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      02-08-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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Post EVO's soon to be old school comparo: BMW M3 vs 911 GT3, WRX STI, Clio 200 Cup

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EVO's soon to be old school comparo: BMW M3 vs 911 GT3, WRX STI, Clio 200 Cup
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EVO takes a look at four greats from a soon-to-be old school group of cars. They will be considered 'old school' not just because of their age, but because of new technology and the changing demands on performance cars.

Why has EVO gathered these cars up for a day of driving fun, but also lament? Because the M3 and the others cars in this group are "united under a dark cloud of recent or imminent death. Of course there will be another GT3, another M3 and another Clio Cup, but they won’t quite be the same. The cars that replace these machines will each lose something at the burning core of their appeal."

So, these cars are "a celebration of genuine evo Hall of Famers, one final triumphant drive into the heart of our favourite stomping ground, one final plea to the people who have crafted these extraordinary cars to never forget what made them so special… These cars are united by their tight focus and sublime execution, united by a dedication to thrill the lucky blighter behind the steering wheel."

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The final car of our quartet is the BMW M3. The M3 may have started life as a homologation machine pure and simple, but those who pine for the old days neglect just how fantastic the newer cars have become. The E46 was fantastic and despite some lukewarm reviews in the early days, the E92 V8 M3 remains the benchmark fast, practical coupe by a country mile in my opinion. Anyone who tells you it isn’t hasn’t driven one or has forgotten just how exceptional this car is. OurTM3 is actually a 2007 car owned by Adam Walker, evo reader and my new best mate since he’s letting me drive his pride and joy as much as I like and at any angle that seems appropriate.
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Of course, the M3 plays the same trick, offering a similarly broad repertoire and a phenomenal engine of its own. It’s also the bargain of the moment. This 40,000-mile ’07 example is worth around £22,000. Yet it has a 4-litre V8 with 414bhp at 8300rpm and hits 100mph in 10sec, it’s beautifully built and sweats a brooding aggression that hasn’t dated a day since its launch. In keeping with our purist theme, this car has a manual ’box and does without the adjustable EDC dampers.

On the very worst sections of road, you do miss EDC just a little as the car bounces where the slightly softer Comfort mode of the adjustable set-up might let it breathe. Having said that, there’s no escaping the M3’s inherent qualities. The engine takes centre stage. It’s incredibly sharp and revs with the manic appetite of a supercar. The M3 is often said to have ‘no torque’. This, my friends, is hogwash. OK, so it doesn’t have the mambo of a 6.2-litre V8 made by AMG, but 295lb ft at 3900rpm isn’t so bad. More importantly, it pulls hard from 2500rpm and if you were to restrict yourself to just 5000rpm you’d still make seriously quick progress. And you’d still have another 3500rpm to go…

The V8 is also the perfect match for the chassis, allowing it to really hook-up even out of second-gear corners and giving you a progressive and vast power band to play in should you overwhelm the rear tyres. And you will. I mean, why not? The M3 has sublime balance and although it can snap away pretty quickly initially, once you’ve caught that first spike you’re plum in the middle of the sort of oversteer you like to daydream about. Matching this progression and the M3’s natural ability to indulge will be the M division’s biggest challenge for the next M3. Can it make a turbocharged engine as intuitive to modulate so precisely? I hope so. It might also want to improve the braking system’s resilience (nothing wrong with the feel), give the damping slightly more control on bumpy surfaces and dial more feel into the steering. If it manages all that, the next M3 will be quite something. Quite something indeed.
To see what they have to say about the other three soon-to-be replaced or extinct hero cars, head on over to EVO.


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      02-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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Nice piece, more evidence the end of an era is near.
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      02-08-2013, 03:42 PM   #3
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sad to see these cars go.... i am lucky to have owned/currently own 3 out of 4 of these cars...

i thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. all of them ooze so much character. just today i was pulling mini drifts in the snow with my 09 STI as i turned the corners while driving in downtown montreal.

a picture of the STI in snow and green frog (along with the "now-sold" M3)
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      02-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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I don't mind owning a GT3.
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      02-08-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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I am disappointed they didn't throw the soon to be discontinued Evo in there too. But they did mention the Evo in the article and how it had "hyper agility". Have to agree, it was a very sharp car with on-point handling. Much sharper than the STI.. although less livable in day-to-day driving.
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      02-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
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I miss my Evo VIII...
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      02-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Need GT3!

Helpful review to determine my next purchase.
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      02-11-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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That 911 GT3 in the "Laguna Seca Blue" color is to die for...

Last edited by Ghetto2315; 02-11-2013 at 09:23 AM.
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      02-11-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghetto2315
That 911 GT3 in the "Laguna Seca Blue" color is to die for...
I've always admired the GT3 color pallet and am almost disappointed when I see one in a standard color like black, white, grey etc...
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      02-11-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt2000 View Post
I've always admired the GT3 color pallet and am almost disappointed when I see one in a standard color like black, white, grey etc...
I see that you have a Santorini on order. Similar to LSB, yet so different. I am very jealous!
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      02-11-2013, 09:46 AM   #11
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GT3 is gonna be added to the family in the next 3 years.
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      02-11-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghetto2315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt2000 View Post
I've always admired the GT3 color pallet and am almost disappointed when I see one in a standard color like black, white, grey etc...
I see that you have a Santorini on order. Similar to LSB, yet so different. I am very jealous!
I can't wait

Although this article does make me think twice about buying a 2013 car that is already considered old school
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      02-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #13
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Someone said

“The E92 V8 M3 remains the benchmark, fast, practical coupe by a country mile in my opinion. Anyone who tells you it isn’t hasn’t driven one or has forgotten just how exceptional this car is”

So true this is.
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      02-11-2013, 10:04 AM   #14
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Very nice stable indeed Mr. Montreal Red. I can never afford a GT3 but hope to add an STi myself.
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      02-11-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt2000 View Post
I've always admired the GT3 color pallet and am almost disappointed when I see one in a standard color like black, white, grey etc...
Hey, there's nothing dissappointing about a GT3 in gray..

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      02-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #16
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^^

the e9xM3 is going to def be a tough act to follow! come on BMW dont let us down
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      02-11-2013, 10:24 AM   #17
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Saw this on facebook, sad to see this group go, c'est la vie. I was lucky enough to own a 997 GT3 and now an M3 on the way.
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      02-11-2013, 10:45 AM   #18
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Would love to read that whole article especially what was said about the GT3. I love the comment about "torque". Last bit is I hate you all with a M3 and GT3 in your stables (hope to own one some day...or maybe a 991)
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      02-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #19
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I do not follow porsche I must admit so I was not aware the GT3 is going to be taking a significant departure from generations past? Will it not still sport a high-revving NA flat 6 with a light-weight, rear drive chassis? Not sure I get why this new GT3 would be the end of an era?

The m3 I completely understand as clearly there is a significanat departure on many fronts for the new m3.
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      02-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3takesNYC View Post
I do not follow porsche I must admit so I was not aware the GT3 is going to be taking a significant departure from generations past? Will it not still sport a high-revving NA flat 6 with a light-weight, rear drive chassis? Not sure I get why this new GT3 would be the end of an era?
Not much is known about the upcoming GT3 yet but the 991 models that it is based on use electric steering and it is a larger and longer car for more comfort. All of these make it less involving than the more analog 911s in the past. The EPS in the 991 is pretty good but not quite as involving as hydraulic.
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      02-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #21
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This article brought tears to my eyes. Well done. But at the same time, it confirmed why I fell in love with this car and recently purchase one. The last of this kind will be sitting in my garage for the rest of my life enjoying greatness.
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      02-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #22
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I miss my Evo VIII...
I know the feeling having owned two VIIIs, a IX MR, and a X GSR. Absolutely fun vehicles...
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