Dinan 335i vs. E92 M3

BMW M3 | May 31st, 2008 by 34

I will let you watch the video first of WebRidesTV's test of a Stage III Dinan 335i versus a stock E92 M3 at Willow Springs …

I will let you watch the video first of WebRidesTV's test of a Stage III Dinan 335i versus a stock E92 M3 at Willow Springs Raceway.


Now that you have seen the video, you can hear my rant on it. I personally do not like this video at all. It is not a good representation of any of the performance for either car. The M3 is just that, an M3. First off, the video tries to make a smart-ass comment about the dealer markup on the new M3. Every BMW dealer that I have been to has each and every M3 on the lot for sale at MSRP, not above, not below. If you want an M3 bad enough and don't want to pay over sticker, you will know to look elsewhere. If you don't look elsewhere and buy any over MSRP, well that is your problem. So in reality, the new M3 stickers for $56,500 and maxed out you will be looking at about $70,000. That's expensive, yes, but it is still faster than the same priced Dinan 335. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the 335. It is a car that you can pull up at a fine restaurant with a very beautiful woman in the passenger seat, get out and give the keys to the valet and have a smile on your face knowing that it's yours. Even better, you will be walking out of the place with the beautiful female on your arm, giving your ticket to the valet, and as soon as he pulls up with your car you say, "what did I do right in my life to deserve you?" Your girl friend will say how sweet you are when you really mean the car. DON'T SAY THAT! Just smile and be nice. But while a 335i is no slouch, it's no M3.

Continued here

I've driven both cars, and I've driven the 135i. I love the 335, and would love to have one. The M3, though, is just a totally different car. It's an ///M. How many are you going to see in comparison to the 335i? 

Let me just say, the 335 had more torque, less weight, and just a few horsies short of being even to the M3, and it still lost. It was slower in the 1/4 mile and around the track… 

They say that the M3 should keep its lunch money and save it for gas? Well how about the fact that the M3 will get better gas mileage due to the fact that the 335 is so heavily modded, I doubt it's really going after a BMW record for MPG's. 

Which would you rather have? Obviously, I would take the M3. 

Article by Josh from RawAutos.com

34 Responses to “Dinan 335i vs. E92 M3”

  1. Buis says:

    Can I get a Dynan M3?

  2. Nico says:

    I have never driven BMW’s more powered cars but if I had the money I would take the M3 any day over the 335i or a modded 335i. I watched the movie a few days ago and what surprised me was that they didn’t make any comment about the fact that the M3 has more as 70% percent different parts as the 335i (according to BMW’s marketing). Those different parts do have to make a difference, right?

  3. RawAutos says:


    At this point Dinan only does Chassis Tuning for the new M3. Sorry.


    The different parts do make a great difference. Another thing, there are certain pieces of the new M3 that are just updated over the E46 M3. Just goes to show how good the older model was too… So, it seems that you understand what I mean about comparing the M3 to the Dinan 335?

    I love the 335i, it’s just that when you go to buy an M3, you don’t look and think, “hmm. I wonder if I could mod a 335 to be the same level as the M3 for less?” Haha.

  4. Nico says:

    “Haha” -> Exactly :)

  5. B. Riley says:

    I respect Dinan, and the unstoppable inline 6. But let’s not lie to ourselves. These guys were full of it. The M3 sedan exactly the way I want it is $56,300. Considering that 80% of the parts on the M3 are specific to the car, and different from the 335i, I think I’ll take the M3 for an extra $300.

    Again, not to slight Steve Dinan, but for the same price, I’ll take a room full of German Motorsport engineers’ mods versus his.

  6. RawAutos says:

    B. Riley,

    Perfect answer. That is exactly what I was trying to say. You should have written the article hahaha. Thank you for the perfect comment.

  7. Dustin says:

    Who paid them to come to that conclusion? They said the M3 was better in every category, but that the price was way higher. On the specs, they showed a stock 335i plus Dinan mods @ $56K. You guys are exactly right that you could buy a brand new M3 with no options @ $56K. So how exactly did they come up with that conclusion and disrespect the M3 like that?

  8. B. Riley says:

    @Dustin: B/C they didn’t research their article beforehand. They were convinced that you couldn’t buy an M3 for under $70K, and somehow that all dealers were selling them for $100K. I think I’d AT LEAST go to BMWUSA.com and build one before I put my foot in my mouth.

    Then again, that would ruin the whole pretense of their comparison. So maybe they DID know, and just didn’t want to admit it b/c it would nullify their little comparo.

  9. RawAutos says:

    @B. Riley: Riley and Dustin,

    You both have great comments. I personally couldn’t agree with you guys more. It’s obvious that WebRidesTV doesn’t know what they’re doing. Every video that I’ve ever seen from them is not well thought out and meaningless test results…

  10. Jon Harper says:

    I’ve also driven both the M3 and the 335 and I would definitely say that no matter how much tuning is put into a 335, the M3 will always be the winner. It is like a different species.

  11. Mark says:

    I agree with John Harper….the M3 is definitely a superior over the 335i…despite this I still like the 335i….

    As far as Dinan and the M3 goes, sometime late this year or early 2009, Dinan will have a stroker engine for the M3 (remember, the M3 engine is the same engine in the M5/M6…just minus two cylinders!!)….thus, the R&D that Dinan put into the S1-S3 kits for the M6/M6 will soon be available on the M3 far quicker than it was available for the two other M cars…how about an M3 with Dinan’s S3 stroker kit that makes over 500bhp??? This will include suspension upgrades, bigger brakes, cold air intakes, new software, HF throttle bodies, etc…..an M3 Dinan S3 car will likely blow most anything off the road…..MUHAHAHAHAHAHA


  12. RawAutos says:

    Hahahaha Mark! I love Dinan when they do stuff to the ///M cars!

    Jon and Mark,

    You are both right on the money. I wish some of the guys from one of my car clubs in FL felt the same way. They thought the video was awesome and they wanted the 335i instead…

  13. Kris says:

    I like the 335i, not as much as the 135i but I still like it, and I’ve always been an ///M fan and never a regular series fan. I always disliked the 3-series simply because of their performance was utterly pitiful for the cost of them. Now that the 135i/335i/535i have came in I’m starting to become a series liker.

    Now the M3 may be a different animal altogether but with a good driver the M3 should lose everytime. I’m talking mainly on the drag strip here and not a track. It is sad that they didn’t get even remotely close to the M3’s stock time. The M3 does a mid-12 1/4 mile stock, they barely even managed a low 13.

    Get somebody in there that truely knows how to drive and the outcomes might be different.

    I love the M3, always been an owner and fan of them since E36 but a 335i with slightly less power but gobs more torque and lighter weight, it should win everytime.

  14. RawAutos says:

    @Kris: The 3-Series’ have always been more track oriented bargains then street warriors. I had a 2005 330i Sport and it was fantastic in the twisties, just a little sluggish in a straight line. It did pull a few lengths on my mom’s 2000 SL500 on the highway from a 60-100 mph roll. From 60-70 the SL had me. And then I pulled from 75-100…

    But as for the video, they obviously weren’t pushing either car… You’re right, if you look at the numbers an M3 should and could be doing a 12.5s 1/4 with the right driver. The problem I think most people have when trying to drive the BMW’s and ///M cars fast is that the gearing is so long to shift. Most people are used to quick short shifting. You have to be dialed in with BMW’s to get quick shifting.

    I don’t know about the 335i winning. The difference is that if you drive each you will notice the 335 will get slower and slower after a lot of laps. The M3 will hold up better due to its F1 inspired engine. The wet sump oiling system is great for that car. The 3.0L I6 is fantastic! But it’s no ///M car fantastic. The suspension and chassis, even modded from Dinan, still won’t hold up to the same rigorous driving compared to the M3.

  15. Right Guy says:

    I’m a mechanic for a large BMW dealership in Orange County, CA. I know all about these cars.

    First of all, a factory model 335i has more punchy low-end torgue than a current model M3. You feel this at a about 1800 RPMs going up a hill in a low gear, as you press the gas. And yes, you can tell a significant difference.

    I’ve seen the video and I think it’s pretty honest until they get to the drag race at the end. Put me in a stage-3, well tuned, 335i with a stick, and I’m confident that I could beat a currant model M3 in a 1/4 mile.

    Also, you can buy a very nicely equipped POV 335i, and add the Stage 3, and be out of the door for less than $46,000.

  16. RawAutos says:

    @Right Guy: It does have better torque, but the chassis is so much better on the M3. The E46 M3 is still faster around most tracks then the 335i.

    I really don’t think any part of the video is realistic. Now if Boris Said or Hans Stuck were driving and those results happened, I’d be in 100% belief. The E92 M3 takes some. It’s not always the power. It’s also about the aerodynamics and the build quality of the engine. Just look at a 3800lb GT-R with 520hp that muscles its way around tracks faster then most… Granted, in a straight line it’s not as fast once you get to 100 or so mph.

    Which would you rather have, a 335i or an E90/92/93 M3? Which will be worth more in 30 years? And which will be better with more mods? Just because the 335i is cheaper to mod doesn’t make it the wiser choice.

    I’ll take the M3 and build it up as I go…

  17. Right Guy says:

    in a perfect world, of course I’m going to take the M3 over the 335i … however, price is a huge factor … it always is. It is the reason why I wear a stainless steel submariner, instead of a 2-tone submariner.

    You can’t buy a dry M3 in Southern California … they don’t stock them. Try finding a desirable collar match e92 with a sticker less than $60,000. It doesn’t exist in So Cal. So, by the time you get to the finance guy, you’re $66,250 M3 is actually 72,496 with tax and fees.

    This debate isn’t even close.

    What it all comes down to is this; if price isn’t a factor, sure the M3 is the hands down choice. However, if you want to save 20+ grand and get an incredible, beast of a car … then buy a POV, and add the Dinan stage-3. You will shock your friends, scare your mother in-law, and beat up on young punks that challenge you in inferior street rods.

  18. RawAutos says:

    @Right Guy: Now I agree with you 100%.

    The only difference is that in North Carolina, where I live, I can find 25 M3’s that are going for sticker… That’s the beauty of living in a not-so-established BMW market, yet. It’s catching up, though. Although it will take some time to see more 335’s then 328’s rolling around the woods.

    I agree that if you want to save money and beat up on the 2 Fast 2 Furious retard crowd, the E90/E92 335i is a great way to start. You can mod it fairly quickly and easily with just a chip and exhaust and be throwing down 4.4s 0-60’s in no time, flat…

    But the M3 is still the ideal car for any driving, at least to me.

  19. Hantra says:

    NC here too.

    This is all moot b/c right now with GM employee pricing, a freaking Z06 bases for less than M3 cost. As big a BMW fan as I am, that’s a no-brainer people.

  20. Nico says:

    It’s a no-brainer if you want a performance car, it’s still a brainer if you want a bmw that also performs.

  21. steve says:

    for all u retards that chose the m3 bc they think they can buy an m3 for 56k your fuckin retarded. Just because its 56k msrp doesnt mean a dealer can get it for that price let alone you wont want it stock, an m5 may have an msrp of 83k but u cant touch one for less than 95k You guys need to get out in the market and stop making up fake numbers that you think might happen, these guys are right about the 70k price and thats without all the options that only includes nav, doubleclutch opt. and heads up display. Now that you actually realize it is about 15-20k more for the m3 the 335i doesnt look like a bad deal right!

  22. Hantra says:

    You’re right Steve. I guess BMW’s site is wrong. That whole “Build Your Own” link is a giant lie perpetrated by BMW to fool “retards” like us into thinking their prices are much lower than they really are. I am sure you have so much more experience buying BMW’s than the rest of us here.

    I think at some point after your graduation from Middle School, and your death, you will understand the value of keeping your mouth shut and letting the world believe you are an idiot, versus opening your mouth and removing all doubt.

  23. Kris says:

    Steve, we have a very nicely optioned out E92 M3 for just over $70k at our dealership and we are a small city (large city for our state) in general and rape people on prices. You can goto Atlanta and get a fully optioned out one for high $70’s. If any dealership is selling an M3 for $90+, you should laugh in their face, tell them they’re fucking nuts and then tell them they will be out of business.

  24. ESP says:


    Steve your a duesche, seriously. Right now M3’s are seriously on sale and to be honest I’d take an e46 M3 over a 335. That V8 is so nice though…

    I also agree with Hantra as big of a BMW fan as I am how can you pass on a Vette right now? Faster than many super cars and cheaper than an M3 right now!

  25. Kris says:

    I will say the Z06 is an excellent sports car (about time). It’s fast, looks great and performs better than alot of supercars. You don’t just buy an M3 for it’s performance, good looks and handling. You also buy it because of everything the M3 stands for. Reason I would easily choose the M3 over a Z06 would simply be the same reason why I sold my Talon TSi AWD. It was extremely fast and handled better than anything I’ve ever owned but it’s build quality wasn’t upto snuff (which the Vette is), it’s ride was way to stiff and it was about as luxurious as a 1900’s coachman. Not to mention you felt sort of plasticky because of the quality materials it was made from.

  26. SillyRabbit says:

    I have owned a C5 and C6 Z06 and now I own an e92 M3. You can pass on a Z06 if you need 4 seats and drive a lot daily. I would own both at the same time if I could…but my wife isn’t quite that cool! These two cars are different beasts with different thrills. Here is how I would line them up without getting into the badge envy crap or build quality discussion:

    ZO6 C6
    Blindingly fast
    Handles Great
    Much better gas mileage (daily driving)
    All out track car that can beat cars that cost 3 times as much.
    You can likely get one for cheaper than a new M3. I have yet to see an M3 (Coupe) in a dealership stickered less than 65K, I can pick up a new Z at just a bit over 60. Chevy is still far more willing to deal then BMW in most cases. Sure you could order a base M and wait 4+ months and end up in the same range as the Z, but I’m not sure how many folks in this price range a keen on driving stripper models.

    Not so good:
    Have to be a much bettter driver to get it near its limits. Its light weight and high HP/Torque numbers make it harder for the average driver to put the power down. Both the C5 and C6 Z’s can get scary in a hurry if you don’t pay attention.
    Ride Quality/Noise levels are an issue if a daily driver or used for long haul

    Still a monster – Very close to C5 Z06 performance – it would be a drivers race in my opinion.
    4 seats
    A bad driver can get this car much closer to its limits. I have never been in a car that inspires such confidence in its ability to make up for a bad decision or lack of skill.
    You can set the car up with non-sport settings and drive it for long hauls and not get tired of the noise and harsher ride like I have experience in the Z’s. THe M drive Sports settings are still better than the C6 Z ride(but not much).

    Not so good:
    You can’t tangle with everything that comes your way…you have to look at the back bumper badge and do some math before you poke anything that has a P 911 somewhere on it! In the C6 Z most of the P boys wouldn’t be a concern.

    Gas mileage is at least 5 miles per gallon worse under similar driving conditions.

    I suspect it would be harder to own this car beyond full maintenance coverage…the repair/maintenance bills will be high…BMW won’t even extend the full maintenance to 100K like it does for its other cars for this reason.

    Off topic but annoying to me:
    Lots of ricers want to “take a shot” at the M…its annoying to me(especially since it usaully on public roads), the Z’s they would leave alone for the most part. The fart can crowd seems drawn to the M car far more and I’m not sure I like the attention.

  27. Kris says:

    I completely agree with nearly everything you said SillyRabbit. I do feel you on the ricer crowd bothering the shit out of you. When I had my Talon all I wanted to do was drive and mind my business, same when I owned my E36 M3. Everytime I came across a ricer they would have the uncanny urge to blare their annoying ass exhaust in my ears that makes me lose hearing for several seconds.

    Now that I’m in the E55 AMG, not to many have tried simply because I look like an ordinary 4-door sedan but now I have Trans Am’s and Z28’s trying to romp at me. I’ve even had Vette’s try me when they knew they stood absolutely no chance. It’s more fun doing it with the Vette’s but with the lowly Cobra Mustang’s, Z28’s and Trans Am’s it gets annoying.

    I still say put me in both cars and I guarantee you the M3 will lose at the drag strip every time.

  28. CRF Pilot says:

    335i has boost nuff said…. M3 is pretty much tweaked out to the max from the factory where any turbo car out of the factory is almost always over engineered and built up for the rigors of boost. The 335i simply has way more room to improve upon plus any bolt on would magnify its power to a much grater extent compared to an NA car such as the M3. That 335 can go beyond 400hp just look at the supras 2jz stock internal are proven good for 600hp. Plus I’m not digging the torque curve on the M3 which is very top end bias with only 295lbs of torque!? Common! Plus its a heavy car to boot. Power under the curve and how it is delivered is much more important and much easier to drive than peak numbers. Unfortunately peak number is what sells…

  29. CalliMero says:

    I participated in the two day BMW track training on Nürburgring last October. We drove M3’s but had to switch to a 335i for a few laps when the M3 got a small problem fixed. The 335 is a very competent car, but still – what a difference! I had gotten used to the M3 after some 700 miles on the Nordschleife and after that the 335 felt extermely soft and slow.

  30. Philyfree says:

    Id get the jb3 in a 335i. It would beat both the dinan and vishnu mods

  31. Brandon says:

    The M3 is a sharp car, I’ve wanted one for years… But a V8? Not even 300lbs of torque??? And talk about a heffer. The M3 is a fatass.
    Now I’m not gonna sit here and paper race like some, but I’m also not gonna cheat myself. There is a lot more to owning a car for me than just it’s current position on the horsepower war. I’m talking drivability, mpg, maintanence cost, and just the overall attitude of the car…
    M3: A handsome car and certainly fast. But unless you’re a Honda boy it needs some torque, bad. Gas mileage? I don’t think the V8 knows if there is such a thing. Maintanence well ok all BMWs are good with that due to dealer programs but once again the M3 was not extended to 100k miles like most… As for the attitude, as mentioned, the M3 is an attention whore. It’s not fast enough to allow you to sit at the table with P cars and Z’s… But it’s slow enough every v-tec sporting a rattle can wants a shot at you. I’m sorry but that’s not me. I’m not 16 anymore.
    335i: Maybe not as tone compared to a M3 but as most BMWs still appealing to the eyes. Sure it’s the same price as the M3 with Dinan’s parts… But unless you were the hollister kid in high school, why the need for name brand parts? I could pick up nearly every part on a dinan in today’s aftermarket for half the cost… Back on topic though, the 335i is much more subtle even modified. Want high mpg, stay out of boost. Ask an M to do that, huh? Maintanence, twice the mileage allowed with an M. IMHO the 335i is a better car for the practical man. If you wanna get your jollys with an M go ahead, but don’t come running when you’re spending more on gas, more on tires, more on insurance, get more tickets cause of the civic racing you, and then your maintanence goes right before you need a new tranny.

    Bottom Line: A room of German motorsport engineers built an image. They yearned for a V8 Titan… And they got one. In today’s world though, practicality and speed go hand-in-hand…
    After all, those same German motorsport engineers are going back to a twin turbo 6…

    Enough said.

  32. Centervillemale says:

    I have a 2009 BMW M3 convertible with Dinan software and a 2008 335 xi Dinan stage 3. I prefer my 335 to my M3. It has more torque and is much faster in 1/4. I have no idea how the video has the M3 winning. My M3 has the Dinan carbon air intake also. My 335 has Dinan stage 3 with new intercooler and oil cooler. New Dinan suspension and air intake. Sold my M3 convertible yesterday because it sat in garage. If you drive the two you will prefer the 335xi. All wheel drive with more Hp and torque.

  33. matt houston says:

    I heard that the Dinan 3 mods as well as the DS2 mods actually get better gas mileage than the stock M3…which means it gets better mileage than the M3.

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