Top Gear suggestion? Corvette vs M3

CapnNismo

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Made this on another forum and then realized it would be a great idea for the show. Doubt it would ever make it on the air, but if nothing else, it might be an interesting discussion.




It's funny when you sit down and start to compare numbers on cars.

I was in the doctor's office yesterday and found an article on the new M3. My German isn't that great, so I just looked at the pictures until I found this chart. It compares a baseline, normal Corvette (think about what the Z06 could do after you read the chart) against an Audi RS4 and the new M3.

Here in Europe, they all cost the same. But in the USA, the Corvette is CONSIDERABLY cheaper (like what, $20k for a baseline cheaper? That's why I said think about the Z06 after you finish) than both cars. Even with the taxes, though, the Corvette comes out to be the cheaper car here in Europe.

Now, the Vette is 14ps less (maybe what, 10hp?) but makes gobs more torque than both cars (a full 100 Nm). Here are those numbers in torques:
BMW M3: ~295
RS4: ~317
Corvette: ~402

Those figures are absolutely whopping. The Corvette's 6.0L V8 even gets better fuel economy than the M3's 4.0L V8 and has a slightly larger fuel tank. So you could go balls out in your Corvette for a cheaper price, do it longer, and smoke your tires faster. The only thing the Vette lacks, is that it has half as many valves as the BMW or the RS4 in its engine.



It's things like this that always make me want a Corvette. For as common as they are, for your money, it's hard to get a faster car off the showroom floor (not counting something like the Ariel Atom, because that's alien technology).
 

teeb

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They're not really aimed at the same people though. The Corvette is for someone who wants a sports car or a muscle car. The M3 is for someone who wants a performance car, but has either a family or a lifestyle that means he can't swan about in a 2 seater coup?. Even the most die-hard Corvette fanatic has to admit you can't carry 5 people in one!

The other thing I was looking for was lap times for each, on the same track. Annoyingly I can't find any, as evo didn't take the standard Corvette to Bedford, only the ZO6 (which, yes, is faster than the current M3).

Ignoring all the stats and so on, Top Gear tends to test cars that appeal to a particular group - say, performance estates, hot hatchbacks, or whatever - so I don't think a direct M3 - Corvette comparison is likely. Which is a shame, really.


(And before this thread descends into a semi-inevitable Corvette flamefest, how come people always compare the Corvette to more upmarket, more expensive rivals? It's possible to find equal 'bang for your buck' (as the horrible phrase goes) if you look to small, independent manufacturers. A Lotus Exige S, a TVR Sagaris before TVR went bust, a Noble M12...sure, they wouldn't have the build quality of the Corvette, but still...)
 
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CapnNismo

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Well the problem with the Lotus cars is that they can't keep up in top speed a lot of the time whereas the Corvettes can a bit more.

But I think if you're buying a sport coupe with 400hp+ ... I am pretty honestly sure you're not worried about the back seats. Plus, BMW touts all their cars as "built for drivers" ... but every current one is all over 3000lbs. Even the 1-series. Nothing even remotely lightweight. It's horrid.
 

argatoga

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Plus, BMW touts all their cars as "built for drivers" ... but every current one is all over 3000lbs. Even the 1-series. Nothing even remotely lightweight. It's horrid.

And thats the main problem I have with current BMWs, sans the 1 series, they are whales. The M3 alone is almost 2 tons. The Corvette is one of the few sports cars made now that is still relatively light, only around 3100lbs. Anything over 3500lbs is too fat for a sports focused car (yes that includes supercars which need computers to compensate for their bulk).
 

M3lover

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Well the problem with the Lotus cars is that they can't keep up in top speed a lot of the time whereas the Corvettes can a bit more.

But I think if you're buying a sport coupe with 400hp+ ... I am pretty honestly sure you're not worried about the back seats. Plus, BMW touts all their cars as "built for drivers" ... but every current one is all over 3000lbs. Even the 1-series. Nothing even remotely lightweight. It's horrid.

I think you actually have your answer as to why people would want a M3 over a Corvette in the high weight of the BMW. Without knowing for sure, so this is just something I assume, much of the extra weight is used making the M3 more liveable for everyday use, with sound proofing, nicer interior, gadgets and so on (Yes, I know the Vette would still be lighter even if it didn't have all that).

I see the M3 as a very sporty everyday car, and the Vette as a more focused Weekend car, so they serve different purposes
 

argatoga

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I think you actually have your answer as to why people would want a M3 over a Corvette in the high weight of the BMW. Without knowing for sure, so this is just something I assume, much of the extra weight is used making the M3 more liveable for everyday use, with sound proofing, nicer interior, gadgets and so on (Yes, I know the Vette would still be lighter even if it didn't have all that).

I see the M3 as a very sporty everyday car, and the Vette as a more focused Weekend car, so they serve different purposes

I think the Corvette is more livable than that, but I agree with you. The M3 is more of a fast luxo-barge than a pure sports car. If you want a new sporty BMW get a Z4 or 1 series.
 

bartboy9891

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(And before this thread descends into a semi-inevitable Corvette flamefest, how come people always compare the Corvette to more upmarket, more expensive rivals? It's possible to find equal 'bang for your buck' (as the horrible phrase goes) if you look to small, independent manufacturers. A Lotus Exige S, a TVR Sagaris before TVR went bust, a Noble M12...sure, they wouldn't have the build quality of the Corvette, but still...)

The BMW Z4M and Porsche Cayman S are both relatively close.
 

anti-net

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I do like the Corvette, its a nice sports car and yeah its not as modern as some of the European rivals, but its just a testament to the engineering that it can make a car than can keep up with things double its price.

However if I had ?60,000 burning in my pocket I wouldn't buy one, as its a bit brash looking and if you drive American car Europeans look at you funny, a sad but true fact. BMW buyers have the same issue as they look like cocks though that image is now starting wear off as people have moved on to hating people in Range Rovers.
 

Ottobon

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Made this on another forum and then realized it would be a great idea for the show.


this is totally offtopic, but your the first Austrian I've seen on here so if you don't mind me totally sidetracking the thread, whats up with the high suicide rate in Austria? especially of 60+ year old men? I mean it seems like a prettty cool place (although i've never been there) so why does it seem so many old guys are so depressed? Or are most people happy and then theirs like a wierd minority group thats all depressed?
 

wlmmn

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Interesting thread: the Corvette was my dream car as a kid, but it's now a BMW M3. I'd love to see a comparison. Different markets though. Chevrolet is a huge auto manufacturer inside a giant auto manufacturer, GM. And so the Vette is the top of the line from essentially the same people that make the Cavalier, Chevette, Aveo, and other cars that aren't quite great. BMW, however, pretty much ONLY makes executive, small saloon cars that focus on handling instead of V8 grunt. Hmm...
 

otispunkmeyer

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on the track (and probably on the road) the M3 will get pwned by the vette i reckon..... vette has more power and more torque and is light. definately no match on the straights and i dont think BMW's legendary handling in corners is gonna do much either. (this is the z06 im chattin about)

2009 vette zr-1 = game over but then it is going to be rather pricey!

they are kinda different cars though, the M3 can seat 4 and the RS4 is actually a 4 door. so its probably a bit of a mis matched contest, but never the less these cars can be had for the same money.

id have the RS4 personally, great V8, 4 door practicality, AWD sure-footed-ness and a build quality that shits from a stratospheric height all over the vettes.
 

CapnNismo

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Yea, if I was in the market for a car where I actually would need to use the rear seats, I would get the RS4 (or maybe the 4-door M3, but since I hate everything BMW has to offer outside of the Z4 Coupe, I would get the RS4).

The Corvette is a different car, granted. But I know more people who own them for DAILY driving than a weekend car. They're not a harsh ride, even the Z06. I remember hearing a story about a guy who traded in a C6 Z06 (maybe a C5) on a brand new Viper. Ended up coming back the next day or two and trying to get his Vette back because the Viper was too harsh of a ride.

this is totally offtopic, but your the first Austrian I've seen on here so if you don't mind me totally sidetracking the thread, whats up with the high suicide rate in Austria? especially of 60+ year old men? I mean it seems like a prettty cool place (although i've never been there) so why does it seem so many old guys are so depressed? Or are most people happy and then theirs like a wierd minority group thats all depressed?

Actually, I am from the USA (hence my knowledge of cars there). I have somewhat noticed the same thing, as well. I think simply because many of those men can't seem to keep up in the modern world since the countryside has modernized rather quickly in this country. I don't know. I see suicide as the ultimate cowardice.
 

prizrak

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I don't think you can really compare the two. As mentioned by a few people before they are aimed at completely different markets. I would personally go for an RS4 over an M3, mostly because I don't like BMW's and I think they lost their focus. RS4 to me is a car that does exactly what it promises and for a daily driver anywhere where rain and snow is likely AWD will always be a better bet.
That said the Z06 is a pretty good car, however I believe that it wins on power/torque alone. It doesn't handle anywhere near as well as the BMW/Audi does, however the sheer amount of torque and power available makes the handling point rather moot. I generally dislike that type of car for my money I would rather drive an Exige S or an NSX, which despite their lack of power compared to other cars in the range, can run with the best of them on the tracks because of their insane handling.
 

Hiro11

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Capnnismo, it's much worse than you think.

WTF is GM thinking with their Corvette pricing in Europe? I know the pricing of all cars in Europe looks insane to American eyes and that the weaker-than-weak dollar is making the comparison even worse.... but seriously, 80K Euros for a standard 'vette? That's about $115,000 :blink: I think they sell the base Corvette in the UK for right around 50K pounds (about $100K).

Europeans on this board, I can see how you might object to the Corvette! It must seem as if us Americans are crazy for liking it.

The thing you have to understand is that you can pick up a base Corvette here for about $45K (less that 25K pounds). A well equiped Z51 with the upgraded interior is about $60K (quick math... carry the fourteen... maybe 30K pounds). At that price, average Joes here can afford these cars. Slightly above average Joes can even afford to race them a bit. If they sold a fairly loaded Corvette for 30K pounds in the UK, I'd imagine there'd be a stampede.
 

teeb

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The thing you have to understand is that you can pick up a base Corvette here for about $45K (less that 25K pounds). A well equiped Z51 with the upgraded interior is about $60K (quick math... carry the fourteen... maybe 30K pounds). At that price, average Joes here can afford these cars. Slightly above average Joes can even afford to race them a bit. If they sold a fairly loaded Corvette for 30K pounds in the UK, I'd imagine there'd be a stampede.

If they sold standard Corvettes for ?25k and loaded ones for ?30k in the UK, they'd fly off the shelves as fast as beer flies off supermarket shelves during a hot summer's day. Having said that if they could sell the Mustang for the same as what it costs in the USA - starting at $19,995 which is ?9999 - then there'd be a huge stampede for them.

Heck, at ?10k for a Mustang or ?25k for a Corvette, I'd buy one! Of each! Unfortunately it's just not going to happen, due to taxes and imports and all the rest.
 

MattD1zzl3

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Its a shame they cant just build a certain number of mustangs over there.
 

F8L SVT

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Just to let you know 15,8L/100km (17,9mpg) fuel consumption (Corvette) is actually worse than Beemers 13,2L/100km (21,4mpg).

I never trust magazine reviews. I have many friends with vettes and a couple with the new 08 6.2L 436hp monsters. They all see 30mpgs on the highway on a regular basis. So the european arguments that all american sports cars are big heavy gas guzzling pigs are no longer true in any way shape or form. My firends C6 ZO6 actually got 32mpg on the way to vegas with his retune after he put an aftermarket Cold air system in it. So know it is a 484rwhp 32mpg monster that will handle just as well if not better then an F430 Top Gears power board at the same time gettingbetter economy, but of course you wont turn as many heads. For the money you can not find a better all around performance car.
 
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