Originally Posted by UltimateBMW
I believe it was the designer of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage that said, "The best sports car designs incorporate both masculine and feminine design aspects." Clearly you can see how this philosophy is behind the V8 Vantage and I think the M3 fits it just as well. Rounded corners with some strong creases is becoming more common and the sharp square shapes (aside form Cadillac) are going out of style. This has also come about since manufacturing techniques and costs now allow for it, as well as material constraints and manipulation.
As far as the fender flares go, the M3 definitely has them. They aren't overwhelming but nor are they absent either. If you ask me I'd say that the fender flares on the e46 M3 are not really that big either, and I believe the degree of actual flare between the M3 and the normal 3-series fenders would be about equal.
That's fair, but the Vantage is probably the best-looking car on the planet. If the M3 looked half as good I would have no qualms about it at all.
True, it does have fender flares, and it's may be true that the width change is the same. What has changed is that the E46 M3 had taller flares (extending higher up on the fender edge), if that makes sense, that created a more dramatic effect.