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      08-08-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
JattM3
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Thumbs up 1986 E30 vs. 2010 E92 @ insideline.com

Greetings Everyone,

Came across a nice article today on Inside Line.

http://www.insideline.com/bmw/m3/201...mw-m3-e92.html

Enjoy

Quote:
1986 BMW M3 E30 vs. 2010 BMW M3 E92

25 Years of the Sports Car With a Backseat


By Alistair Weaver, Contributor | Published Aug 9, 2010


The chiseled styling and angular, extroverted fender blisters. The dashboard fascia comically canted toward the driver so the passenger feels like an afterthought. The extravagant "M" badges and the impeccable motorsport heritage. This could only be the 1986 BMW E30 M3, arguably the most significant M-car of all time.

Sitting beside it on this English country road is the 2010 BMW E92 M3, three platform generations removed from the E30. The E30 M3's sharp edges have given way to the E92 M3's voluptuous curves, and the new car is larger in every dimension. The once simple interior is awash with gadgetry and the E30 M3's inline four-cylinder engine has been doubled both in cylinders and displacement for the E92.

These two cars don't even seem to be from the same gene pool, yet the 25th anniversary of the BMW M3 reminds us that the 1986 BMW E30 M3 is not only the poster boy of BMW's celebration but also the purest expression of the M division's intent.

First the Earth Cooled
According to BMW's version of history, the concept for the 1986 BMW E30 M3 sprang from a conversation in the early 1980s between BMW CEO Eberhard von Kuenheim, then the well-known, longtime CEO of the BMW Group, and Paul Rosche, the famous engine builder who was the managing director of technical development at BMW's M GmbH. All von Kuenheim wanted was a "sporty engine for the 3 Series." But what Rosche gave him became the M3.

Rosche's first key decision was to restrict his new engine to just four cylinders in the interests of light weight and high power. At the time, the longer crankshaft of BMW's familiar inline-6 engines had made them problematic in high-performance applications, as the crankshaft would vibrate and eventually break. Given BMW's desire to homologate the 3 Series for European touring car racing, the inline-4 had a critical advantage.

The S14 engine that emerged from BMW's motorsport department was a curious hybrid of existing technologies. It displaced 2,302cc and combined the iron block of the long-serving M10 inline-4 with an aluminum cylinder head created by sawing off two cylinders from the head for the M88 inline-6. The valvetrain, which features four valves per cylinder, was derived from the engine of the BMW M1 supercar, while the crankcase shared the same architecture of the 1,500-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter BMW inline-4 from the Brabham BT52-BMW with which Nelson Piquet won the 1983 Formula 1 drivers' championship.

The Legend Begins
The BMW M3 debuted in 1986 with a 200-hp version of the new engine, although when the car reached the U.S. in March 1987, it carried a 195-hp version. More iterations of the M3 quickly followed as BMW sought to homologate new parts for the racetrack. The car with us today is a 1989 limited edition of the M3 Evolution 2 that celebrates driver Roberto Ravaglia's victory in the European and World Touring Car Championship. It's 85 of 505 built and was first registered on September 5, 1989.

Around 18,000 coupe and convertible M3s were built before the E30 was replaced by the E36 in 1992. Now blessed with an inline-6 and looking less like a refugee from the racetrack, the BMW E36 M3 represented BMW's move to make a street-legal and street-friendly high-performance BMW 3 Series, one that would be particularly appealing in the U.S. Eventually a sedan version of the car joined the lineup and an automatic transmission became part of the program. The U.S.-specification E35 M3 made 240 hp from its 3.2-liter inline-6. While the purists bemoaned the softening of the M3 image, global sales of 71,242 examples over seven years proved the strength of the concept.

The E36's replacement, the E46 M3, was even more successful, selling 85,741 units from 2001-'06. More visually extroverted than the E36, the new M3 also had more power, producing 333 hp from its inline-6. The sedan version was dropped from the lineup because of production complications, and the purer M concept ultimately produced the lightweight 2004 BMW M3 CSL, although this limited edition never came to the U.S.

The M3 CSL was the zenith of the six-cylinder M3s. When the new-generation E92 M3 appeared in 2008, it boasted a high-revving 3,999cc V8 that developed 414 hp. This is the 2010 BMW M3 that sits before us today, a metallic embodiment of just how far compact sport sedans have come in the last quarter century.

The Story From the Driver Seat
Let's start with the old timer. Like all E30 M3s, this car is left-hand drive, which is a bit of a mental leap here in the U.K. The delightful three-spoke M-division steering wheel would make a great display on your office wall. The seats have modest, leather-upholstered bolsters, while the grippy seating surfaces are cloth with a pattern that could only have been thought attractive in the 1980s.

To modern eyes, this M3's interior is remarkably simple. There's neither air-conditioning nor a stereo, and certainly no cupholders. We count just 23 buttons on the dashboard fascia and 13 of them belong to the primitive, LCD-type trip computer. You could call it utilitarian chic.

Step forward 25 years into the E92 M3. Slip down into the supportive and even confining leather-upholstered driver seat and a tiny electric motor delivers the seatbelt to your outstretched paw. The rim of the steering wheel is far thicker than before and the spokes are smothered in buttons. The fascia no longer neglects the passenger and is swamped in electronic gizmos, while the center console incorporates the inevitable cupholders. Climate control, telematics, a premium-branded audio system and something called satellite navigation vie for attention on the giant color display screen. We count 70 individual buttons, not counting the iDrive controller and its army of functions.

So many of the E92's gadgets are a prerequisite of a modern car, but after the understated style of the E30, it all feels a bit stressful. In the E30, it's all about the drive. In the E92, it's all about the iDrive.

The Drive
Turn an actual metal ignition key to start the E30 M3 and consider how even this feels curiously retro. First gear in the five-speed Getrag manual gearbox is down and to the left below Reverse, leaving gears 2-5 to form an H-pattern, a racing-style shift pattern that takes some readjustment. Time and again we find ourselves starting in reverse, which is not an ideal thing to do when you're driving a rare classic that belongs to BMW's U.K. distributor. The shift lever is trimmed with microfiber suede and the shift throws are longer than you'd expect, but the action is also lighter than you'd expect, just like the clutch.

This is a big moment. For us, the opportunity to drive this car is like meeting a hero, and that's always fraught with danger. We remember once meeting George Lucas at a party and he was so staggeringly rude and obnoxious that we sold our box set of Star Wars figures. Since we grew up watching Fearless Frank Sytner racing the M3, we don't want to be similarly disappointed.

The cliché "road racer" could have been coined by this car, but perhaps in its old age it has gained some civility. The ride is surprisingly supple, helped no doubt by 45-series 16-inch tires. It turns in abruptly but there's still a beat between input and output. This is not a Porsche 911 RS in retro clothes. It feels like a well-sorted road car, not some track day special.

Nor, if we're honest, does the E30 M3 feel very fast. The history books tell us that this Evo 2 car developed 215 hp, weighed 2,646 pounds, hit 60 mph from a standstill in 6.7 seconds and reached a top speed of 143 mph. These figures might have been exotic in 1989, but they're no more than mildly sporting today. The engine note is no substitute for the missing stereo, either. Compared with BMW's inline-6 engines of the same era, the M3's inline-4 sounds strained and even (whisper it) coarse.

But let's not rip up those posters from our childhood too quickly. What the E30 can still teach us is the benefit of a well-sorted chassis and elegant engineering. There is poise and fluency to this car that the years have not diminished. The chassis responses are so beautifully judged that a rhythm comes naturally to your driving. So many modern sports cars demand a point-and-squirt technique, because their performance is so colossal relative to the confines of the road. The E30 is not like that. It encourages you to think about driving again and then it responds with an enviable repertoire of skills.

M3 v4.0
Before you drive the modern M3, you have to decide how much power you want, how much of an electronic safety net you want in the event of traction and stability unexpectedly disappearing and whether you want the damping moderate, firm or brutal. Then you push a button and the 4.0-liter V8 comes to life.

You'll probably have read before that in comparison to the original single-malt M3, the E92 is a white wine spritzer on ice. But that's complete nonsense. In reality, it's the modern car that's the more urgent and even brutal companion. The engine is derived from the M5's V10, itself a product of BMW's F1 experience, and the V8 revs all the way to 8,500 rpm. The ride on the 35-series 19-inch tires is never less than firm, picking up imperfections that the E30 swats away. The steering is more direct and the car turns into a corner more acutely. To succeed you must bully this car, while you caress and cajole the E30.

But it's massively faster. Our acceleration to 60 mph from a standstill takes 4.6 seconds, which is performance that tells its own story. Acceleration in the midrange of this engine's power band, when traction is no longer such a challenge, is even more arresting. If you were going this quickly in 1989, then you would be at the wheel of a Ferrari F40 or a Porsche 959, not a BMW coupe with room for four.

Compared to the E30, the E92's performance is in a different world, yet sheer pace across the ground is not the only measure of fun. There's no denying that the new car's grunt is fabulously exhilarating, but you do miss the finesse of the early car. You never forget that the M3 has gained 1,058 pounds in the last quarter-century or that it's now 10.7 inches longer and 4.9 inches wider than before. And for us, the sheer complexity of the E92's electronic systems also detracts from the purity of the M3 experience.

Silver Anniversary of Speed
This comparison of the 1986 BMW E30 M3 and 2010 BMW E92 M3 brought some surprises.

Conventional wisdom says the E30 M3 is an icon for the truly committed. The reality, though, is somewhat different. If you can live without air-conditioning and cupholders, the first M3 would be remarkably easy to live with, even today.

Meanwhile the fourth-generation M3 of today wears the same name tag as the first-gen car but shares little else. Whereas the original M3 was born of a desire to go racing, the current car is an attempt to dress a supercar in high street-legal fashion. The evolutionary process that defines a Porsche 911 is missing here, and we shouldn't try and contrive a link. The photography of the M3's past is the only real connection between the cars.

Rather than chart an organic transition from one to the other, we should simply salute these M3s for what they are: two great cars, 25 years apart, from the gentlemen of Bavaria.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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      08-08-2010, 11:43 PM   #2
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Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
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      08-09-2010, 09:17 AM   #3
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@ piloto: Well stated. Purist enthusiasts often can't deal with change. My E30 was fun, but the modern car is much faster and vastly more useful.
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      08-09-2010, 09:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
well said.

just look at the limit sale number for z4m coupe, gt3, etc. those are great cars, but you won't survive in this business selling only those kind of cars.
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      08-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
This is 2-billion percent accurate. 100% truth. 2,000,000% correctomundo. This quote should live forever for all the fanboi tards who want a 500-lb car with no safety equipment or amenities. STFU already. Fanbois make up .005% of the market. BMW is not CATERING to you. Long live the M division for evolving and adapting.
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      08-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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      08-09-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JattM3 View Post
Greetings Everyone,

Came across a nice article today on Inside Line.

http://www.insideline.com/bmw/m3/201...mw-m3-e92.html
Enjoy
Thanks, good find.
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      08-09-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
I couldn't agree more.
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      08-09-2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
You, Sir, are a wise man.

Seems pointless to compare the two. They're answers in response to different questions. Totally different in circumstances, laws, regulations and market conditions. Some will complain about the weight difference, but I'd bet that the two are from different planets in terms of safety. People complain about iDrive, iPod interface, the DCT shift speed, etc. on the new car but nostalgia means all is forgiven on the old one.
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      08-09-2010, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
Mods, please close the thread after this post . Perfect answer .
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      08-09-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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nice article. v8 m3 ftmfw!!!
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      08-09-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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pil.... well said :-)
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      08-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
x 100
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      08-09-2010, 02:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Not to start an all out war here, but these types of articles have become predictable. Old car is slower but more fun to drive, new car is faster, but is larger, heavier, and feels more isolated and therefore is less fun to drive.

The fact is, if the basic 3 series had remained a smaller, lightweight car, it would have lost sales to competitors. The market has over time forced these cars into what they are. Give BMW credit for keeping its formula for the 3 series alive, over multiple generations and multiple advancements in technology. As a person who works in an industry where we design, certify amd fabricate components, you come to appreciate a company like BMW that has managed to define and capture what each of its segment cars are, and has kept that fomula alive from generation to generation.

Certainly, the E30 M3 and any basic E30 are legendary cars, but to me, the real story is how BMW has been successful at maintaining that DNA through generations.

So in summary, I don't completely agree with the article from Edmunds.
+1

I used to have a 240Z and Im sure it would read the exact same as teh article above if you compared it to a new 370Z.

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      08-09-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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at how everyone quoted piloto.............hahahaha

Can we nominate him for a moderator ?
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      08-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
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Anybody ever notice that Edmunds always gets the slowest times? E9X M3 gets 0-60 of 4.6 secs? WTF, they always, always have the slowest times out of all reviewers, like they either don't know hot to drive, or purposely get slower times.

This article was nothing but filler, instead of just mentioning the E36 and E46 and doing a brief on them, how about testing them all and givng them a thorough critique against one another. Like they should do with the M5s or the 5 series, or the 7 series.
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      08-09-2010, 07:29 PM   #17
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Love the pictures.... new desktop b/g!
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      08-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #18
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Very good and fair article. It is not very difficult to compare any two cars, but it is rare to attempt linking the car design and performance to the Zeitgeist.
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      08-10-2010, 01:37 AM   #19
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well said piloto. saved me 10 minutes of typing
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      08-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #20
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Separated by 24 Years but united by one name: BMW M3

http://www.insideline.com/bmw/m3/201...mw-m3-e92.html

Celebrating 25 years of the sports car with a backseat.


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