way above actual performance. But there comes a point when the performance is so blisteringly amazing and the car so competent that slight tradeoffs in "feel" simply don't matter as much because the other attributes are so good.

A true enthusiast cannot not enjoy a car that does those things. In other words - if you like to HAUL ASS in your M3 then performance/balance/grip/power/speed/etc. do actually really, really matter.
Well put. And the new M3/4's truly can fly, which speed has always correlated to fun, to me at least. Hence why some of us bought the E46 in the first place, back in the day. It was blistering quick (still is to a point) and was fairly easy to drive fast. The e9x/f8x are no different in that regard.

I remember when the e9x first came out and I was able to drive a buddy's fresh off the boat 08 and immediately was impressed at how much faster it was able to corner (obviously the acceleration of the S65 was a noticeable difference, but the overall grip that it had over the E46 was staggering) and the exact same thing happened with the F8x's

I'd even go as far as saying the e36 to e46 wasn't as large of a grip increase as the more recent generations have been. (likely because the e46 was a chassis evolution of the e36)
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:24:46 PM   #62
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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BMW as we knew it has all but disappeared. The F80 may as well not even have a Roundel on it, but it's still a great car. You just have to reset your inner barometer. Sadly it's an exception in the lineup. The non-M offerings have really diverged from the original ethos of the Ultimate Driving Machine. They are disconnected, cheaply built, and overpriced within their segments. BMW has always been a generation behind in terms of features which really exposes their lack of value nowadays as other manufacturers have really stepped their games up...

Gone are the days where a 3 series punches above it's weight and sets the bar for everyone else. You have to pay a premium for an M car to really get "freude am fahren".
Totally agreed. That said, I currently and have always only been interested in the M cars so the softening on the non-Ms really doesn't bother me.

The E46 non M was a fantastic car but the 46M blows it out of the water, and, wasn't cheap. A non M 46 may have killer steering feel but it's not an exciting car to drive.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:29:40 PM   #63
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Totally agreed. That said, I currently and have always only been interested in the M cars so the softening on the non-Ms really doesn't bother me.

The E46 non M was a fantastic car but the 46M blows it out of the water, and, wasn't cheap.
Yup. If anything, driving a modern non-M just makes you appreciate the rabbit M GmBH really pulled out of it's hat with your car. Will be interesting to see how the F8x fare when the odometers start clicking past 80k though..

But in terms of capturing old school feel within modern hardware/regulations, BMW needs to take a page out of Porsche's book.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:29:50 PM   #64
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Well put. And the new M3/4's truly can fly, which speed has always correlated to fun, to me at least. Hence why some of us bought the E46 in the first place, back in the day. It was blistering quick (still is to a point) and was fairly easy to drive fast. The e9x/f8x are no different in that regard.

I remember when the e9x first came out and I was able to drive a buddy's fresh off the boat 08 and immediately was impressed at how much faster it was able to corner (obviously the acceleration of the S65 was a noticeable difference, but the overall grip that it had over the E46 was staggering) and the exact same thing happened with the F8x's

I'd even go as far as saying the e36 to e46 wasn't as large of a grip increase as the more recent generations have been. (likely because the e46 was a chassis evolution of the e36)
Yes, people tend to overlook how capable the E9XM is - it's a far better handling car than the 46M. You take then both down the same canyon run back to back and it's an immense difference.

It's just a bit heavy AND lacks oomph in the motor department.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:32:36 PM   #65
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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The feeling's mutual; we're upset with you too BMW.
Agree. BMW is a joke anymore.

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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:35:26 PM   #66
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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The E46 non M was a fantastic car but the 46M blows it out of the water, and, wasn't cheap. A non M 46 may have killer steering feel but it's not an exciting car to drive.
I don't agree with any of this.

A) I don't think the e46 m3 is a "better" car than the e46 non M. The non M was the best, most sporting experience they could make before they had to start compromising on civility. The M3 is what they could make once they were willing to compromise on civility. Not better/worse-- different value set. Also not how the current line is built-- it can be an i, an is, an M sport, an M, an CS, a ZCP, or a GTS-- none are built to be the best, they're all built to try to up sell you to a more expensive car that doesn't cost BMW more to make (unlike the CSL, which BMW almost certainly lost money on every one they sold).

B) I find the non M e46 more exciting to drive on the street, in most contexts. For me, excitement is driving a car at/near/sometimes beyond its limits. To do this, you need steering feel (to feel the front end losing traction), linear, predicable power with good throttle response (as if you're cornering near the limit and then boost kicks in, you're not in a good place), and a sufficiently competent chassis that you can turn DSC off and not be surprised (can't go past the limit with DSC on). The e46M has all the ingredients, but to actually do it you need to be far from civilization, as the speeds are too high. The non M e46s, especially with "normal" tires, can do it all day every day, without significantly endangering anyone. And an F8X M3.... well, it both doesn't have the ingredients, and has way too much speed.

For my wants, I'd rather daily an e46 330i than an F80 M3-- particularly for the purpose of hauling ass. IMO "hauling ass" is only interesting/fun when it's in relation to the potential of the car (how much I'm getting out of it). Just going faster? Boring.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:40:46 PM   #67
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Again, BMW execs need to take a page out of Porsche's response to enthusiasts and rather than bemoan them, they should actually embrace the fact that we are the ones largely responsible for carrying on the brand's history through the pride we take in espousing our love for the cars of the previous generations. That's something to celebrate. One of the reasons he said that is because he is still upset about Albert Biermann's interview where he said BMW has lost their way a bit. I recall seeing an interview he did in Britain before where Bierman's quote was brought up and he wasn't happy about it. Porsche has embraced enthusiasts who derided the advent of water cooled cars because they realize that it's those same enthusiasts who are largely responsible for driving the brand's name and heritage by restoring and enjoying those cars that we consider more analogue. I think the statement he made about not wanting to hear about "shit" anymore is going to backfire. It already has if you look at some of the online responses. At the end of the day, I don't think they care very much because it has become more about the bottom line.
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The feeling's mutual; we're upset with you too BMW.
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My problem is BMW doesn't hit the mark with its "special" M cars such as the M4 GTS either. Sure their normal offerings and even normal M cars have to appeal to a mass audience to turn profits, but by making an M4 GTS at all you're demonstrating you're trying to cater to a small demographic of people who really like driving.

Imagine if the M4 GTS specifically offered an 500hp 8500rpm NA engine. It would totally disrupt the current enthusiast market.
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Originally Posted by twentyseven View Post
BMW as we knew it has all but disappeared. The F80 may as well not even have a Roundel on it, but it's still a great car. You just have to reset your inner barometer. Sadly it's an exception in the lineup. The non-M offerings have really diverged from the original ethos of the Ultimate Driving Machine. They are disconnected, cheaply built, and overpriced within their segments. BMW has always been a generation behind in terms of features which really exposes their lack of value nowadays as other manufacturers have really stepped their games up...

Gone are the days where a 3 series punches above it's weight and sets the bar for everyone else. You have to pay a premium for an M car to really get "freude am fahren".



Agree with pretty much all of the above.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:44:01 PM   #68
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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I don't agree with any of this.

A) I don't think the e46 m3 is a "better" car than the e46 non M. The non M was the best, most sporting experience they could make before they had to start compromising on civility. The M3 is what they could make once they were willing to compromise on civility. Not better/worse-- different value set. Also not how the current line is built-- it can be an i, an is, an M sport, an M, an CS, a ZCP, or a GTS-- none are built to be the best, they're all built to try to up sell you to a more expensive car that doesn't cost BMW more to make (unlike the CSL, which BMW almost certainly lost money on every one they sold).

B) I find the non M e46 more exciting to drive on the street, in most contexts. For me, excitement is driving a car at/near/sometimes beyond its limits. To do this, you need steering feel (to feel the front end losing traction), linear, predicable power with good throttle response (as if you're cornering near the limit and then boost kicks in, you're not in a good place), and a sufficiently competent chassis that you can turn DSC off and not be surprised (can't go past the limit with DSC on). The e46M has all the ingredients, but to actually do it you need to be far from civilization, as the speeds are too high. The non M e46s, especially with "normal" tires, can do it all day every day, without significantly endangering anyone. And an F8X M3.... well, it both doesn't have the ingredients, and has way too much speed.

For my wants, I'd rather daily an e46 330i than an F80 M3-- particularly for the purpose of hauling ass. IMO "hauling ass" is only interesting/fun when it's in relation to the potential of the car (how much I'm getting out of it). Just going faster? Boring.
Yes, we very much disagree here, both in concept and in specifics.

What I'm saying is this:

If you take a car and grab it by its neck and fling it down a canyon run and then get out of the car and go "holy fukk that thing is incredible" then it's a killer car. Period.

The E46 M3 does this. The F80Z does this. A non-M E46 does not do this even though it has easily the best steering feel of the bunch.

Speed absolutely is a key part of excitement. When my buddies and I go dirt bike riding or go skiing, we don't have any fun at all until we are hauling ass. And so then the hardware's main purpose, at that point, is to facilitate that end goal. I honestly would rather sit around camp and drink beer then ride my dirt bike slowly - that's a waste of time. And so the best dirt bike is the one with the highest level of technical competence. The older bikes have more character, sure, but they aren't as good to ride super fast on. Less rigid chassis', less precise, less responsive, etc.

And again - you're trying to quantity steering feel as if it's black or white. This is not the case. One car may have a lower resolution/detail of feel but still provide a very clear indication of when the tires are breaking lose - at the point the goal is met - to provide the pilot with the information needed to make decisions. The amount of feel becomes secondary, a nicety that guys like us will debate over on the internet, haha!!

It should be noted that the F80 ZCP has zero traction issues once you're out of first gear. In fact, that's its primary strengths over the older/base cars, fyi. But this thread is not about the F80.

Which brings me to my final point - I used to assume/say that same things about big turbo power, thinking it would bite you in the ass mid corner. Simply untrue if expertly calibrated. That said, turbo is not a BMW thing but a world thing. Yes there are still killer NA power plants but not many. Hell, even the Cayman/S are turbo'd now. Point is - embrace it because it's the way things are and believe me, the turbo can be quite good. As good as a killer NA motor? No. But again, it's not black and white.
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:56:59 PM   #69
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Curious; what BMW would you consider to be superior in a feeling sense than the e46? Also, there are plenty of people that COULD drive quicker than the e46; I’m not really sure the argument for the E46M focuses on the speed factor. There’s more than goes into enjoying an E46 M3 than just the speed it goes.

I had an 2005 E46 325i auto and hated it. SO slow.


2002/e30/e36 and dare I say, the 1M.

I own an e46 because of the s54, not because of its steering feel.

Going faster is more exciting to 99.99% of people, and if you’re that .01% then you need an e30 or e36, as the e46 isn’t nearly as good as either of those two in steering “feel”
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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 06:58:59 PM   #70
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Default Re: BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Yes, we very much disagree here, both in concept and in specifics.

What I'm saying is this:

If you take a car and grab it by its neck and fling it down a canyon run and then get out of the car and go "holy fukk that thing is incredible" then it's a killer car. Period.

The E46 M3 does this. The F80Z does this. A non-M E46 does not do this even though it has easily the best steering feel of the bunch.

Speed absolutely is a key part of excitement. When my buddies and I go dirt bike riding or go skiing, we don't have any fun at all until we are hauling ass. And so then the hardware's main purpose, at that point, is to facilitate that end goal. I honestly would rather sit around camp and drink beer then ride my dirt bike slowly - that's a waste of time.

And again - you're trying to quantity steering feel as if it's black or white. This is not the case. One car may have a lower resolution/detail of feel but still provide a very clear indication of when the tires are breaking lose - at the point the goal is met - to provide the pilot with the information needed to make decisions. The amount of feel becomes secondary, a nicety.

Finally, the F80 ZCP has zero traction issues. In fact, that's its primary strengths over the older/base cars, fyi.
I see your point in canyon driving, but what % of driving is that? 1-2%? That said, even in the canyons, I really only enjoy driving them if I can drive them at near the cars limits-- not a great idea in the F8X.

Overwhelmingly, most of the fun, regular driving I get to do is bombing back roads... and my experience in the F8X has been that it's pretty terrible at that. Too big, too fast, too unlinear, and not enough feel.

I do agree you just need enough steering feel. I do not agree the F8X has enough.

The most boring driving I do every day is the highway portion of my commute. I do it early in the morning, so the road is mine. I go 40 miles on the highway, and my speeds range from 100-140 mph almost the entire way (I try to have less than a 20mph speed differential on cars I'm passing, but even semis are going 90+ that time of day). By most people measure, that's "hauling ass". But it is dullsville-- zero excitment from it. Happily at that speed it's over in ~20 minutes, and then I'm back to back roads.

Didn't you say you haven't turned DSC off, yet? That implies to me you're not as comfortable with its traction as you're stating.
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Discussing BMW upset with E46 M3 enthusiasts in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)