Originally Posted by e36jakeo
I instruct for four different track clubs. I race in time trials. I won my class last year in an E36 M3 -- with a roof.
Formula 1 cars are designed without a roof, as are Boxsters, S2000s, etc. Thus they are designed from the ground up to be stiff and relatively light (3000 lbs or so). It allows them to handle well.
An M3 is designed as a 4-seat coupe. With the E92 M3, it even has a CF roof to keep it light and with a lower center of gravity. Huge strides are taken to make it have a stiff chassis that does not flex when presented with huge loads in high G corners. This allows the suspension to do its job properly and allows the car to grip the pavement and remain balanced.
By hacking off the roof to create the M3 Convertible additional chassis strengthening is necessary just to make it half as stiff as the coupe. This, plus the electric mechanism that raises and lowers the top, plus the metal top itself, weigh at least 400-500 lbs. For reference the 335i Vert weighs 400 lbs more than the 335i coupe (which has a metal roof and sunroof). I'll bet the M3 Vert will weigh over 4000 lbs.
I am NOT against convertibles (I have an S2000). I too love putting the top down and running through the No Cal twisties. But to take a car that costs a lot of money because of how much engineering went into making it stiff, strong, relatively light, and fast, and then chopping off the roof, thus eliminating so much of what was good about it makes no sense.
But I have the mindset of a racer, not someone who just wants to drive a cool looking, V8 powered, heavy 4-seat convertible. I'd rather get a used S2K for $15K for when you want to do the top-down thing and then get the real M3 -- the coupe (or sedan).
OK, enough mudslinging. Just opinions, guys!
Racer Mindset ?
Thats interesting that you say that, I have tracked, instructed, autocrossed
and soloed in many different vehicles, P-Car 356s, 911s Boxsters, Boxster S,
and RS Americas, Hondas S-2000 (2) 4 Datsun 510s and a BMW 2002.
I am currently licensed to drive in FIA events, have raced a BMW 1 series and a Bora (Jetta there) with turbo diesels that are hard tops and are
very fast overall (lots of torque, light and very controlable) these are not streetable machines they are track cars. I will be a pit man, sparedriver in the 24 at the Ring in June. If I buy into a ride, that 24 hour period will cost appoximately as much as a used S-2000 especially. maybe a bit less.
My point was to have a Hard top / Softtop car that would perform anywhere close to within 95-to-98 percent of the coupe version is a great achievement Driven a 335 cab, and 335 coupe relatively hard, have you ?
Take a look at the German Magazine autobild who tested the 335cab against the 997s(911 cab) the 335 with sport package and 17"s lapped the Hockenheimring 2-3 seconds slower than a more power Porsche 997S Cab on 19"s It was 1/2 the price. Really !
Now obviously the cab will be heavier than the coupe, but Have you noticed the body panels of the cab being different than the coupe? that the whole frame has been tuned to be NEAR that of a coupe. BMW has lightened many areas to keep the weight down and the chassis stiff The M series will be built the same way.Yes it weighs more, they didnt just cut the roof off and weld, they did a lot more than that.
If you can spend $50-60 K on an M coupe will you strip it of weight and race prepare the car ? will you track it as is or modify it? Do you know why there are so many Porsche GT3s on the market with low miles? They are a track car, street legal maybe, but hard to enjoy without a track.
I didnt buy a E-46 M-3 vert because of the Cowl shake, same with the Audi. Now go test drive a 335 cab and check for yourself. the M will likely be even better. But I will test it first, hopefully you will too.
If you love top down driving, buy a vert, they hold their value better than a coupe.
If you want it for the track order a car stripped,No air no PS PW PDL, no carpet, 2 seats (or better yet one) no radio
LW back windows roll cage and gut and change the suspension, then drive it, its great on the track but will kill you on the freeway
A coupe is a blast to drive, I have a 67 911S that will blow you away I also have a 67 911S Soft window targa that is more flexible but with the top off, rear window folded, and the 6 Webers sucking air and the sun hitting your head on a mountain pass, its much more visceral.
To sum up my long, waiting for an airplane post
Yes a car is like a woman
If you want good sex find It, if they drive you nuts put up with it
If you want want a friend find someone you can talk with forget the sex
If you want a partner find as much of both as you can, someone you can live with and know their weaknesses and strengths, and make your decision, go with it, enjoy even marry If you picked right you will be happy, if not you will
likely always want something else, to each his own.
Everything in life is a compromise, Even a BMW
TELL me what REAL Drivers training you have after
besides your State Drivers License ?
Think about it ?