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Old 01-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #37
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Malvern, PA
Posts: 1,084
My Ride: 05 M3, 01 M5, M3iT
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Originally Posted by DSilk56 View Post
The performance difference between the coupe and convertible is academic on the public roads where most of us do 98% of our driving. The published naught to 60 mph times in enthusiast magazines are the result of test drivers subjecting test vehicles to a level of abuse to which no sane owner would consider submitting his own car. Road & Track magazine, which recorded a scorching 4.7 second naught to 60 mph time in its initial test of the e46 M3 in 2001, did so by disabling the traction control, revving the engine to 3500 rpm, and side-stepping the clutch. After its round of track tests, the car was sent back to BMW, who likely needed to replace the clutch and God knows what else.

There is more than just a weight differential between the M3 coupe and the M3 CSL. The CSL is tuned to make an additional 22 bhp over the US version (355 bhp vs 333 bhp).

The long and short of it is that each person should buy what he or she wants. If you like driving a performance car out in the open air, get the convertible. If you would rarely or never drop the top, get the coupe.
How they achieved the times is totally irrelevant. If you Launch them all responsibly (but equally), the performance difference between the cars remains the same.

Yes, the CSL has marginally more horsepower as well. Amusing fact: despite that, and the weight, BMW had the same published 0-60 for the CSL and normal M3 coupe (4.8)... vs 5.2 for the vert. I suspect that was a bit of underrating, but still indicates a bigger performance difference between the coupe and the vert than the CSL and the coupe.

For sure, for some people the open air experience is worth the performance and practicality trade off. But that doesn't mean there is no trade off.

Unrelated note, I can get my car under 5 second 0-60 (per vbox) without doing anything overly abusive. I replaced my clutch preventatively at 100,000 miles, and it still had >50% of that material left (with me driving the car since new). This clutch I'll be leaving it till at least 250,000 miles.

Current Cars: 2005 IR/IR M3, 2001 LMB/blk M5, Wife's 6mt NA RWD e91, 04 M3 wagon
Past cars: 04 M3, 96 M3, S50B32 e36 M3 CM race car

"People do not see good design." -- Claus Luthe, BMW chief designer e30-e39
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