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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 03-11-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
Spatola
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Cabrio VS Coupe difference?

Hello All:

Is the Cabrio M3 E46 a lot slower than the Coupe M3 E46? I plan on getting an M3 E46, but as a daily driver. I probably won't go on the track with it. But, I'm just that type of person that wants the best performance they can get, (at least stock-wise)... So I ask to the people that've driven both - is it a big difference power wise? Feel?

Thanks
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
MySoccerM3
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There is a significant difference in performance between the M3 vert and the coupe. 306 lbs is a lot of weight for a car with just 266 lbs of torque that reaches peak horsepower at 7900 rpms. I'm not saying the vert is not a blast to drive, because it is. But, I can readily feel if I have 306 lbs of passengers in my coupe. Both a great cars, it just depends on what you want, i.e. max performance or open air. You can't go wrong with either IMO.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
sakumaxp
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i have a cabrio, there is A LOT of difference, for example, the creaks you might hear with wind leaks and if your unlucky water leaks with rain etc. those things you wont experience with a coupe. back windows on coupes go outward laterally, and the windows on the vert actually go fully down. the coupe has a stiffer chassis than the vert, but the subframe in BMW's attempt to be as stiff as the coupe they added some reinforcements, hence the added weight, but on a good note that also contributed to the subframe not cracking on verts. i am saving up to buy a hardtop then, best of both worlds =]. so its really up to you, a little decrease in performance was worth it for me, since im not really into tracking or racing my car.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
Spatola
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatola View Post
Hello All:

Is the Cabrio M3 E46 a lot slower than the Coupe M3 E46? I plan on getting an M3 E46, but as a daily driver. I probably won't go on the track with it. But, I'm just that type of person that wants the best performance they can get, (at least stock-wise)... So I ask to the people that've driven both - is it a big difference power wise? Feel?

Thanks
The consensus is the vert is a half second slower than the coupe 0-60.

Go drive both. These cars don't make a lot of low end torque, so an extra 400 lbs makes a big difference unless you daily drive near redline.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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The performance difference is barely noticeable at all unless you are on a track. Yes the convertible is about 350 lbs heavier. Yes, even with chassis stiffening added it loses some rigidity compared to the coupe. However, unless you are doing power launches on the street, the difference of a few tenths of a second to 60 mph or through the quarter mile is academic. With rare exceptions, your acceleration times will be limited by the speed of traffic around you and by the cost of replacing clutch plates, rear tires, and transmissions. Everything depends upon how you want to drive the car, and how each one feels to YOU. You need to drive both the coupe and the convertible to decide which one you prefer. Nobody else's opinion should matter to you. Also keep in mind that, if you add a sunroof to the coupe, you are adding weight where you least want it, and door seals, window seals, and sunroof sealing age and wear out just like convertible top sealing strips. They can easily be replaced. The canvas top itself can easily last more than 10 years.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Think about where you live first. If the weather is nice most of the time then go with the vert. It's a lot of fun. Top down, blasting through tunnels never gets old. I live in SoCal so I have the top down everyday except for winter. This last winter was actually warm so most days I put it down.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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The only time I wish I have a coupe rather than a vert is when my CCA friends go to a track day. BMWCCA doesn't allow verts in track events. However, there are many other clubs who would be happy to have you join. The rare times when wish I was on a track are far outnumbered by the days I enjoy with the top down! Yes, a little slower than the coupe, but still a fast car compared to anything else I've owned.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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Vert is as heavy as a 2011 carbio s4 but without the extra torq. 3700lb with 280 torq is not a very fast car.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
DSilk56
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If you are interested in stop light grands prix, save yourself the expense and maintenance issues with an e46 M3 and buy a used V8 Mustang or a Corvette. In this day and age 333 bhp is nothing spectacular, and 262 lbs/ft of torque isn't much either. Torque is predominantly a function of effective displacement (which is why forced induction helps so much), and there is no way that you are going to extract much more torque from a normally aspirated 3.2 litre engine than the M3 already has. Whether you drive a coupe or a convertible, your torque peak is at a lofty 4,700 rpm, and your power peak is at 7,900 rpm. This is a great recipe for highway acceleration, but not so good for the dragstrip. This is why, despite magazine test results that show the e46 M3 out-accelerating the Mustang GT from 0 to 60 mph, in the real world (where owners don't sidestep their clutches at 4,000 rpm for a perfect launch) the Mustang (which has substantially more torque at low rpms than does the M3) will win in a stoplight to stoplight contest.

The long and the short of it is that, while fractions of a second mean the difference between a win and a loss on the track, in real world driving they are meaningless. Drive the car, coupe or convertible, that you enjoy the most, and don't think that everybody has the same priorities, or pretend that one model is a supercar while the other is no faster than a Camry or Civic.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:32 AM   #11
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From my experiences, there is a big difference. I like to have fun on the highway and track. Stock for stock, I've seen verts car lengths behind from a roll. Once the vert is modded, thats a different story. Everyone talks about no one pushes the car to the point to be able to tell.... But everyone I know with an M3 has on plenty occasions had some highway fun with other M3s. So I'd say drive both and see for yourself. Granted you may not be able to really feel the different, but if you catch a coupe on the highway and you're in a vert, you will find out first hand.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by illestminimike View Post
I live in SoCal so I have the top down everyday except for winter.
Same here. Quarter-mile times notwithstanding, you can go weeks without ever putting the top up. Sweltering hot sunny day? All windows up, AC and hat on. 35-degree nighttime drive? Heat up all the way and windblocker raised (heated seats too if your car has them). When it's not a complete convertible it's like the biggest sunroof you can get.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:55 PM   #13
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^^^^ don't forget sun block when it's a nice sunny day. You won't notice how burnt you'll get. Im pretty dark now.
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