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BMW M4 Compared to the E46 M3 and E92 M3 Coupe

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    BMW M4 Compared to the E46 M3 and E92 M3 Coupe

    Ever since the M4 came out (even in the shape of the original Concept) the world hurried to compare it to its predecessors. Rightfully so, especially in the case of the E92 that it was replacing but what about the E46?

    Well, the M4 returned to the roots when it came to the architecture of the engine. Ask anyone out there and theyíll tell you that a BMW should have a 6-cylinder inline engine under the bonnet. The E36 and E46 M3 both had that kind of engines under their respective bonnets. Since the latter was the last one in the M3 lineage to use such a plant, it was only natural to be compared to the new M4.

    Furthermore, the E46 M3 was also naturally aspirated unlike the turbocharged S55 engine used on the new car. So, the comparison sticks in more than one regard. The question is, how did turbocharging change the character of the M4?

    In a word: little. The thing is, the S55 unit has two turbochargers to make sure that the dreaded turbo lag is gone forever. Sure, that goal wasnít completely achieved but if thereís one engine in the world that has little to no turbo lag, itís this one.

    The pedal response is damn-near the one youíre used to on a car like the E92 for example, just there and razor sharp. Of course, another question was whether the spirit of M cars was gone completely and yet, once again the answer is negative.

    Sure, some elements are gone but todayís standards require them to be. Just like the presenter says: this is a necessary evolution. People want their M cars to be visceral and basically made up of just a steering wheel, seat, engine and manual gearbox. But in our day and age thatís not nearly enough. 90 percent of the market will also want climate control, a good navigation system, low fuel consumption and comfy seats. In order to achieve that, some compromises had to be made.

    E92 M3 - Mineral White
    F80 M3 - SilverStone

    E36 318is
    E39 540i ///M sport
    VW CC
    E46 M3 - Frozen White