Originally Posted by Foodle
Not sure why you doubt the veracity of my post. It's not like I'm asking if I'd be happy moving from a 1992 Honda Civic to a 2011 M3. The e46 ZHP is regarded by many as a future classic 3-series with great handling, looks, etc. and equal or better than some e9x cars in some categories.
Sure, any of the e9x cars have more hp than my ZHP, but there's more to a car than raw hp and how fast you can get to 60 in a straight line. For example, I drove a 550i and it was a boat. Sure the engine is huge, but the car drove like a 1985 Oldsmobile (exaggeration). The 335i I drove was ok, but the additional hp didn't translate into a better car for me. It didn't seem so much faster than the ZHP and the high steering ratio made it handle worse. So I really don't see how it is strange to ask if the supposedly best handling car in the 3-series will work for me.
I don't know about you, but I don't pick a car just based on the engine output.
You should really go and test drive an e9x M3. It will answer all of your questions. Beyond what anyone here can say, you may feel it's a huge improvement or not a big step. Only you can make that decision for yourself.