Originally Posted by adc
It could produce a *peak* torque value like that, but instead BMW has chosen to give it a flatter torque curve for better driveability...
I have written a fair amount of flowery words about the current M3 powerplant, but the fact of the matter is, if BMW had simply matched the power and torque-per-liter numbers from the last U.S. - spec M3, it would be generating in the vicinity of 415 HP, with about 325 pound feet, available at 4900 rpm, same as the E46.
Nobody I know has bitched about any "peaky" nature of the E46 model, because in fact it enjoyed a very flat torque curve. Just not as flat as the current model. The E46 that graced our garage was a little flat at 1500 rpm (like the current model), but was happy at anything over 2000-2200, and joyous at 3K and up, also like the current model.
If the current M3 had that sort of proportional power and torque, it would be quicker on a drag strip or a race circuit, and it wouldn't lose anything to the current model in terms of low-end driveability.