Having been firmly in the BMW M3 corner for a number of years, I fancy a change. What I’m after is not just performance, looks and excellent build quality, but good resale value, long service intervals, minimal known manufacturer faults and something unique about the car. Of course, I am sticking German!
So, the current line up includes: –
BMW M3 (E46 CSL)
3.2 litre straight six with around 360 bhp, fantastic handling, acceleration but not very comfortable and only available with an SMG box.
5 litre V10 with 507 bhp, comfortable, good looking, high quality interior but looks boring standard and have heard of issues with the vanos and again SMG box.
BMW Z4M Coupe
3.2 litre straight six with 340 bhp (same engine as E46 M3), 2 seater, real sports car feel, fantastic handling, available with a manual. No complaints really, a bit more noise would be nice as can be said from the E46 M3,
Mercedes SL55 AMG
5.4 litre V8 with 500 bhp, amazing acceleration noise (sounds like thunder!), good looks, very comfortable but Mercedes build quality which includes issues with wheel sensors, interior trim rattle, pumps and very minor parts. I could live with this for the noise alone.
Porsche 911 (930 turbo)
3.3 litre flat 6 with 330 bhp, reasonably high servicing/running costs, however they do look fantastic.
Porsche 911 (964 turbo)
3.3 or 3.6 litre engines ranging in power from 330 bhp – 380 bhp, phenominal road presence (Bad Boys film), little known faults with the car but you sit very close to the windsreen and in right hand drive, sit a little sideways.
Porsche 911 (993 C2s, C4s or turbo)
3.6 S engines with 285 bhp and the turbo with 380 bhp, last of the air cooled 911’s and prices seem very stable to on the increase. Not much interior differences to the 964 but everything feels very well made and nearly over engineered – certainly not a complaint.
Porsche 911 (996 GT3 or Turbo)
3.6 litre 380 bhp (GT3), 420 bhp (turbo), 3.6 litre engines of similar design to the 993 engines and therefore no engine issues. Not a fan of 996 interior quality or the over sized head lights but at current prices these cars offer alot for the money. The reason for not including the Carrera’s is that I hear they are prone to engine troubles.
Porsche 911 (997 C2s)
3.8 litre 380 bhp, best looking 911 in my view with very good interior quailty and finish – feels like the old air cooled days of over engineering.
There is certainly, good reasons to stick with the E46 M3 or move to the E90 as I’ve never had any problems but I do fancy a change.
Any thoughts or other recommendations welcome.