Now on paper the new car of course should be better. BMW promotes it as being much lighter (although it really isn't), more fuel efficient, offering more torque, and more power. This should be a slam dunk right? Well, not so fast.
He says that you can definitely feel the car has less weight but considering he does not actually weigh it he may just be perceiving a lighter steering feel. This is the problem with subjective analysis without data. The car is definitely well balanced as he shows with how it is to maintain a power on slide with the rear doing exactly what the rear of an M3 should when the driver commands it to.
Now what he says is a major caveat (which seconds later he rephrases it as a 'decent sized' caveat) is the engine. This is the sticking point for the M purist as well. How is the new turbo motor? He says the sounds is not exactly boring but it is flat. We already knew that from an exhaust clip earlier but it is interesting to note the perception from a journalist inside the cabin. Revving this engine out just is not as exciting as revving out the previous generation car. For some this is a big deal for some it is not. BimmerBoost considers it a major change that takes away a bit of the excitement.
He states he likes 90% of the car. Its brakes, chassis, handling, interior, exterior, price point, etc. All traditionally strong M3 areas. However, he states the car does not benefit from being turbocharged and BimmerBoost strongly agrees. If the M3 is all about torque now and ECU upgrades to unlock a bit more more power, sure, there are those who are likely new to BMW and who are probably 335i fans that think the turbo motors are great.
Those who are not new to BMW and loved M cars because they were racecars with daily usability offering Motorsport inspired engines that when surging toward redline offered an experience that only a Ferrari or Porsche could match will not think the change is so great. Looking back at the E9X M3, E46 M3, E36 M3, and E30 M3, BMW delivered the experience of high revs and razor sharp response that nobody else could match with a manual transmission and four seats. That's right, nobody.
Some may consider the F80 M3 progress and adore it. Others will consider it a sign BMW has lost its way and went from producing special M cars to simply great M cars. Where do you stand?
'Come on, the engine is at the center of every M car, surely. And the engine in this particular M car is, whilst amazingly efficient and bursting with torque, it doesn't have that rip to it that a real proper M engine has... had in the past. But I'm afraid that now seems like it is a thing of the past.'
It's nice to see a journalist who actually gets it.