I'm absolutely impressed. Although I have just driven the M3 once at an autocross, and I have driven just 1 day at Laguna Seca, the times posted by the M3 are incredible.
At the tight autocross I drove, the car did not push at all. My GT3, Boxster S pushed at autocrosses (fixed with alignment). The Cayman S, 996 Turbo, 997 GT3 RS pushed as well at autocrosses when I drove them. The E46 M3 pushed just really bad.
On similar tires, the M3 is just 0.4 seconds behind the $134,000 911 Turbo, that's something else.
Put a set of Hoosier R6, and the M3 can hit under 1:40s. That's pretty much among the fastest times I see on lapping days at Laguna Seca. Of course, Randy has to be driving it.
03 Celica GTS
04 Hummer H2
07 Cayman S
08 BMW M3