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FR-S / BRZ vs.... Area to discuss the FR-S/BRZ against its competitors [NO STREET RACING]

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Old 02-07-2012, 01:17 AM   #1
ashtray
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BRZ vs E46 M3

Go!

We had an E30 and E9x discussion, but the E46 M3 is a great car to compare. Lighter than the E9x, and more powerful than the E30M3 - the E46 has 333hp, and is said to be very tossable. Luxury ride with all the bells and whistles, then turn off the electronic nannies and hit the track!

Prices are around $17-22k for the coupe or vert - so cheaper than the BRZ, and available now (no waiting). Issues? Sure - maintaining a BMW out of warranty is no fun task. Buy a new BRZ, drive it 80k miles without any issues (hopefully!). Buy a used M3 with 80k miles that had no issues and see how your luck is as you approach 160k miles.

That said, a well kept E46 M3 may be a good "in between" vehicle. Buy one with 70k miles, drive it for a year or two, sell it with 85k miles for a couple thousand bucks less - then buy a BRZ when they are easy to get (dealers stocked).
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:28 AM   #2
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once I get my hands on a FRS and will let you know

Oh, 05-06 E46M3 w/ (ZCP) Comp pkg will still cost more than FRS/BRZ.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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once I get my hands on a FRS and will let you know

Oh, 05-06 E46M3 w/ (ZCP) Comp pkg will still cost more than FRS/BRZ.
You sure? Quick search: '05 Comp Pkg w/ 48k miles for $26k.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac...823653912.html

BRZ pricing not announced yet, but I'm going with the Limited model - estimating $27k give or take.

Non comp pkg with 70-80k miles are going for about $20k, depending on condition, year, etc.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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so get the M3? Its a faster car!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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The E46 is a tank compared to the FR-S/BRZ, 700-800 lb. heavier!
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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The E46 is a tank compared to the FR-S/BRZ, 700-800 lb. heavier!


Always about the weight. lol You need to drive one of these or is it still too heavy?

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Old 02-07-2012, 09:52 PM   #7
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You sure? Quick search: '05 Comp Pkg w/ 48k miles for $26k.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac...823653912.html

BRZ pricing not announced yet, but I'm going with the Limited model - estimating $27k give or take.

Non comp pkg with 70-80k miles are going for about $20k, depending on condition, year, etc.
The E46 M3 came from the factory with ITBs...why would they swap that out for a K&N intake?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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Any BMW M car will be very expensive to maintain compared to an in warranty Subaru.

Especially so when you are buying one from the average BMW owner since they probably only did the "free" BMW maintenance which if you ask the BMW faithful has lead to the premature failure of a lot of different parts you would expect to last a lot longer than they do.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #9
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I suggest you do some serious research into E46 M3's before taking the plunge. You do not just casually pick up a 70K mile specimen and drive it without making major repairs and/or expensive maintenance as well.

Don't get me wrong, the E46 M3 was the car I wanted more than anything in college (especially after I drove my uncle's six speed coupe...now that was awesome), but after seeing what has gone wrong with his M3, I wouldn't touch an E46 without some major coin in the bank and a service manual.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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Any BMW M car will be very expensive to maintain compared to an in warranty Subaru.

Especially so when you are buying one from the average BMW owner since they probably only did the "free" BMW maintenance which if you ask the BMW faithful has lead to the premature failure of a lot of different parts you would expect to last a lot longer than they do.
Another benefit is that Subaru borrowed heavily from the Impreza parts bin when making the BRZ.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #11
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I both love and hate the e46 M3. They're great looking cars that do pretty much everything I want them to. Except they make that AWFUL racket and the cam bolts back out which can trash your entire VANOS system, and that's a PRICEY fix. You can do it yourself, but be prepared to spend all weekend on it.

I want one quite badly, but really wish they didn't sound awful, and the only fix for that awful noise is to mix and match exhaust sections to get the noise you want, because in some cases you just end up with Honda fart. If you just swap in a rasp cancelling pipe (some companies sell these, you end up with something that sounds just neutered.

Stock
[u2b]9h83-zYmAQA[/u2b]

That noise is not for me.

Stock exhaust with CPI Rasp Terminator
[u2b]ZiGN90yUeW8[/u2b]

That noise is also not for me.

Headers, UUC Rasp X midpipes and Gruppe M exhaust.
[u2b]Icvj0mxhKqM[/u2b]

That noise could be for me, but that is also like 4k worth of exhaust IIRC.

Shame, because those cars can be made to look like this.








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The E46 M3 came from the factory with ITBs...why would they swap that out for a K&N intake?


The ITBs draw air through the plenum...which gets it from the outside world through a filter. The K&N is just a cone filter conversion.
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Last edited by LSxJunkie; 02-07-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #12
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^^^^ good post. Looks like you've seriously looked into it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf View Post
I suggest you do some serious research into E46 M3's before taking the plunge. You do not just casually pick up a 70K mile specimen and drive it without making major repairs and/or expensive maintenance as well.

Don't get me wrong, the E46 M3 was the car I wanted more than anything in college (especially after I drove my uncle's six speed coupe...now that was awesome), but after seeing what has gone wrong with his M3, I wouldn't touch an E46 without some major coin in the bank and a service manual.
Heard early ones had a recall for rod or crank bearings. That one of your uncle's problems?
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:49 PM   #14
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^^^^ good post. Looks like you've seriously looked into it.
When something piques my interest, I do all of my homework BEFORE buying. I'm picky and I'd like to know about impending headaches before spending money.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:07 PM   #15
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Heard early ones had a recall for rod or crank bearings. That one of your uncle's problems?
He had nagging sub-frame issues, needed to replace bushings on a yearly basis, and went through I don't know how many sets of window regulators...and I'm not sure but he may have had some oil consumption issues as well.

It just seemed like every time I talked to him, the car had been to the shop recently or was still in the shop...
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #16
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I ran into the window regulator problem about 3 times in as many years along with a nagging issue with the sunroof coming off the tracks (5 times total), however that was covered by a dealer warranty (not the original ) .....last "electrical problem" i faced was a HK door tweeter that popped, but that only happened once and happened surprisingly while the car was off and parked, never figured that out.

As for the Vanos issue, that problem was solved within weeks of the discovery in the M52 world, loctite solved it, absolutely solved it..However if you wanted to 1 up and get a factory solution they fixed it a few years into the e46 M3 with a new specd set of locking bolts (could just be swapped out the same time you replaced your vanos unit)

The sub frame issue i see was brought up also..that was just the nature of the beast, it's still a problem.. You either reinforced it yourself or bought an aftermarket unit..And when you do that you run the risk of splitting steel else where. I knew a few people who's strut mounts cracked out due to a combination of bushing density and lack of reinforcement in enough locations to distribute the force on that plate. but it was all do-able..

but these were the reasons I traded out for the E36 M3..much better M all around imho, i was never a fan of the e46 generation going into it and still was not a fan coming out of it. Too soft overall, much more "woman" centric M-car...makes sense since it was bangles first debacle..
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
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Let me jump into this one with both feet. I used to be self proclaimed Bimmer man and have had several Bimmers in the past. Most recently '07 Z4 3.0si and a '04 E46 M3. I've owned E46 ZHP's, M Roadster, Z3 M, 330i, etc. Like I said I used to be a Bimmer man, but... and it's a big but not anymore. They've just gone mental like Porsche. I mean a fully loaded E92 335is is $65k+ and a new M3 $85k+??? Mental I tell you!

In any case, let's get back to the subject at hand. My most recent Z4 3.0si had it's entire head replaced twice under warrenty and the entire motor replaced once. After that I was done. I sold it after less than 2 yrs of ownership. The E46 M3 I had the engine blow up once and the engine replaced only to have the motor die again twice. Once on the fwy. I think it spent more time at the dealer than in my garage. After that I was done and had my buddy, who is a slick lawyer, have BMW America buy the car back.

But my impression of the E46 M3,which is probably my favorite Bimmer I've ever owned next to the E46 ZHP, is that it was really good. Handled great and the motor was really strong. The thing that killed it for me was the SMG II. I live in LA and traffic is a bitch. In stop n go traffic the tranny kicks like a mule. Also, the ride is really stiff. Like bruise your kidneys stiff. So it got really annoying on bad roads, which is pretty much all we get here in metro LA. One thing though, I did take it on the track a couple of times and then that's really when I began to appreciate how good the car was. The SMG II really came into it's own on the track and really made me feel like I was some race car driver. Unfortunately, I didn't take the car to the track as much as I'd have liked. Sometimes I miss the car, but I think the BRZ will fix that! :happy0180:
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:45 PM   #18
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Always about the weight. lol You need to drive one of these or is it still too heavy?

Still too heavy for him. Get rid of the bells and whistles (motor, brakes, suspension, pedals, gas tank). All he needs is a steering wheel, a seat, a chassis and his god given Flintstones powerplant.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:50 AM   #19
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Let me jump into this one with both feet. I used to be self proclaimed Bimmer man and have had several Bimmers in the past. Most recently '07 Z4 3.0si and a '04 E46 M3. I've owned E46 ZHP's, M Roadster, Z3 M, 330i, etc. Like I said I used to be a Bimmer man, but... and it's a big but not anymore. They've just gone mental like Porsche. I mean a fully loaded E92 335is is $65k+ and a new M3 $85k+??? Mental I tell you!
Just curious as to where you're located that you're getting shafted so bad on Bayerische prices?
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:52 AM   #20
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Still too heavy for him. Get rid of the bells and whistles (motor, brakes, suspension, pedals, gas tank). All he needs is a steering wheel, a seat, a chassis and his god given Flintstones powerplant.
I just think that a 3500 lb M3 is a travesty, a more sophisticated and upmarket Camaro rather than a proper evolution of the original E30 M3 ideals.

FRS/BRZ are comparable to the original M3. Similar specs but at a much lower price point. Now *that's* progress. The M3's devolepment has just been to add ever more mass and power, not at all true to the ideals of minimalism, light(ish) weight, and maximized FUN.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #21
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If I could have either car, and lived in a fantasy land where everything had a million year warranty and nothing ever broke, I'd go for the M3 every time. It's more of a GT than the FR-S/BRZ, but the performance, feel, sounds, etc are awesome.

Sadly, I live in realityland, and used M3s have some pretty significant maintainance requirements and no warranty
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #22
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I just think that a 3500 lb M3 is a travesty, a more sophisticated and upmarket Camaro rather than a proper evolution of the original E30 M3 ideals.

FRS/BRZ are comparable to the original M3. Similar specs but at a much lower price point. Now *that's* progress. The M3's devolepment has just been to add ever more mass and power, not at all true to the ideals of minimalism, light(ish) weight, and maximized FUN.
Progress is, essentially, re-creating a 90's BMW, and selling it for less? That's an interesting take on progress.
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