I am surprised there is not more noise about the PORKY weight of the M3. After all the early discussion we had about it weighing in at less than 3500 (we were led to believe this by the BMW press info) it is appalling they let it tilt the scales at 3650 lbs (according to this C & D article)!!
I thought they may have gone all-out for weight savings, but I think instead they used weight reduction as more of a marketing tool than a performance enhancer (viagra??). I am surprised the CF roof only saves 11 pounds - but it is good for marketing! They did not bother with aluminum doors or lighter weight glass. Actually, they did very little about reducing the weight, and then they made a huge deal about the engine weighing less than an IRON block inline six. This is nice and all, but it is only because it is an aluminum block vs. an iron block.
If the M3 price comes in over $60K, they will be going head-on against the Cayman S. Porsche will soon upgrade the engines in its line by 20 HP across the board, and a 320 HP Cayman S will seem like the better option. It will weigh just over 3000 lbs, with mid-engine handling, great sounds, Porsche panache, good quality, and (gasp!) excellent gas mileage (20/28). Then factor in that it will be almost as fast as the M3, quicker around a track, and way more fun on a back road and the Porsche seems like the better package. OK, it won't have a back seat, but how many M3 owners really use their's?
Although I am sure the M3 is a great overall package, this extra weigh will undoubtedly take away a lot of the liveliness and feel of the previous generations. Plus, although faster than the E46, the extra weight will prevent it from being THAT much faster (a 4 MPH increase in 1/4 trap speed is not a huge improvement in light of being 8 years newer, $10K more expensive, and displacing 25% more CCs).
I sure hope the CSL comes to the US!
Driving sideways: It's not faster, but damn it's more fun!