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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 10-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #21
S54Dan
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I own both and what people have said above are true. M3 is more fun, but prepare to open your wallet when the time for maintenance comes. It WILL hurt.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:07 AM   #22
webster
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I researched both extensively last year when looking to buy. The E46 M3 is superior to the 330i/Ci ZHP in just about every performance category aside from the steering and gearbox. It is faster, much more powerful, handles better at the limit due to the LSD (although at ~50% or less the ZHP is pretty much equal handling-wise), has better brakes and much beefier suspension.

The M3 is also significantly more expensive than the ZHP to maintain if you stick to "old school" BMW maintenance plans (PM on cooling system, Vanos, brakes, suspension, fluids/filters, bushings, etc.). Plus it has extra stuff to tend to like the LSD and valve adjustments.


One thing that really sold me on the ZHP, aside from cost to own and maintain, was the uniqueness, the subtleness and exclusivity. An M3 is quickly and easily identifiable; there is no mistaking it. The bulged wheel wheel arches, the quad exhaust, the badging...you stick out like a sore thumb. I realize a lot of people absolutely love this aspect of M3 ownership, but I like the subtle qualities the ZHP has. Further, there are almost 50k E46 M3s in North America, but not even 7k ZHPs. And the majority of those are sedans, not coupes. The ZHP also has unique bits like the Alcantara interior and M-Tech2 body kit.

I do wish I had that extra top-end power and LSD, but for a DD i don't really think I'm missing it all that much. I will probably try to find a nice ZCP M3 in a couple years once the miles start to rack up on my ZHP. For now I'm thoroughly happy with what I got.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #23
Beamer Creamer
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For performance= not comparable in any aspect. For fuel and maintenance= if you have a worry dont get it cause your going to use right foot more than budget.i would say the choppy ride is my only problem( but you prob dont have saskatchewan sh*t roads. If you want a really fun car that can rail cloverleafs and keep up with most of the new american v8s in straightaways and annihilate in corners and transitions get the m3....... And ya i agree choxor posers bother me alot. Ive only see 1 other e46 m3 within 100 miles of me and thats another reason i got it.

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #24
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There's not much I will add to this thread since many have already put out both the good and bad points of going with the ///M. Wes also pointed out the good with staying with the ZHP, well said Wes!

OP, if you intend to have a car for strictly daily driving then I would have to say that the ZHP is the way to go. Strictly speaking maintenance-wise, it will be alot cheaper to maintain and have for every day use. If you're looking for more power then there is the twin screw option which works very well on the ZHP. I have been lucky enough to drive one a few times and compare this to my ///M and I was very impressed by the sheer acceleration. All you would need then is to get an LSD and you'll be set.

I'm not one to say either way because I chose to have both. I spend almost 90% of the time driving my ZHP as it's my daily driver. I take my ///M out occasionally but mostly for fun. I wouldn't have it any other way If you are able to pick up another BMW and keep your ZHP then get an ///M
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:24 AM   #25
commandtoad
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there is no denying the the greatness of an M3. but the ZHP is just as great in it's own way.
the ZHP was designed to be an "M3" with 4 doors. and if you look at it close, they did a brilliant job. they managed to meld a family car with a track day car. or in the case of the coupe, a poor mans M3. there is a long list of parts, compared to a normal e-46, that have been upgraded. included are stiffer springs and lowered ride, but not harsh, making it a perfect GT car. better steering feel, making "spirted driving" a blast. and I'm sorry, I'm sure I'll get flamed for this but i like, even prefer the automatic transmission. it's sport mode is spot on, and when you have to go with the flow, flip it into drive and it becomes a normal auto, handy for when you have to reach in the back seat to beat your kids in rush hour traffic.
it also looks the part with the 135 style offset rims and the little "i think i can" spoiler on the boot. in serving this "duel purpose role" i think it looks better to, sort of a distinguished gentleman's car. something your wife feels good getting out of in her evening dress as you drop her off at the front door of a fancy restaurant. OK, so that never happens, but I'm trying to paint a picture here, and it sounded better than "taking the kids to McDonald's".....
in short, the ZHP is the most fun, practical and best non-M e-46 you can buy.
cac has the best idea, get em both
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #26
tock172
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I had a friend who sold his e46 M3 and bought a ZHP. As a long time BMW enthusiast, he argued that while he loved the M3, it just didn't fit his needs. He loves his ZHP sedan and for once, has no remorse or regrets.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:40 PM   #27
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It's really more than just four doors. Very different cars though. I am 41, I'd put myself in the 'idiot' category my peers buy cars for. I have no kids though, a great job and minimal life expenses. I like my cars spartan...lately iPod integration has become more important and being not obnoxious noise wise.

The M3 was a perfect match. My old 240SX (not a beater by any means that that word usually means ) used to hurt my soon to be ex wife. She hated riding in it. Personally when I was just driving 3.5 miles to work each day it was nice and fun. On the weekends I could unleash it more. My commute is usually 30 miles or more. Just the maintenance on all the solid bushings and bearings would be ruthless, not to mention my back and organs

For most people they want all creature comforts and being able to blast off a red light / merge when needed. The ZHP > ZCP in that situation. Most will never do real track time.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:08 AM   #28
commandtoad
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btw cak, i normally hate red cars and think blacked out grills are stupid, but for some reason it really works on your ZHP, very sharp car,
just one thing tho, and i know you probally have to have it, but that front license plate......i think id leave it off and let em give me tickets.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:34 AM   #29
cak323i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commandtoad View Post
btw cak, i normally hate red cars and think blacked out grills are stupid, but for some reason it really works on your ZHP, very sharp car,
just one thing tho, and i know you probally have to have it, but that front license plate......i think id leave it off and let em give me tickets.
Thanks for the complement. I did run w/o front license plates for about 7 months but got tired of getting harassed by bored LEO's while driving a nicely modded Imola car.


I run w/o front license plates on my TiAg ///M (pic taken over the weekend at Newport, RI) and have not had any issues with the LEOs around here but for some reason driving a nicely modded Imola is a different story.



With that said, the last time I got pulled over by a statie, I decided that I will just go with the gominigo tow hook bracket and leave it be regarding my ZHP... I still like the cleaner look of not having a front license plate but here in Rhode Island, it's the law...
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:54 AM   #30
PITT M3 RR
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In this dilemma right now! Just sold my E36M3 and Ned another sporty car.

05 ZHP (110k) vS 02 M2(137k)

Both black, both coupe, both 6mt, both Nav both in price range.

I'm so torn its not even funny. This is horrible. HELP
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:11 PM   #31
commandtoad
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you bring up an interesting point.
is the ZHP, over an M3, something to consider if you want a coupe, 6mt and they're both in your price range?


no.

Last edited by commandtoad; 12-01-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:15 AM   #32
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I'm sure it's been answered.

M3 is 1000000 times better. You can't compare the two.

Although, the 330 does have the steering rack I prefer.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:12 AM   #33
PITT M3 RR
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Both in my range, Im going to drive the zhp tuesday if it makes me happy Ill get it. Ive owned an e46 M so I can compare and make a decision.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:50 PM   #34
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Compare what? You're confusing me. It looks like the E46 M3 you've owned was a vert? Now, nothing wrong with that, but that's a different feel compared to a standard M3 coupe.

Are you saying you're going to compare the 330 ZHP to the M3? lol. There is no comparison whatsoever. By the time you get the ZHP to be "sporty" to today's standards, you could have just bought sway and springs for the M3 which will still out handle a lot of today's car. Or, just get the M3 and it will out handle the 330 all day, in reverse.

Just my opinion, but if the M3 is in a similar price range, get that.
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SOLD: :( E46 M3 SMG; Evolve-R Tune; much, much more... 2980 lbs.

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Old 12-02-2012, 02:53 PM   #35
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #36
Tarmac_E46_M3
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Just get an E92 M3...
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SOLD: :( E46 M3 SMG; Evolve-R Tune; much, much more... 2980 lbs.

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