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      11-29-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Thinking to trade in e92 M3 for 2011 gt500 Mustang

(Not trying to start a war here)

I've been driving BMW 3 series for almost 9 years now. I've had my 6MT 2008 e92 M3 since May '08.

The car is great, I don't hate on it. I've had it at Buttonwillow, Laguna Seca, Infineon & Autoclub Speedway.

Last time at Laguna Seca I melted the brakes, needed rotors and my (brand new) pads replaced... under warranty luckily.

My lease is up May '11, and I think I'm going to try for a 2011 or 2012 gt 500 Shelby Mustang.

They compared a stock GT to an e92 here and the Mustang was faster in the 1/4 mile by .01 sec, and as fast I think around the track. Also braking distance was slightly shorter on the GT and comparable on the skidpad.

Granted the driver said the M3 won by a tad, but this is also the stock GT. The gt500 with the SVT kit comes with Brembo brakes, lowered, 20" rear and 19" front wheels, 550hp / 500lbft supercharged motor (there is an aftermarket 725hp kit for $6300 - 50 state legal). Stock GT is around 414 I think.

Anyways, I know that a Mustang isn't probably up to the caliber of an M3 for most of you guys, but I think I'm gonna give it a shot. The 2011 gt500 has the same motor as the Ford GT with a few tweaks to it.

Also, they look alot better this time, it actually reminds me of an M3 from the front views in a way, and the sticker is right around 50-53k for loaded, upgraded stereo, nav, heated seats.. etc. So thats about 18K less than a comparable M3, with better performance numbers. And, these only come in 6MT so no more seeing soccer moms driving my same M3 around.

The grabber blue is pretty sweet.. similar to Laguna Seca blue on the e46. I also like the dark silver, similar to the Space Gray I have now..

What's your opinion? Anyone driven one?

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      11-29-2010, 10:33 PM   #2
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      11-29-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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A question of power vs. handling, I would think.
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      11-29-2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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They have improved the look and power to the wheels for sure!
Do it you will beat yourself to death if you don't .
American muscle is fun, I had the srt8 Cherokee prior to my M3 and I loved the straight line power I had 400 + hp and torque AWD not as nimble as the M ,
But equally a head turner.

I myself always wanted a mini JCWorks edition.
Good luck
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      11-29-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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both fun cars....its all what you want. I was going to get a Z06 but wanted to stick with the BMW's for now...and happy I did. Either way its a win win
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      11-29-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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The V8 Mustangs are pretty badass these days... with the GT equaling M3 performance and the GT500 killing it. My first new car out of college was the last pushrod Mustang GT, which I dumped about $15K into on performance mods. So I like Mustangs.

However, and this is a big however for me, I've been spoiled by German cars over the last 10 years, and I don't think I could go back to the low-rent feel of a Ford interior (and exterior to a certain extent). Have you sat in a new Mustang? The plastics in the car feel the same as a Ford Fiesta... probably because they are. I just saw one at the LA car show, and the car just feels like junk compared to any BMW. It's sad to me, because I'd like to be able to "buy American", but American manufacturers cut corners that I don't think should be cut. GM is also guilty of this with the Corvette.

Just my .02.
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      11-29-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locksmythe View Post
A question of power vs. handling, I would think.
I think that that question was answered already by the Mustang GT (according to Motor Trend at least) and most probably it will be laid to rest with the Boss 302...

My opinion is that the new Mustangs are the real deal as sporty cars, regardless of the price. But there must be something wrong with the GT500 in particular (old iron block and new 5.4L aluminum), as magazine test after test shows that performance-wise is not that impressive relatively to its power output. It is like somehow always missing 100HP just before the tests...
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      11-29-2010, 10:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locksmythe View Post
A question of power vs. handling, I would think.
Yea, and also the American cars just don't have it on the interior like BMW does. Period. However they have made improvements.

Here's another video of the 2011 @ VIR pulling a 9-second-faster laptime than the 2010 gt500.

One thing I notice is that without the 8400RPM redline on the Mustang that the M3 has, he seems to be bouncing it of the limiter quite a bit, and always seems like it could use a bit higher redline, but the laptime is hard to question.. 2:58.. According to Car and Driver a 2009 M3 pulled 3:05

Lap times:
http://www.caranddriver.com/features...p_2009-feature

Video:
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      11-29-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
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The new Mustang is one of the few domestic cars I would own, updated motor tech is a plus over the GM cars.

We drove a new GT and it was a car could own.......but I am still partial to BMW before they change direction.
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      11-29-2010, 11:00 PM   #10
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Go for it man. The GT500 is a BEAST!!!
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      11-29-2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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I went from a 2010 GT500 to this 2011 E92 M3.

From a pure performance standpoint its hard to beat the GT500, especially if you want more power, but its not a well engineered $50K+ car. Its a 25K mustang with a lot of tacked on parts. Its a bit on a gaudy side, even without stripes its a magnet for every wannabee street racer around, the LED interior lighting is ricy, the lit up SVT door sills are kiddy stuff as well. Quite a few of them have a 1-2 shift problem, they grind or just wont go in 2nd at wot throttle near redline. Mine had it, ford has no clue how to fix it.

Besides the 1-2 shift problem, mine had horrible panel fit, was a rattle machine, rear end carrier bearinggs went out, gas gauge died, interior LEDs stuck on wrong colors many times, stereo was an absolute joke soundwise (shaker 500 w/nav/sync). I sold it off with 2000 miles on it, one of the worse cars quality-wise I have owned in years. Dealer was terrible, wouldnt give me a loaner after they screwed up the rear end and the car sat for two weeks. I got decent money for it and one of the happiest days in my recent life was when I seen that car go.

OTOH, I have a 2011 GT with no options except the Brembo brakes, paid a llittle more than 28K for it. I am going to make a race car out of it but I've been driving it around for a week or so and IMO for what you pay for its a pretty good bargain. The GT500 is probably worth the extra 25K or so, but IMO a regular GT with a supercharged 5.4 and suspension out of the GT500 without the goofy Shelby graphics and body stuff for 15K less would be a hot car.

As far as the mustang vs M3 comparison, believe it or not the M3 has more rear seat room, annoying thing with the mustang is the seats dont fold back to where they were after you let someone in the back. As far as I know you cant get heated seats in the GT500, cant get a power passenger seat either in the GT500 and if you wife is short she wont be able to see much since the pass seat is on the floor and doesnt adjust up.

Really the main difference is the overall fit and finish of the Ford compared to the BMW. On the BMW every wire is in place, it looks like someone actually cared when they screwed it together above and below. None of that stuff really means much to many people though, the GT500 will put a smile on your face for sure, if you can get it in 2nd and the wheel hop doesnt get you. There wouldnt be much of a race between a GT500 and M3 if you could get the mustang to hook up, in great weather a 2010 GT500 has gone mid/high 11s in the 1/4 with slicks, 2011 should be faster. The weights are similar, and a long stroke 5.4L V8 with a positive displacement blower is a torque monster for sure.

Do I miss the GT500? Nope.

Do I like the 2011 GT? Yup, but its a 30K US built car and shows it.

Which car to I prefer to drive every day through the mountains? The M3 for sure, the only way I can describe the handling is 'slot car.' I usually go through the Dragon (US129) twice a week so I gave both a workout. The GT500 will try to kill you, often Granted the 2011 SVT has better suspension but I bet its just as scary when you get into the rougher pavement.

Sorry for the long post, unfortunately I got a 'bad' GT500 and a bad dealer to go along with it. Lot of guys love them, have to figure you are getting a built engine, decent brakes, double disc clutch, good sized fuel system etc over the GT. You would easily spend more than that on a regular GT to get the same performance, handling and reliability - and its all under warranty. I'm using the GT for a drag car so I can care less about handling and braking, just looking for the least amount of weight..

Good luck, not a bad situation to be in

Oh, and dont forget to check out the 2012 Boss 302 if you are a track guy.
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      11-29-2010, 11:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info.. that is a lot of good stuff to know.

I was thinking about maybe just going the GT route with some addons. The Brembos would be where to start, and Ford has released 3 supercharger kits for the GT, 525/624/7XX horsepower. The 525 has a warranty, the rest don't.

Griggs racing makes tubular front ends to help with the suspension, so for 30K + 8k supercharger + 5k suspension, you can get a pretty damn good ride for 43k. But then you have to deal with all the shop time, and inherent issues arising from the mods.

Yea the fit and finish issue is a big I'm sure.. I just think maybe I can deal with it. I really like the M3 but I feel I need to try something different.. I'm going to test drive a new gt500 here soon.

I saw the 2012 Boss at the LA auto show, I even sat in the car onstage while they did a dyno run.. it's cool.. I don't really like the looks, the graphics/colors are a bit much.. and the guy told me no heated seats/nav etc.. it's all "track" car status.. which is cool I guess.. but thats what I like about the M3 also, you can arrive at the track with the AC on, after the nav tells you how to get there, and drive onto the racetrack.. I was hoping to do the same in the gt500.

So many things to think about!

Video of the next person doing the dyno run:
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      11-30-2010, 12:12 AM   #13
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You could probably score a good deal on a 2011 GT500 right now. If you like the GT500 looks then its really a no brainer. I'm 50 years old and it was a bit much for me looks-wise, I'm not into the whole Shelby thing. I had a real 1970 Boss 302 many years ago so I kinda like the new one, different tastes. Still havent warmed up to the 2010-2011 rear end yet though, some angles it looks good, others you have to wonder what Ford was thinking

Most people overlook the quality difference for the power difference, a good tradeoff for most, but I bought the GT500 for a daily driver and it was pretty disappointing. The regular GT I have is really a fun car for the money, nice thing is you can personalize it and mod it in steps, but if you are paying someone to do those mods you will eat a lot of money in labor costs. Luckily I can do just about anything to a car so I dont pay any labor, except for engine machine shop labor anyhow. Good thing about the M3 is I'm too cheap to mod it, parts are just unreal for these and I'd hate to blow the warranty on a 70K car so I'll beat up the 2011 GT instead
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      11-30-2010, 12:13 AM   #14
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I just got my M3, a buddy just got a Roush GT. Not sure exactly what the Roush package includes, but I will say that brand new the fit and finish seemed kind of bad. For example, a small chip out of the aluminum on the steering wheel that isn't visible to the driver but is to the passenger, small scratches on the LCD radio display. Granted that could have been the dealer. It drives nicely, it's tight, good pull, torque range is about as wide as the M3 (just shifted down about 1k rpm), overall it's a great value. He is worried that it's too loud and that he will get tired of it, which is actually one thing I like about my M3, it is quiet when I want it to be, loud when I want it to be, and all the settings to take it from daily driver to sportscar. He was looking at the M3, but ultimately he didn't want to spend that much. Personally, I just can't see myself in a Mustang (or a Camaro), can't really put my finger on why. Even if I couldn't afford the M3 it wouldn't be an option.

As for the video, it would be nice to see a few more magazines do comparisons. My own, baseless opinion is that the guy took quite a bit of time to warm up to the M3, he alludes to accidentally falling out of the power band at least once. Not that I find it hard to believe that the Mustang did well, I'd just like to see more than one guy driving them side by side before drawing any conclusions.
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      11-30-2010, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJM3 View Post
its not a well engineered $50K+ car. Its a 25K mustang with a lot of tacked on parts.
couldn't have said it better myself
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      11-30-2010, 10:45 AM   #16
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I think a lot of people here sum it up pretty nicely. Power and price vs fit, finish, and overall quality (and extra nice stuff that is great for comfort and daily use)...

Again the M3 just cannot be matched as far as doing EVERYTHING well (other than gas mileage). I think the M3 really is "the Ultimate Driving Machine".
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      11-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #17
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Boss > GT500, IMHO.
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      11-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #18
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thats a bummer cause i just destroyed a 2011 Mustang GT the other day in my lightly modded e90 335
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      11-30-2010, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locksmythe View Post
A question of power vs. handling, I would think.
Not true. Actually, the new updated 2011 GT500 SVT with the lighter aluminum engine handles superbly. A lot better than the M3 comparable Mustang GT.

Personally, I would go with the Boss 302. It makes 100 HP less, but man that car is bred for the race track plus has a 7800 rpm redline.
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      11-30-2010, 12:53 PM   #20
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I hear the 335i is destroying a lot of things. Maybe NASA should use it as the next space vehicle?
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      11-30-2010, 01:30 PM   #21
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I hear the 335i is destroying a lot of things. Maybe NASA should use it as the next space vehicle?
they tried
but they had too many issues with the HPFP
i recentlly saw a 335i destroy a forumla one car
there are rumours a 335i could beat Chuck Norris!!
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      11-30-2010, 02:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Boss > GT500, IMHO.
This.

I'm considering getting one next year. Looks to be a fantastic car in the vane of my 95 Cobra R.
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