Originally posted by SpudBoy
I know but when I mulled over upgrading my 328i I came to the conclusion that nothing else but an M would do.
"M" is a special BMW class. But you are forgetting something called - progress. Performance & equipment that used to be found only in previous generations of "M" class can be found in non-"M" BMWs. Just like many parts (i.e., suspension and brakes) from Porsche 911 made its way to Boxter in Year 2002 and 2003 models.
To say that ANY "M" is better than 330Ci (especially with M-sport package or the latest 330 Ci "M Performance Edition") is simply not true.
For the sake of agrument, lets briefly look at your 5-year old 1999 M-Coupe (I will assume it is US version with 240hp vs European one with 300+hp) against 2004 330Ci or 330Ci M Performance package.
On paper specs, they are pretty close:
M-Coupe '99: Horsepower 240 @ 6,000 rpm Torque .....236 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
330Ci: Horsepower 225 @ 5900 Torque (ft/lb @ rpm) 214 @ 3500
330Ci M" Horsepower 235 @ 5900 Torque (ft/lb @ rpm) 222 @ 3500
Stock Performance (0-60miles/hr)
M-Coupe '99: 5.5 seconds
330Ci 2001+ Officially 6.3 seconds but most people, including Automobile article above - 5.9sec, easily get 6.0 seconds.
330Ci M 2004: 0.5 seconds faster than standard 330Ci, meaning anywhere from 5.5 - 5.8 seconds depends if you are using 6 or 6.3 seconds for 330Ci.
M-Coupe '99: 3000 lbs [advantage M-copue but not even small back seats]
330Ci : 4450 lbs
The stock M Coupe may be ahead in 0-60 stats by a couple of tenths of second to 330Ci M and around half a second to stock 330Ci. And it does have a bit of weight advantage for the race track driving.
But what do you gain in 330Ci in return for these very small differences in real life comparison (it does not looks like IERRAHH is trying to build a dedicated race track car):
> A much more practical car for everyday driving and which will easily keep up with a 5-years old M-Coupe on the race track (see suspension below).
- full / comfortable back seats, a larger trunk, much roomier front seats/area.
> One of the best & latest suspensions [M-Sport package or M Performance Edition], versus M-Coupe ('99) which uses a 14-year old rear suspension design. The stock M-Coupe suspension has been reported to be soft for a true high performance car (do internet searches for proof).
> A lot SAFER car from its size/weight and the latest safety technology, including head airbags.
> I am sure if we compare other features and stock equipment, 330 will come out on top.
If you are still reading to this point, I would like to say that M-Coupe is a unique car and it has its place in a BMW lineup / history. For 2001, US version M Coupe finally got a bigger engine (similar to European version), which delivered 315 hp and 251 lb- lbft. of torque ft. – fully 75 hp and 15 lb-ft. more than the previous engine’s output. (The M3 engine version produces 333 hp and 262 lb-ft.)
My reason for this message is NOT to knock your M-Coupe ('99) but to simply prove my point that saying "any M will do" is just not realistic.