While reading the responses to a recent BMWBLOG posting by Josh Lewis, I noted that one of the posters had put together a very interesting comparison of the BMW M3 and the Porsche 911. To put it mildly, somebody’s gone Kirstie Alley while somebody else has stayed Goldie Hawn:
Here’s the comparison, with the data being attributed to Wikipedia, Porsche, and BMW media resources. I’ve removed the GT3 and added the Carrera 3.2 to keep things historically similar:
E30: 2,740 pounds, 192 HP, 17/29 mpg, L=171″,W=66.1″
E36: 3,219 pounds, 240 HP, 19/26 mpg, L=174.5″, W=67.3″
E46: 3,415 pounds, 333 HP, 16/24 mpg, L=176.8″, W=70.1″
E92: 3,704 pounds, 414 HP, 14/20 mpg, L=180.3″, W=70.2″
Porsche 911 (base):
911: 2,700 pounds, 207 HP, 15/22 mpg, L=169″, W=65″
964: 3,031 pounds, 247 HP, 17/25 mpg, L=168″, W=65″
993: 3,064 pounds, 282 HP, 17/25 mpg, L=167.1″, W=68.3″
996: 2,910 pounds, 296 HP, 19/28 mpg, L=174.4″, W=69.5″
997: 3,075 pounds, 325 HP, 18/26 mpg, L=175.6″, W=72.9″
*1984 Carrera 3.2 US spec
Based on what I’ve seen over a few years instructing at open trackdays, I would suggest that the average novice driver will be somewhat faster around a track in the M3, but that the difference decreases dramatically as the skill level of the drivers increases.
Who’s got it right: Porsche, which has kept weight and power close to the Nineties levels, or BMW, which keeps turning up the volume?