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      12-16-2009, 06:21 AM   #1

Drives: 2008 BMW M3
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Smile E92 M3 vs. Z4M Coupe Review

This past weekend I bought an e92 M3 to compliment my 2006 Z4 M Coupe. I won't really comment on the looks much because that is really based on your own personal taste. I will say that from the back I prefer the Z4M and from the front I prefer the M3

Here are my thoughts:

-The cockpit makes me feel like I am in much more of a 'weekend racer'. The steering wheel, shifter, e-brake, pedals are exactly where I want. (Maybe because I haven't adjusted completely to the M3 yet). I just feel like its much more purposeful to this than the M3
-The steering on the Z4M I MUCH prefer. I hate servotronic. I am pretty sure it's not because Im used to the old Hydraulic.. I actually just really don't like servotronic; I don't want it to be light around town. I like the direct steering much more
-When I go WOT in 2nd gear, I feel more of a violent 'punch in the gut' in the Z4M.. I think I can attribute this to much more compression braking coming from the S54 engine in the Z4M. The car slows down more when I let go of the gas in 2nd, so when I press the gas I feel a push into the back of my seat from braking -> acceleration
-The car feels nimbler. But on the limit I feel like it feels more 'twitchy'
-The Z4M is harder. Much harder.. Everything about it: shifter, clutch, suspension, steering. Sometimes I prefer this, sometimes I don't.
-I think I may prefer the sound of a high-revving 6 over the 8. (Love the GT3 sound).. I am not completely decided on which car sounds better though.
-The Z4M just makes it feel like the car is 'working hard' and is loving it. The M3 admittedly is faster, but the car doesn't really 'feel' like it's taking a beating from me and is laughing at me at the same time. I don't know if I just sound crazy for typing that lol, maybe some of you know what I mean.

-The car just feels 'smoother' in general. Even though I am used to the Z4M I cannot drive it completely smoothly.. I suppose because of the feather clutch/shifter I can in the M3
-Car feels more forgiving
-It is noticeably faster
-I bought the car from a dealership 2 hours from my house. On the way home I discovered it is definitely much more comfortable
-The car is bigger and I can feel the weight. But it does feel a bit more composed at the limit
-The engine. Wow. It revs so freely.. I would say more-so than the S54. One little blip brings the revs very high (Is this contrary to popular opinion?)
-The sport throttle mapping is less aggressive and easier to drive than the Z4M
-Instead of the power delivery being a 'punch in the gut'.. It feels more like a 'surge of speed'
-Oh did I mention? I really do NOT like servotronic.
-The visibility looking out to other traffic is much easier in the M3. Making it an easier car to drive everyday
-The car feels like a 'grown-up' version of the Z4M.. More refined; but less edginess. Definitely still a sports car, but much more of a GT-Sports car split personality.

I truly am not sure which I prefer overall. I haven't truly driven the M3 enough to know. Time will tell though. I suppose for now I will go with the politically correct answer: it's like they are both children of mine. A bit different in their preferences, but both utterly fantastic.

Thank you for reading!
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      12-16-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
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Nice read

I like very much the Z4M coupe, and I believe it is a pity they don't release a new version of the Z4M coupe with a V8.
16 F-Type S AWD
16 Audi A6 3.0 TFSI
11 Audi RS5 Misano Red--sold
08 E92 M3 Jerez Black 6MT--sold
08 E92 335i 6MT traded in for M3
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      12-16-2009, 10:28 AM   #3
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Any pics? Good Read!
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      12-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #4

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i agree on everything, almost. the sound of the z4m from inside is very nice, the sound of the m3 on the outside is

no one can criticize the m3 on this forum without getting a beating for it, but yah i do prefer the raw old feel of the z4m over the m3
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      12-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #5

Drives: 2008 e92 m3 sg
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Hmmmm, z4m with a v8 swap lol I would like to see how that feels, maybe when the motors start popping up I'll start a project but I truly lov my e92 m3 over my e46, I can't critsize the z4m tho as I've never driven one
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      12-16-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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What you are experiencing is two totally different products aiming at different customer yet both are trying to satisfy the boy racer in each.
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      12-16-2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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Drives: 2011 E90 M3 Comp Pkg Only
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Also a Z4Mcoupe to E9X M3 member...

Since I drove my Mcoupe for over 2yrs before I got the M3 Sedan I will chime in as well. I would agree on most of the points you have made. The Mcoupe is in my opinion, one of the best looking cars BMW has ever designed. From ANY angle, though the rear is spot on perfect!

The steering wheel is the best in the business. The handling is scalpel-like, you know people say that but it really is on this car. The interior is very purposeful and gives you the sense you are driving something special.

The complaint list is very short on this car. First, is the rear visibility. The only thing I could see out the back window is the front license plate of the car behind me. When driving you use your side mirrors ALOT more than most cars. When comparing 6MT to 6MT, the M3 is light years better! In the Mcoupe I could not shift as fast as I wanted 1-2 without getting some grind or resistence. The S54 was a bit noiseier(Vanos rattle) in the Mcoupe than in my E46 M3. The exhaust was rasp-free on the Mcoupe compared to the E46. I myself do not mind the rasp but BMW left it out on the Mcoupe.

Having said all that, the M3 is a 'better' overall performance car. It's faster, alot faster, even though it might not feel like it, the M3 shoots from 0-150 over 8 seconds faster than the M3/Mcoupe(S54). It probabally handles way better over uneven street surfaces than the Mcoupe. And finally it is more roomy and luxurious than the Mcoupe(duh).

If I had to do all over again, for the same money I spent on the E90M3, I might have just kept the Mcoupe and got a Tundra 5.7 to tool around town in. As a daily driver, the Mcoupe is not so great. It attract alot of attention. My wife and I would see people snapping cell-pics all the time. This will never happen in my alpine white sedan. This can be a good thing if you are like me and prefer to fly under the radar. As a weekend car, the Mcoupe is exactly what you would want. I made a comprimise with the M3 sedan. I got 4 seats, the performance, the refinement but gave up some of the uniqueness and rarity that only the Mcoupe can bring in this comparison.

Mcoupe. You are missed!

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