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Versus a stock 335i, the M5 is faster, especially as speeds increase. Stock 335i's trap around 104mph in the 1/4 mile while M5's trap 108-109mph which shows a significant advantage for the M5 on the top end. To even higher speeds the M5 will just continue to open up the gap.

Now for VERY little money you can get Vishnu, AA, Juice Box, etc, tuning which in the higher stages have the 335i putting down close to 400 ft-lbs to the wheels. :eek:oohhh:

The main thing the 335i needs for any serious enthusiast is a limited slip differential. The M5 will launch much harder, and if the road has any camber at all, leave the peg-leg one wheel drive 335i back there spinning that ligher loaded tire into massive smoke (I've driven numerous 335i's and you can REALLY smoke the tire in one). Coming out of a corner, the 335i has no chance since it simply can't put down the power.

Now the problem with most of the 335i's is that BMW started welding the differential ring gear so that if you want to put an LSD in one, you have to buy a whole differential from the tuners. The early ones can be modified, but unless you machine off the gear in the new ones, they can't be used (my limited understanding of the situation).

I also have two 330i's, an E46 ZHP and an E90 ZSP, both with 6spd manuals. The sport package E90 is essentially the same chassis as the 335i except the engine. It handles very nicely although it is very harsh at times due to the run-flats; however, even with only 255hp, it could use a limited slip diff too. I actually really enjoy driving either of the 330i's, and the E90 has been INCREDIBLY reliable. We had to order the car optioned like we wanted (it's my wife's DD), and it will be two years old next week. It's been the most trouble-free car I've ever had (33 years of driving), but we're pondering the thought of trading it for an E90 M3...:M5launch:
 

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all that no-turbo-lag talk about 335's doesn't mean diddly at this altitude (over 7,000 ft) I know most of the guys on the board are much much closer to sea level, but I'm at high elevation so it matters to me. I drove a 335 and yes, I was impressed with the wild turbo kick in the first 3 gears, I however was more impressed with how my stock E39 would easily walk away from a dig, 100 mph, or anywhere in between.

now with a chip.....
 

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CSBM5,

The 330 is no comparison to the 335.
The 335 stands alone.
I felt that the E39 is by far the best looking body of any BMW to date.
Yes, the E90-335 has newer technology, yes it smaller, but the E39-M5 has in my opinion the best balance of technology and horsepower of any BMW ever produced. I know that his is a big statement, but I feel strongly about it. I was fortunate enough to own my 335 out right, and my M5 is the same. I am only 5' 8" but I was more comfortable in my wife's 540 Sport than in the 335i. I was going to sell it six month's earlier, but I thought that it would grow on me. Well it didn't, and the M5 gives me the size and comfort of the 540, but with the added excitement of the 335. Yes, my 335 had the 18" wheels with the Sport Package. It also had the Premium and Cold Weather Packages as well. All I can say is that I am proud to have made the decision to join the E39-M5 ranks. The difference between the sale of my 335 and the purchase of my M5 will afford me the Dinan upgrades that I want, and my bank account wil not suffer.

Al. Wise
 

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CSBM5,

The 330 is no comparison to the 335.
The 335 stands alone.
Strange you would construe my post as saying the 330i compared power-wise to the 330i?? Handling wise they are essentially the same except the 330i is lighter, but that is all I meant when I said they had essentially the same chassis (including the same wheels and tires along with identical front struts, rear shocks, front and rear sway bars, etc.). Now the E90 M3 is a totally different story of course...
 

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CSBM5,

With all due respect, I did not misconstrue what you said with regards to the 330i vs. 335i.
The suspension is only one variable in the equation. The power output changes how the suspension reacts.
You do not notice any weight difference between the two.
The torque curve of the 335 is supposed to be flat, but compared to the M5, it has lag.

Al. Wise
 

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I see what you mean, and I agree with you completely. I've been autocrossing for 33 years and doing track events/instructing for 27 years now, and I've autocrossed both cars, so I have a pretty good idea of how they respond, and other than the power aspect, they feel very similar.

In many situations, the 335i just overwhelms the inside rear tire, so the additonal power is unusable in tight courses hence the reason it has shown itself to be non-competitive in SCCA F-stock class competition to date.

However, if I was doing the suspension on the 335i, I would have increased the front sway bar diameter from 26.5mm to 28-29mm or so, slightly increased the front negative camber (you can tap out the pins on the top of the struts and gain about 0.4 degrees additional negative camber), and provided the sport package with 8.5"/255s all around. This front roll stiffness increase would have kept that peg-leg inside rear wheel planted much better while the non-stagger setup with added front camber would help the front-end stick better, balancing out the added front roll stiffness. For anyone with a 335 who doesn't want to go with an LSD diff, I think they'd find this setup would work nicely...much better than the stock setup.


BTW, congrats on the Imloa M5 -- saw in another thread that you just got back from a nice drive picking it up. I love Imola M5s as it was a toss-up when I was buying the M5 to get it with LeMans Blue or Imola. Later I ended up getting Imola on the ZHP which looks great. Enjoy the car as I'm sure it is beautiful!
Regards,
Chuck
 

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Thanks Chuck!

I was looking for either an Imola red, or Lemans blue M5.
The Imola won.
I do love the blue though.

Thanks to all for allowing me to join in this forum.

Al. Wise
 

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OK, a topic that I can also offer some impressions on. Wife and I own both - she drives an '07 335xi (auto) and I drive a '03 m5. I have experience driving both cars. Here are my empirical personal observations (meaning, my impressions. different people can differ on the opinions).<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
We really like both cars for many of the same reasons. Honestly, I think the E39 and E90 335s have many similarities. Other than other BMWs I have driven (yes, old M3, I'm looking at you), they both provide ample low-end grunt. I like to drive but am often limited by the people in the car who don't want me to drive the way I want to. This makes having everyday fun in a rev-happy car less likely, but in the torque monsters I can at least put the hammer down from a stop light and get a taste of enjoyment.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Back to the two cars - very similar. I cannot comment on smoking the tires in the 335 - probably because ours is an xi. However, the 335 is very powerful. The few times wife and I have let them run next to each other they are pretty close until about the late 60s early 70s, where the m5 starts pulling. I don't know if that is driver related or not, but from my observations they are really similar in power through legal speeds but the m5 keeps going afterwards. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
Handling - the 335 has quick, effortless turn in, and is a joy to drive aggressively to a point. I have a harder time in the 335 knowing where the "edge" is. It is not as clear and I back off. The m5 is clear as day. In the end, I am less likely to throttle out of a corner in the 335 to the same extent I would in the m5. The m5 is more composed at the edges in my observation. Now, that doesn't mean that a professional driver might not get the same thing out of the 335 that I get out of the m5. Perhaps they could, but owning both I get more confidence and therefore more cornering out of the m5.<o:p></o:p>
<o:p></o:p>
In the end, I think they are really similar cars to drive at legal speeds and at reasonable cornering. However, as you exceed legal speeds or really get into corners, the m5 has more power, is more composed, and is capable of more driver heroics than the 335. That's my take.<o:p></o:p>
 

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True an M is an M but we love about them is the performance and the options on it. Now let me tell you a fully loaded 335i comes with leather, sport supsension, navigation and every other luxury you could want. and now if it performs like an M , is it less worth because it misses the M badge?

I am not quite certain I am sold on the "M is just different" analogy , seems a bit circular to me.

Rob
Well Rob, in your original post you said nothing about "worth", you asked about performance.

I do not drink the "///M" coolaid. I once counted, and I think there were 13 or more badges with either ///M or M5 on my car (including the floormats). I know that a lot of it is just about marketing.

There are some options and standard features (anthracite headliner comes to mind, as well as the full leather) available on the M5 that are not available in the US on the 3 series. And now there are now options (such as bluetooth and BMW Assist and comfort access) that were not available on the M5.

I'm not going to bash the E39 M5 on an E39 M5 board. It was a great car in its day, and it is still a great car. Whether it is a good value compared to a new car - that's a different story entirely.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well Rob, in your original post you said nothing about "worth", you asked about performance.

I do not drink the "///M" coolaid. I once counted, and I think there were 13 or more badges with either ///M or M5 on my car (including the floormats). I know that a lot of it is just about marketing.

There are some options and standard features (anthracite headliner comes to mind, as well as the full leather) available on the M5 that are not available in the US on the 3 series. And now there are now options (such as bluetooth and BMW Assist and comfort access) that were not available on the M5.

I'm not going to bash the E39 M5 on an E39 M5 board. It was a great car in its day, and it is still a great car. Whether it is a good value compared to a new car - that's a different story entirely.

Michael
Well for me value does come with performance. So If the M5 which is now half the price of the new 3 series , still is better performing it's simply a better value to me. Of course assuming that the M5 I purchase is not a maintenance nightmare. Not to mention the rarity of the M5 in general.

Rob
 

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Huh?

all that no-turbo-lag talk about 335's doesn't mean diddly at this altitude (over 7,000 ft) I know most of the guys on the board are much much closer to sea level, but I'm at high elevation so it matters to me. I drove a 335 and yes, I was impressed with the wild turbo kick in the first 3 gears, I however was more impressed with how my stock E39 would easily walk away from a dig, 100 mph, or anywhere in between.

now with a chip.....
It's the other way around... If anything, at altitude forced induction cars ruin much stronger than naturally aspirated. I believe the general formula used is a 3% horsepower loss per 1,000 feet above sea level for a N/A powerplant. On the 335 x psi of boost is the same regardless of altitude.
 

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Well Rob, in your original post you said nothing about "worth", you asked about performance.

I do not drink the "///M" coolaid. I once counted, and I think there were 13 or more badges with either ///M or M5 on my car (including the floormats). I know that a lot of it is just about marketing.

There are some options and standard features (anthracite headliner comes to mind, as well as the full leather) available on the M5 that are not available in the US on the 3 series. And now there are now options (such as bluetooth and BMW Assist and comfort access) that were not available on the M5.

I'm not going to bash the E39 M5 on an E39 M5 board. It was a great car in its day, and it is still a great car. Whether it is a good value compared to a new car - that's a different story entirely.

Michael
There's very little koolaid behind the M badge. It's not just a marketing tool, especially for previous generations. There's a reason why a car magazine picked the E30 M3 as the best M car ever, Yet the newer M6s (and pretty much every single M after it) have much more to offer when it comes to amenities and technology.

Yet, in your eyes, it would be insane beyond belieff to pick an E30 M3 over a brand new 335i. There's nothing wrong with that (hell, I'd take the 335i too), but I'm just pointing out that not every BMW - let alone general car - enthusiast has the same criteria when it comes to deciding what makes a good car.
 

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There's very little koolaid behind the M badge. It's not just a marketing tool, especially for previous generations. There's a reason why a car magazine picked the E30 M3 as the best M car ever, Yet the newer M6s (and pretty much every single M after it) have much more to offer when it comes to amenities and technology.
The E30 M3 has grown in respect as time has gone by tremendously. At the time (speaking about USA models here), a stock E30 M3 was just barely faster than a 325is while the 325is had a much, much smoother inline-6 with a far fatter torque curve. You could order a limited slip diff on the 325is for ~$395 also. Once you get the car, slap on some aftermarket springs, shocks, sway bars, tires/wheels, headers, exhaust, etc., and it was quicker than a stock E30 M3 at the track and still a lot cheaper.

I remember test driving the E30 M3, an Alpine White one...beautiful car, and I was shocked by the nasty vibration (the S14 is a buzzer for sure) at various points in the rev range and the torque-less powerband. At the time, I had three BMWs, a 1985 535i, a 1972 Bavaria with a Korman built 250hp engine, and a 1977 320i with a Korman built 165hp engine, so I wasn't the least bit impressed by the S14 other than it was nice to rev it high.

They didn't exactly fly off showroom floors, although they sold better than the E28 M5. Time has a way of changing perceptions about a car for sure...no doubt it's a classic for sure, and I'd love to have one in the garage as a long term keeper if it was 100% stock and unmolested (worth a lot more than a modified 1988 325is :haha:).

Chuck
 
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