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      02-24-2012, 01:17 AM   #1
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M3 with ESS VT3 or 335is with New Vishnu Single Turbo?

This is not the typical, "should I keep my 335 or get an M3" thread...because there is a bit more to it.

Some background info: my current daily driver, which is coming up on lease-end in about 6 months, is a 2010 e92 335i. Lightly modified with coils, LSD, 19" VMR VB3's, Michelin PSS, and 4 bolt-on engine mods making 425/485 wheel HP/TQ. Looks and sounds basically stock and I like that. I'm older and run a company that serves a conservative client-base and rolling around with an exotic or over-the-top car (i.e. GTR, 911T, etc) would be bad for image. A rather stock looking and sounding M3 or other 3-series would be fine. Has to be comfortable and quite at cruising speeds to talk on the phone and relax if needed.

Most of the time, I will just be commuting with the car; however I may see some occasional track time or like this upcoming weekend, shift-s3ctor's 1/2 mile airstrip shootout.

Some of you may be familiar with Vishnu Tuning as they make some products for the M3 (Procede tune and a naturally aspirated meth injection kit). They are almost complete with their N54 single turbo kit with 3 different HP options: 600, 750 and 900. The shop car is currently configured with the 750 HP turbo kit and without much testing and already put down 627 RWHP. I will be taking a spin in this car this weekend to gauge how it feels. Should be rather tame at cruising speeds and given the turbo is actually fairly small, will not suffer much turbo lag either which is a big plus for daily driving. I don't know the kit pricing and while people are guessing $6K, I am going to more realistically estimate $10K including install.

Given that my lease is coming due and I want a new car anyway, the 335is still comes with the N54 motor and I can get it with the DCT, so an option is to order one to spec for ~ $62K (including upgraded BMW performance brakes) and then upgrade the turbo for an all in price of around $72K. Insanely high for a "regular 3-series" I guess but at 750 HP with an LSD, DCT, coils, good tires, it would be a nice sleeper. Would be terrific as a daily driver and really fun (but likely harder to drive/control than the M3) at the occasional track event. I'm guessing the DCT may slip...but Vishnu is building the boost tables conservatively at lower RPMs and ramp up to max boost at redline, thereby being very forgiving on the drivetrain.

Now as an alternative, I could get an M3 and a ESS supercharger. While I like the way the 335is looks, I love the way the M3 looks. I don't like how loud the M3 is, but I can probably live with that. When I test drove one, I was a little disappointed at the lack of torque in the lower RPM range, but I'm sure I could learn to live with the powerband, particularly with an ESS bolted on. I've had M cars before and also like their overall feel. From a pricing standpoint, the M3 is going to set me back $75K for the way I want it, plus another $18K for and ESS VT3 plus install. This certainly would be the better overall track car, but perhaps a push or a bit slower than the N54 single turbo for 60-130's and runway/top speed events. I'm not a big fan of drag racing but maybe once a year is ok.

The pricing difference is not insignificant. The M3 would be pushing $100K all-in. Wow. But for a 700+ HP car that is perfectly balanced and understated, I could be happy with that decision as well.

So what would you guys do?
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      02-24-2012, 01:30 AM   #2
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I wish i still had my 335 if that means anything. Gas millage alone! 13mpg sucks lol.
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      02-24-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Unless you live somewhere you can get 94 octane, and you don't mind dealing with methanol refillls, you're not going to make 627 rwhp but that is a lot of power.
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      02-24-2012, 02:26 AM   #4
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I would go the M3. That sort of power bump on a car not designed purely with sportiness (for want of a better word) or tracking in mind for every component will likely run into a lot more issues than an M.
I really hated the lack of low down torque in the M3 in my 3 test drives but now that I've done a few thousand km's I realize there is actually heaps there under more normal driving conditions.
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      02-24-2012, 02:32 AM   #5
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M3 with even a smaller kit, 600-650 is more then enough for you to enjoy! If you want some info or install prices let me know and I'll make sure yOu get a great deal)
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      02-24-2012, 02:51 AM   #6
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You may want to do some 335is DCT research. I have the 135i DCT which supposedly comes with the same 335is DCT and several people have already reported it slipping with FBO + Meth at extremely high boost on the 135i. But I may be wrong and they could be different.
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      02-24-2012, 02:54 AM   #7
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With either choice, if you get dct. You should factor in the cost of SSP Performance dct upgraded clutch disc.
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      02-24-2012, 02:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooler2442 View Post
You may want to do some 335is DCT research. I have the 135i DCT which supposedly comes with the same 335is DCT and several people have already reported it slipping with FBO + Meth at extremely high boost on the 135i. But I may be wrong and they could be different.
He is aware of that, if you read his entire post.
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      02-24-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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another tough dilemna...
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      02-24-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Having had both cars, where the M really shines is in the upgraded suspension components that make the M feel so much more solid and confidence inspiring. That alone would make me choose the M over the 335. As for the power, you can't go wrong with each option, but my pick would be the M with an ESS VT2-575 or 600.
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      02-24-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR View Post
I wish i still had my 335 if that means anything. Gas millage alone! 13mpg sucks lol.
Wow.. you must beat the piss out of your car. I'm averaging 18.5-18.7. Mixed city and highway.
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      02-24-2012, 10:34 AM   #12
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M3 hands down....
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      02-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SehrSchnell View Post
Get the M3 with the ESS blower. Trust me, there is no lack of low-end torque.
+1. I'd suggest getting the ESS 600 kit and use the cash saved from not getting the VT3 to get a BBK for track duty.
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      02-24-2012, 11:39 AM   #14
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I only drove my sister AA tuned 335xi and my stock M3 , it just does'nt compare , the M3 even with the lack of low end torque is so much more fun to drive and to sit in and to look at and to ear from inside and out !!
And also bigger turbo even if it's not that big mean less response , that I would'nt want , I don't know where you drive but I would not sacrafice response to have 700hp if I don't drag , ESS 625 + cat delete (+650hp) all the way for me !!

Either choice you will sure have some fun !!
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      02-24-2012, 11:46 AM   #15
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Nice post thanks for sharing.
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      02-24-2012, 12:29 PM   #16
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Slightly off topic, but are you planning to upgrade your transmission if you go down the M3 route?

i know the clutch was slipping on the VT3-700 SC kit from ESS.
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      02-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #17
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Thank you all very much for the responses.

I'm also curious what other typical costs I can expect with either a VT2 or VT3. Sounds like perhaps a transmission upgrade [how much?]...but would a brake upgrade be necessary? I warped my stock rotors on the 335i after only 5 laps at Big Willow...so a brake upgrade is obviously mandatory if I go the 335is/big turbo route but am not familiar with how the stock M3 brakes would stand up to some mild track time.

I will get a chance to see some supercharged e9X M3's today/tomorrow at the airstrip event so I will also ask those guys a lot of questions as well but I know there are a lot more of you on here so thanks again for the feedback.
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      02-24-2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Thank you all very much for the responses.

I'm also curious what other typical costs I can expect with either a VT2 or VT3. Sounds like perhaps a transmission upgrade [how much?]...but would a brake upgrade be necessary? I warped my stock rotors on the 335i after only 5 laps at Big Willow...so a brake upgrade is obviously mandatory if I go the 335is/big turbo route but am not familiar with how the stock M3 brakes would stand up to some mild track time.

I will get a chance to see some supercharged e9X M3's today/tomorrow at the airstrip event so I will also ask those guys a lot of questions as well but I know there are a lot more of you on here so thanks again for the feedback.
We will have a few cars there. Stop by our booth and say hi.
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      02-24-2012, 01:04 PM   #19
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ESS VT2 650 and call it a day!
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      02-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
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We will have a few cars there. Stop by our booth and say hi.
Terrific will do thanks!
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      02-24-2012, 01:15 PM   #21
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A 335 will never be an M3. Might as well bolt on parts to the better of the two in the first place.
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      02-24-2012, 01:27 PM   #22
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Just buy both...lol Seriously though the 335is with the DCT is a pretty cool car but the M3 is an amazing car. And an ESS VT3 M3 is just on a whole different level!
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