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Some thoughts... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ E36 M3 Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Mike Chiang on June 26, 2000 at 11:28:22:

In Reply to: Re: Which M3 should I buy? *Thanks!* posted by DannyBoy on June 25, 2000 at 20:19:58:

Danny, are you looking for a good, competitive autocross and track car, or a good all-rounder?

If its your goal to win at auto-x events and move into Regional or National level competition, a good way to go is the 3rd gen RX7 or C4 or C5 Vette. These cars have owned Super Stock for years now and have great hop-up potential in ASP and BSP. Look at National Tour results, and you'll find these cars all over the place.

M3s used to be quite competitive in A Stock, but have been outclassed lately by Boxsters and S2000s. The writing on the wall for the 2000 season is S2000 --and wait until these cars get swaybars! However, a mildly tuned M3 can compete *very* well with the pony cars in ESP, and still be a good daily driver. Your target p/w should be in the 270/2950 range to really compete. M3s are SO competative in ESP in fact, that there is a raging debate in the SCCA ESP community to have them moved in BSP since they are seen as an overdog in the class.

And this is where the M3 shines. With this car, you make some mild tuning choices, be competitive with cars that are closer to rules limits and STILL have a very tractable, comfortable and streetable car. Handling is fantastic out of the box, and can be exceptional with some inexpensive mods. Power is more than adequate for most venues and there is a strong aftermarket for BMWs. Add a good, knowledgeable enthusiast group, and its a tough package to beat.

Yes, the 3rd gen RX-7 or C5 Vette is faster all around, but as a daily driver, I'll have the M3 over those cars any day.

..and I hope you were joking about the 20" wheels.

Good luck.

Mike Chiang

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