I haven't had the opportunity to drive the new M3 on a racetrack, as some of my colleagues have, but I'm sure it's a hoot in that setting. On the streets and freeways around Ann Arbor, my initial impressions were that the new car is a lot more refined than the old M3. It's more compliant on rough roads and seems like it would be slightly easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. But forgive me for saying that the new M3 didn't really push my buttons. Sure, it drives great, and it has all the BMW M reflexes and responses that you would expect. But I came away from my time with the car wondering why I would want an M3 when I could have a 335i twin-turbo sedan for a lot less money. If you're a weekend racer, sure, you'll want the M3. But now that the "regular" 3-series is so good, with that wonderful twin-turbo six, the V-8-powered M3 is overkill for most.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor