E46Fanatics - View Single Post - High Mileage M3 or Low Mileage ZHP?
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:19 AM   #34
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ATL / Boulder / SLC
Posts: 3,374
My Ride: '08 ZCP M3 | '03 R6
Originally Posted by IXFE View Post
I would take the ZHP.

After buying my ZHP, I had M3 envy. I really thought I'd made a mistake. So I went and test drove a 6-speed M3 and an SMG M-3. I really didn't like either one. The SMG transmission is a nightmare. So jerky... it has a mind of it's own. The 6-speed felt like home. But neither car had what I love most about my ZHP... smoothness. The e46 M3 is a basically a loud go-cart. The engine is not smooth. The ZHP on the other hand is butter. And you'd think the M3 would be a lot faster... maybe it is, but you really have to rev it to get the extra power... so it's not really usable power... at least on day-in and day-out.

I say pass on the M3. The ZHP is plenty fast and it's soooooooo smooth.
I think this guy has a point- just didn't necessarily phrase it properly. .

Let me enlighten you all as to my review of back to back testing of a Z4 3.0si and a Z4MC- which I feel really relates to this subject in a clear way- yet the effects may be exaggerated between these two whips .

When I have driven the Z4 3.0si's, the power delivery is smooth, strong, and continuous. The engine was very predictable. Rev-matches were simply orgasmic to put you in the rpm zone, etc. Transmission felt exceptionally smooth. I took the Z4si on a very spirited and performance-measuring number of test laps- and had a wide smile on my face the entire time. Driving through the city was very pleasure too, for I had more power than needed to skirt my way through gaps, catch lights, and pass whatever guy I thought was eye'n me (). The brakes felt fantastic, the grabbed as tight as I asked them too, and I felt very little fade through the extent of testing I gave them. Suspension felt tight, ready to dance whenever I was in the mood, but not so rough as to beat me up over a speed-hump or pot hole. The shifter movement felt buttery AND precise, as to be more reassuring than jiggling grandma's caddy, and less HAMMERTIME than a gated Ferrari; a perfect mix if you ask me.

I chased that experimental spin in the Z4si with the true beast from the East. The 2008 Z4MC. This coupe had badass written in bold, all over it. Pulling out of the parking lot in the Interlagos Blue Z4MC seriously felt like slowly drawing a blade from a sheath. Now when I said that I took the Z4si on some performance-measuring test laps, I meant it. However what I did in this Z4M Coupe really pushed the envelope of physics and logic. This god damn car was the definition of super-go-kart. I took some sweeping turns at speeds that would make most nervous on straight-aways, and the Z4M just grinned and wanted more. With grip for days- the handling was surgically precise, and while modulating the throttle was not only something fun to do through a turn... that sh;t was a necessity. If you were to stomp it, that car would stomp you back. The difference between breaking the rear's loose and keeping full traction was approximately the variance of 1/10th an inch of throttle. The brakes would drop you from triple digit speed to stand still in about as much time as it takes to pick between sex or taking a c*ck punch. I probably did 3 trials of threshold braking, each time with increasing top speeds to test brake fade and pedal resistance/feel, and it just got better and better. This car is a badass trackstar.

So enough suckling on the Z4M's d;ck. Every positive the car had, was incidentally a negative in turn. As I spoke about the handling, while it was just insanely track-ready weighted and providing ample feedback... that isn't exactly something I want in my DD. Don't get me wrong, weighted steering helps you feel connected to the road... although slow speed driving (parking lot speeds (some parking lots )) were not too enjoyable in this monster. The car felt uneasy driving at lower RPMs, which just increased the temptation to toss the pedal to the floor and slam through the next gear (or two ), which is exactly what this car was made for. The simple truth is that this car was not meant to be driven casually. The clutch, while very firm and connected- was too damn aggressive for daily driving. The springback load of this pedal wanted to push you through the seat! The engine just begged to be flogged all the way up to a yelping 8250rpm- no matter how gently you tried to let the clutch out. This is a purpose built track car, or maybe a weekend super-driver. The shifter in this car was not only precise, but also noticeably forceful and rough. If you wanted that mofo in gear, you had to enforce it. I wouldn't want to deal with this at every stoplight. The brakes on this car not only intended to stop the car on a dime and give you more than 2 pieces of silver- but they also were able to pull the fillings out of your damn teeth. Slow speed stopping felt grabby and urgent, even when I purposefully tried to come to a halt slowly, smoothly, and carefully. Personally, I certainly would NEVER buy this car for a DD. I would have to include the countless number of government deposits and attorney fees in with the price of the car, as I simply can't trust my self-control behind the wheel of a track-ready beast everyday without leaving rubber and brake dust through every turn, along with pounds of CO2 emissions after every straight !

Long story short, DD would be Z4 3.0si all-fvcking-day. Tons of fun n' excitement, yet still smooth, reliable, and calm when you want to be. The Z4MC is just too much. If you are getting behind the wheel of that car, YOU WILL VIOLATE ALL KINDS OF TRAFFIC LAWS. It is that simple. Granted, the M3 isn't that kind of animal- but it is more towards that end of the scale when comparing it to the late model E46 ZHP.

Choose wisely grasshopper ,

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Last edited by E92M; 03-12-2009 at 02:27 AM.
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