Originally Posted by LJ35DRVR
Do you have any experience in the 335? What about a 335 with an ECU piggyback for more power? I guess the questions I'm getting at are: The 335 is quick (faster than BMW's official numbers), how does the new M compare? Is it night and day, hands down, M all the way, or would the 335 hold its own? What about a 335 with a $1300 ECU piggyback + $1500 exhaust putting down 375 whp/405 lb/ft torque? I'm not really trying to ask if the modded 335 is as good as an M. Obviously you can't turn a 3-series into an M without some serious effort/cost, but bang for the buck, for a person who will never ever track the car, is a modded 335 even in the same league?
Thanks for the insight thus far. Very enjoyable.
I've driven several 335i and in standard form it would be clearly beaten by an M3 in terms of acceleration, but the M3 driver would need to use more revs which clearly is how it is designed to perform. It would also be thoroughly beaten in terms of handling, steering feel and braking. Essentially the gap between 335i and E92 M3 is similar to the gap between 330i and M3 when the E46 was launched back in 2001. Many people though will find the 335i adequate for their needs, but those who want an M-car will find it worth their while moving up to an M3.
A properly tuned 335i would clearly be as quick as an M3 on the road, unless the M3 driver really extended the revs, but there's a lot more to the M3 than just straight line performance (as there always has been with M3s).
What you would miss with a modded 335i is the way the M3 sounds as it accelerates and the competence of the chassis when really pressing on. The 335i is a 7/10ths car, great up to a point but the M3 is a 9/10ths car with deeper reserves of talent, should you choose to use them. BMW clearly wish to offer their customers a choice, and they have chosen to make the M3 more hard-core to create more distance over the 335i.