Hear the thunder in the distance? That would be the sound of the BMW M3's coming competition, in the form of the Cadillac CTS-V coupe and the Audi RS5. What a showdown that will be. Still, I doubt the Bimmer is quaking in its boots. This is, after all, a very serious machine. Everything from the contours of its supportive sport seats to the way the redline marker on its tachometer mechanically retracts toward 8500 rpm as the V-8 warms up says this is a really fast car. And it is. I was only puttering town, but, as Eric noted, it's very difficult to practice restraint when a drop of the right foot unleashes so much awesome power and noise. If you can hold back though, the M3 rides and drives as civilly as any 3-series. The only downside is that it also looks pretty much like any 3-series, which means rather safe. That's the only area where I foresee the M3 falling short compared to the sexy newcomers from Cadillac and Audi.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

New Car Research

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