Good discussion. Well-balanced thread.
I had some issues with the looks early on but I think with most the natural tendency is to simply "poo-poo" at the beginning and relish the past. Now, esp. with the recent gray mule photos, I love the look of the car we have seen thus far. I think the large, deep "holes" on the front bumper look super aggressive, both a continuation of the E46 M3 design, as well as nice similarities to the 996 Porsche. As has been said here many times the M3 needs/must have its own face. It can't look like a 335i with an M5 front bumper cover. 98% of the strong nay sayers will change their minds after two important events; the first real pics and the first real test numbers (not under-rated BMW specs). I strongly suspect at least 425 bhp claimed (my official predictions and some good discussion on this is here: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13252
, just to top the RS4. Since the M5, which is also likely under-rated, probably puts out about 530 bhp just lopping off 2 cylinders with NO OTHER improvements to hp/l (unlikely since that engine is about 3+ yrs old, counting development) yields 424 bhp. A 15% drive train loss yields 360 rwhp. Also in the thread above I argue why the car will almost for sure be as fast or faster than the M5, 0-60, maybe 0-80 (unlikely after that). The M5, despite its weight is FAST, low 4s 0-60!
BMW literally has an unmatched heritage with the M3 (RS4 is the only car to ever win a magazine comparo yet have never unseated the E46 M3 with respect to the important "fun factor") and despite comments above, a past track record is one of the BEST reasons to be optimistic (rather than thinking it is a good time for BMW to slip up
). I'm glad there are so many here to share my excitement with and BS endlessly
. Still praying to see the beast in Geneva.... Cheers.