• volk613

    Mainly a good review but I am confused by a couple of points.
    A plus is its performance, a minus is its heavy, wouldn’t being “heavy” reduce performance?
    Also what does saying it has no “understeer at low speed” mean? how many cars have under steer at low speed let alone a rwd?

  • laurie

    $176,000 + on road costs NO thanks give me a Ford or Holden any day and with the change I can put a deposit on a investment home the price for a badge is amazing then again each to their own


  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Karl Peskett

    Volk, thanks for your comment.

    Point one – performance is all round, not just speed. If it was lightened, it could do a bit better. Par for the course with most convertibles.

    Point two – take for example the 350Z. At low speed its initial tendency is to understeer. Not off the road of course, but it will scrub. At higher speed it fairs much better. The M3 Conv is well balanced, so on turn in it doesn’t push like other RWD cars do.

  • http://www.myspace.com/tjantilag Tom Jakovljevic

    My god this thing sounded glorious, didnt it Karl.

    Such a nice car… like I’ve said previously, you would buy it to take clients out at day, go looking for tunnels to echo the sound at night, and by weekend you would cruise the coast with the top down.

  • Marc

    Great review and awesome photos! M3 is one of my favs

  • http://deleted Alex

    Laurie, your not buying a Holden or Ford with a better badge here. This car is better than a Holden or a Ford and thats a rather silly comment. Saying that, would I buy one? No would have to be the answer. I don’t like the idea that your paying extra for more weight over the coupe or the sedan and considering the M3 is supposed to be about performance, you really shouldn’t get the convertible. They should have given it a soft top because apart from anything, the new BMW 3 series convertible looks slightly awkward when the roof is up. It doesn’t flow as nicely in looks as the coupe does. It would have worked if it looked exactly like the coupe with the roof up but it doesn’t. I think if I was buying the M3 Id get the sedan because most of the people that were just buying it for the badge will get the coupe and the convertible.

  • Stevo

    Would love one, but how does a car that starts at $66,150 USD end up at over $170K AUD.

  • Fenno

    Exactly where does the M3 sit these days. It used to be the Hero car for BMW. But now theres the (335 similar performance for a lot less) and the M5 (or the M6 if you want two doors). It just seems to be lacking something that the M3′s of old just oozed.
    Maybe Bavarian Missile can enlighten me?

  • Fenno

    …and Stevo, to answer your question…LCT

  • MB

    I’m with Fenno but also add the 135i into the mix. Similar performace for less coin.

  • Stevo

    Fenno, I can accept LCT at 33%, extra shipping charges, smaller market in AU, weak Aussie dollar, and probably other reasons that the good people on CarAdvice will post up, but over 100K?

    Would like to see an article with the breakdown of taxes, shipping etc on a car like this one, or any car over the 57K LCT threshold.

  • riceboy


    With words like “cacophonic, yet symphonic, melodic, and harmonic”… “aural delights” and all that “tunnel love”… sounds like you’re getting your inspiration from adult movies with people of the same gender…

    Only kidding… good review… I agree with MB, 135i is a bargain with almost the same performance, and would leave enough change for a nice convertible too…

  • Realcars

    Must be one very precise v8 to rev like that.Would take a lot of money and effort to get a Holden or FORD V8 to work like that. Anyway this isn’t a car for the masses and they could probably get away with asking another 20 or 30k for the exclusivity taking into account the small number to come to our shores.

    What’s the point of being rich if u can’t have something better than everyone else.LOL.

    Anyway would make a pleasant diversion to sniffing seats in WA OR straddling breasts at parties like the rich and influential in NSW.LOL.

  • Austin

    Bring on the next RS4 and show us what it can do! Not a convertible person.

  • CB

    laurie Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 3:34 pm
    “$176,000 + on road costs NO thanks give me a Ford or Holden any day and with the change I can put a deposit on a investment home the price for a badge is amazing then again each to their own”

    Smart people don’t pay $176K for this car, they lease it and write it off as a work expense – and these hold their value muuuch better than any Falcodore.

    The people buying these cars aren’t Falcodore owners with incomes of $60K, these are people on $200K+, with yearly repayments of say $30K, only about 15% of their income. And they’ll be buying more properties than you too.

  • No Name

    Totally agree on the noise bit – Audis 4.2 souond sooo neat. I’m not the biggest BMW fan (too many around these parts) but the M3/5 always get admiring glances from me….and they are so cheap to pick up 2nd hand.
    Ha Ha the spam was BMWM5.

  • Zip

    I don’t understand why the use of 98RON is a drawback for such a car of fine performance pedigree.

  • Tom

    Oh yes, lets compared a $180k BMW, to a 50k Holden. Also forget to mention that the Holden doesn’t really give up much in performance terms for that money.

  • Tom

    “But unlike other V8s which make a nice noise but don’t go anywhere, this car is actually quick”

    What v8′s would that be referring to? Like a Clubsport, that can match that 5.1?

  • volk613

    Tom what do the English Holdens and Fords cost? HSV and FPV are above the LCT threshold.
    Not only do we make successful NZ as our own but the English too.

  • Allan

    To me, holdens dont even deserve to be compared with the german heavyweights. Take the engine technology alone, it takes 6.2 litres of american push rod muscle to better what the RS4 and M3 can achieve with only around 4 litres…not to mention with 6.2 litres Merc can push out almost 380kw of power. And the only way they could match that was to go get a bigger 7 litre monster. Shame.

  • mamba

    All that talk about how it good it sounds and you don’t include a video clip or sound clip??? Booooo!!!

  • Realcars

    Worried about resale then don’t buy one of these especially when the next model comes out.LOL

    Guessing will be worth about 60k as a used example in five years.

    As for work expense tax right off then u better hope u never get audited by the ATO.LOL.

    Should see a sleazy real estate agent getting around in one of these soon.LOL.

  • Realcars

    mates supercharged xr8 can match this.LOL.

  • Twilight

    yeh, a supercharged xr8 probably could match it, but you’re missing the point.

    that XR8 engine is 5.4L (i think?) AND its got a supercharger donked onto it. (and are u reffering to BA-BFmkII falcon or FG?)

    this M3 has a much smaller displacement, and doesnt need any ‘forcefeeding’ to produce that same amount of power. let alone the fact that owning of of these is so much more exclusive than your ‘run of the mill’ falcon, which you see everywhere.

    i do get what you’re saying though.

    good review CA.

  • Bollinger

    I think this is less a review of the car and more of the engine…but what an engine! Would love for BM to provide their engines for a specialty maker to fit into a proper sportscar along the lines of AMG and Pagani, Audi and KTM etc. Do they already do so?

  • Tom

    Allan, what does displacement really have to do with anything?

    Here’s a curb ball, why do BMW need to make its engines rev to 8000rpm, when small block chev v8′s can make the same power alot lower in the rev range?

    I can’t stand displacement elitism. If it has some real world variables, like weight of the engine or fuel consumption that’s one thing, but we all know those are two area’s the LS engines excel in.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Tom,nothing to do with elitism,Im not taking away what a small block chev is capable of {old technology} ,but it can hardly be compared to the brilliance of BMWs engines,worlds apart! fuel consumption of this M3 is the same of the last inline 6,now thats impressive. They are the masters of engine manufacturing in the world,simple as that. Tom remember this is the equal to a German HSV in Europe,not BMWs fault we get taxed so high in this country,I would hate to imagine what a Clubbie would cost in the UK? Similar to an M3 I would imagine,now what would you prefer?

  • Al Juraj

    The price tag of more than 175K still justifies it over the base 911, which starts at over 210K. The M3 is faster and has a way better engine sound. It’s funny though that its folding metal top is a notch ahead of its M6 convertible mother, which only makes do with cloth. Yes, it’s not the fastest car you can buy for that much money, but it’s probably one of the most fun, well built wheels out there, and I’d certainly get one if I can afford it.

  • riceboy

    Maybe if I sell one of my kidneys and one of my gf’s kidneys, I might afford one now…

  • Tom

    Bravarian Missle, they sell the clubsport in europe, its called the VXR8. It’s about 20,000 pounds cheaper than a M3.

    Just like they sold the Monaro VXR, and VXR500 (supercharged), which again, were extraordinary cars for the money,

  • Watto_Cobra

    They featured the VXR8 on Topgear. Clarkson talked about how it has a Chev engine but no mention that the rest of the car is Australian >:-(

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yeah I know Tom I have had this argument before.True they do sell it in the UK Tom,35,000 pounds against the latest M3 for 50,000 pounds {Im sure the yards would be selling it for less now that the backlog has decreased for the model},seems the M3 has had a price increase from the previous 6 cylinder,back then when it was competing against the V8 VXR Coupe {Monaro}at 36,000 pounds the M3 was 37,000 pounds.I have to also say that even when the M3 was a six {3.2 litre} it was drafting the big 6 litre Monaro…..0-100 in the Monaro 5.0 sec the M3 5.2……….that pretty impressive for something that small.

    Torque curve is totally different on both cars,I recently had a run with a VE Maloo ,I was actually pulling away from him in first in second and keeping with him in third,not till 4th did he start to pull away. They truly are awesome machines.

  • Watto_Cobra

    And yours is more than a few years old now BM with half the capacity. It must still be a stormer.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yeah Watto Im a storm in a E cup,hahaha

    Why arent you watching the race babe………….

  • Watto_Cobra

    Computer is near the TV and Carrera was on, lol.

  • Joober

    “Clarkson talked about how it has a Chev engine but no mention that the rest of the car is Australian” – I think it was more he made a mockery of it being Australian claiming it had a Yank engine. he knew it was downunder and made mocking comments (with dodgey aussie accent) throughout the segment.

    BM – Thats torque for you 500+ versus the 400 an M3 has.

  • Watto_Cobra

    Good call Joober. Been quite a while since I saw that ep.

    I’m pretty sure he mentioned the MonaroVXR from a few series earlier was Oz.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yeah I realise that Joober,the BMWs torque curve is almost flat from 3 grand all the way through to 6.5 ,its making 400 nm at 3 grand and stays there for another 3500 rpm.Thats what makes it an exciting engine!

    No idea where the Chev makes 500 ,but I bet it climbs to get there!

  • Watto_Cobra

    Same reason the F6′s torque is so impressive. Flat as a tabletop at 565Nm from 1950 all the way to over 5gs.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Maybe my other half Wheelnut can find out for me,hes the Holden lover in the family!

  • Watto_Cobra

    He’s glued to the tele. Has he got his new ute yet? Must be champing at the bit.

    What year is your M3? I have forgotten :-( Looks awesome at dusk with the angel eyes.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yep he is………Na hasnt got it yet,hes moving over first and settling in before he makes the leap.

    Mine is 98………..shes ten years old ! Angel eyes are cool ha!

  • Watto_Cobra

    Well, when you think about it, in ’98 Tickford didn’t yet have the TS/TE50 with 250KW and I’m not sure if HSV had the HSV300 so your M3 was easily whipping both at the time.

  • Watto_Cobra

    And still stacks up well against their latest.

  • Bavarian Missile

    Yep was whipping their buts then for sure,still was all the way up to the BF GTs,Im sure it would the current GT too knowing what the Cobra went like {yawn} when I used to drive it!Thing is though my car was 170 k new now valued at 50k same or similar value to the TS/50s now, they really held their value well. I wouldn’t take on the current F6 you would nail me,but Id have a good go at ya!hahaha

  • Bavarian Missile

    Back to the race Batman!

  • Wheelnut

    The new HSV LS-3 V8 in the VE Clubbie has to reach approx 4600rpm to produce 307kw – as Bavarian Missile suspected it does have to “climb” a bit more than its FPV tivals

    Which explains why in 1-2-3rd she was able to stay with the VE Maloo as the M3s power is instantaneous.. However; whne the Maloo got going into 4-5-6th gear it started to pull away

  • Andrew M

    5th and 6th are pretty much over ride gears.
    not much pull to be had there.

    i would have said 3rd/4th would have been the “Pull gears” against the M3.

    the 6.0L chev doesnt have too much in 5th and absolutely nothing in 6th.

    and what speeds are we talking people??
    considering 2nd can be good for 90kmh-ish (depending on vehicle),
    if you are talking reving 4th all the way and talking 5th, thats massive speeds!!!!!!
    Im sure that was at the drag strip though???

  • Bavarian Missile

    yep,your right Andrew 2nd gear in my car is the speed limit…….gear ratio in the Getrag Box is real close in the M3, 5 gear being like 4th,I know the 6 speed Tremac in the GT was the same Andrew,6th gear no point!

    In 4th gear when he started to pull away I looked down at 160 clicks {sneaks up on you fast} I had enough by then!

  • Andrew M

    the 4 sp auto falcons are good for 90kmh in first!!!

  • Andrew M

    spam word = XR8……..

    i put the XR8 to 150kmh and the salesman was sitting beside telling me to give it some.
    i wonder if he would have paid the flash for cash if i got done at 200kmh???
    it was harder to pay attention to the gear and revs because it was an auto :(

  • Bavarian Missile

    All comes down to gearing Andrew………the XA does 110 in 1st as well…………..are the falcons good for 250 clicks? M3 is limited to that

  • Andrew M

    i thought they still limited the falcons to 180kmh.

  • http://caradvicelcom chrystine Corral

    hey everyone i need someone to tell me what’s the price of a 2008 BMW M3 convertible ….thank you

  • mt evo

    I own an e46 M3 and a 335i coupe, i want one of these now too, after test driving the other day they are better than people have given credit, don’t beleive the hype over the 135i or the 335i – M3 is worth the extra bucks. Mind you i still love my e46 m3 and they are cheap now. As for holdens and fords?..they make great taxis.

  • Chris

    What a car!