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Wetterauer-BMW M3 E36 3.0 meets Wetterauer-BMW M4 F82

Rossen Gargolov
BMW M3 E36 3.0 vs. BMW M4 F82
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S ogar with your eyes closed and with earmuffs you could tell the two BMWs immediately. It is the smell that creeps into the nose when boarding the sports seats. The M4 smells of fresh leather. The 20-year-old BMW M3 E36 is a mixture of old plastic, dusty carpet and the wonder trees that once dangled from the inside mirror. It gets more exciting when you open your eyes and look at the Bayern athletes.

In comparison with the curved BMW M4 F82, which is traversed by light edges, the BMW M3 from 1995 looks as if it were only with one Ruler drawn. Boxy. The headlights are no exception. LED adaptive lighting? For heaven's sake. BMW simply took a clear glass cube and screwed in round halogen lamps. Works. At the rear, the eyes look in vain for a third brake light. Two no-frills tailpipes, however, do not release the usual 286, but more than 300 hp. Tuner Wetterauer from Koblenz has optimized both the performance of the BMW M3 E36 3.0 and the BMW M4 F82. The twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder now pushes 558 hp to the rear axle after the software optimization.

M4 with 558 hp at M5 level

The power plus of 127 hp beams the BMW M4 F82 directly into a performance class with its bigger brother, the M5. With a torque of 730 Nm, it even exceeds it by 50 Nm. And how does that sound? When starting the engine in the early morning, the S55 burps out of its Eisenmann exhaust, then gurgles through the four tailpipes at increased idle speed. While the oil in the engine is rumbling towards operating temperature, we climb into the interior.

Plopping in is no longer that easy due to the new Recaro chairs. Once nested in the “pole position” shells, it becomes clear what a real sports seat is - lateral support, always and everywhere. Even on the shoulders, which are often neglected. In combination with the new H&R springs and stabilizers, the result is a tight package. Push the gear selector lever of the seven-speed DCT to the right, tap the accelerator, and the BMW M4 F82 rolls away.

At very low speeds, the Coupé rumble stiffly over railway tracks or the smallest curbs. Accelerate quickly to more than 40 km /h and the over-M4 calms down. At least until the pointer for the oil temperature has reached 70 degreeshas left. Two puffs on the left paddle, the hum of the exhaust turns into a loud hiss. Now, however, gently accelerate, otherwise the rear wheels will go up in smoke despite 285 tires without propulsion.

M4 in around 4 seconds 100 km /h

Launch Control? Forget it! If the locked rear axle does gain traction, the BMW M4 F82 sprints to 100 km /h in around four seconds. That makes it imposing. Wetterauer removed the 250 km /h limiter, now 315 km /h are possible. And they are reached frighteningly quickly.

In Hockenheim you will never be that fast on the small circuit, but the racer still inspires you with respect if you step too hard on the gas at the exit of the curve. The stern wedges and has to be caught with counter-steering movements. Same tip as with the standard M4: Shift down less and just grab the torque and let yourself be heaved out of the curve. It is different at the entrance to the bend: the front axle snaps shut quite uncompromisingly when turning, without miming the hyper-sharp Ferrari steering.

It would have been really consistent to mount semi-slicks on the AEZ rims and to throw out the superfluous rear seat . Superfluous because the Recaros won't fold - and the BMW M4 F82 only has two doors.

And the E36 is more fun!

Another story with the BMW M3 E36: ​​thanks to his four doors, it is much more practical than the M4. Is that why it's less fun? Well, switching directly is tough: The S50B30 does not have the brute force of the M4, it lacks torque at the front and rear. It doesn't matter. The three-liter vacuum cleaner sounds so much nicer than the biturbo engine in the M4. The exhaust note changes at five thousand from bassy murmur to hoarse screeching. This sound is accompanied by the dull, scratchy intake noise of the retrofitted carbon airbox. A few hundred more tours, come on! Then reaching for the gearshift lever, depressing the hard clutch pedal, engaging the next gear: you do everything yourself, no computer. Who else is interested in how things go in traffic or in town?

You leave the Hockenheimer Senke in third gear, turn into the home straight, ram the right pedal fully into the ground, grin and look forward to the next bend. You brake it with double-declutching, slam into the gear you have chosen, drive it through, then accelerate fully. The engine sings. You never want to get out of a 20 year old car again. Incredible.


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