Originally Posted by Mystikal
Ironically you're focused on features and numbers, which isn't where M cars shine. Your priorities actually lead me to believe the 135i is ideal for you.
It's the same deal with the 335 vs M3 debate. If you're willing to claim your car is faster than an M3 with mods, then you're missing the point of the M3. The tactile feel through the controls, the 8400rpm V8, the exclusivity of the whole package...that's what makes it an M car. If you're going by features, potential power, and brake caliper piston count the M car will always lose. But that was never their purpose, either.
THIS right here sums it up. For those keeping track of numbers, the M is not your car.
I used to think that slapping on aftermarket stuff to make a non-M faster (by whatever measure you chose to compare) on paper made the M cars "overrated," and I couldn't have been further from the truth. After plenty of seat time in the M3, MZ3, etc, there's not a shred of doubt in my mind that M cars are worth the price of admission by leaps and bounds. But, this is for *me.* I love when a car is so driver focused, so tuned in with my right foot and hands on the steering wheel that the whole experience becomes more than just a numbers game. It's something you have to experience for yourself at least once, no amount of talk can convey this.
Conversely, there are people who just want a nice BMW with good handling and power; people who desire to tune these cars a bit and, they like that - on paper - they have a better car than the more expensive M counterpart. And there's nothing wrong with that. For some, this is a better bang for their buck. This is what they look for in a car. That's why these non-M products/cars exist and thrive in the market.
Yet for that minority who truly want some of the best driving experience technology has to offer, there is the M. It's the intangibles: the things you can''t necessary touch but FEEL, that makes M cars truly special. There's a reason they are so highly regarded by automotive enthusiasts, and it's not the 0-60 or lap times alone.