Originally Posted by lucid
Well, cars like the M3 are in the boundary between the mass-market and the custom built pieces. So, I am saying that the factory M3 is much more refined than your average mid-range car when it comes to performance. In the end, everything is a trade-off--any kind of design process is comprised of a series of trade-offs. That is exactly what I am saying: if you are willing to trade off things like reliability and emissions for performance, you can. Heck, you can make the thing perform a space flight if you spend enough and disregard other civilized considerations. But then do you want a race car, or do you want something you can drive on the street? If you want a race car, there are much better options than the M3 out there. That said, I still assert that it is not possible to gain 60-80hp by simply replacing headers and programming ECUs on this thing. Maybe 20hp in total, which you most likely will not feel during daily driving conditions, but not 60-80hp.
Personally, I think it's useless for me, as a person less likely to mod my car, to post much in a thread like this. Why get into a discussion about trading reliability for performance? People who want to mod will mod without your blessing, consent, unsolicited advice, etc. Why bother?