Car and Driver chooses BMW M3 as top pick in 400 Horsepower Club

BMW M3, Featured Posts | August 25th, 2010 by 26
2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe 171 750x500 Car and Driver chooses BMW M3 as top pick in 400 Horsepower Club

Recently, Car and Driver takes us into the “Horsepower wars”, one of the most overused phrase in automotive journalist, as they point out. To add …

Recently, Car and Driver takes us into the “Horsepower wars”, one of the most overused phrase in automotive journalist, as they point out. To add even further, this brings us to the “megapixels war” seen in photo cameras where the consumers automatically associates higher megapixels resolution with better photos.

Well, that same misconception can be see in the auto world where often we tend to associate better cars with the number of ponies found under the hood.

The point of the article is not to educate, but rather to inform, therefore C&D gives us their top picks in the 400 Horsepower Club where BMW M3 scores another win.

the 400 club 576px Car and Driver chooses BMW M3 as top pick in 400 Horsepower Club2011 BMW Frozen Gray M3 Coupe 171 655x436 Car and Driver chooses BMW M3 as top pick in 400 Horsepower Club

Car and Driver Pick

414 hp
0–60 mph: 4.1 sec
¼-mile: 12.6 sec @ 113 mph

Shocked? Probably not. For four generations, the M3 has been converting drivers into BMW disciples. The current generation, introduced in 2008, houses the M3’s first V-8, an engine that alone can create converts. Its 414 hp aren’t fully realized until 8300 rpm, and although the engine lacks the low-end torque of many larger-displacement engines, winding it out to its 8400-rpm redline is a life-changing experience. As is virtually any turn behind the M3’s wheel.

Next on the list, the Least Expensive car in this select club:


Ford Mustang GT
412 hp
0–60 mph: 4.6 sec
¼-mile: 13.2 sec @ 109 mph

Ford’s Model T was the car that put the world on wheels, but the Mustang is one of the cars that introduced those wheels to positive slip and melted the rubber off them. The Mustang has spent its entire life peddling affordable power, but never before has its speed been so quickly gathered, herded through corners, or immediately dispersed. At $30,495 for 412 ponies, the Mustang puts heroic horsepower within reach of Everyman, but the 4.6-second 0-to-60 sprint is only a part of its skills set.

What about the quickest car in this range?


Nissan GT-R

480 hp
0–60 mph: 3.3 sec
¼-mile: 11.5 sec @ 124 mph

And finally, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG which gets the “awesome” label.


Don’t Underestimate Its Awesomeness
Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

451 hp
0–60 mph: 3.9 sec
¼-mile: 12.3 sec @ 116 mph

Full article and other cars in the 500 and 600 Horsepower Club can be seen at Car and Driver

26 responses to “Car and Driver chooses BMW M3 as top pick in 400 Horsepower Club”

  1. Daniel Hoang says:

    Wow, the least expensive of all the catagories are American.

  2. 1Mc says:

    Really, can anything beat the M3? Will we ever have a better daily driver sports car from anyone apart from BMW?

  3. Artmic says:

    i’d rather buy a Porsche than a BMW. Perhaps the fuel pump, 3 failed lights, and one pushed in USB connector in 6 months, would be usable on the Porsche.

    • 1Mc says:

      The M3 is a 4 seater.. Unless you’re trying to compare it to Porsche’s Panamera, which is a completely different class of car altogether.

      • Doug says:

        well… the 911 is a four seater… sort-of.

        • wazon8 says:

          Try to pick up two adult persons on rear seat in 911. Then switch a car on M3 e92 and ask them in which car they find real rear seat. The fact that there is dwarf-like rear seat in 911 doesn’t amount to the fact that you can consider 911 as four person car, at least not in the sense in which M3 is four persons car.

    • XC says:

      If you’ve got the money, go for it pal! But gee, Porsche has its greemlins too.. they are not alien spacecrafts you know…

  4. Gunnar says:

    If C&D’s focus was based solely on powerplants, the BMW 750i’s Twin-Turbo V8 would win out as the better motor. Since the torque from the M3’s naturally aspirated engine comes on full force at the top of the range, there’s room to be caught off-the-boil by its many potent rivals.

  5. michael says:

    everyone knows c&d sucks alot of big old bmw tail pipe. 3 series are over-rated and everywhere. its a chick car. m3 great engine but the d-bags that drive bmws will be punch lines for years to come. keep thinking you drive the best car on the road lmao

    • Mary says:

      The 3 series is over-rated and everywhere? I see the Mustang every second here in Michigan. I don’t even have to check whose driving it, it’s always a chick! HAHAAH
      Mustangs have turned into the biggest chick cars ever. I’m a chick and I want a Mustang baby!!!!!!!!!

    • 1Mc says:

      Badge envy detected. *donates dollar to michael’s BMW fund*

      • michael says:

        no envy here Subaru is fine with me. some care about social status. I like old BMW’s with straight cut gears quaiffe diffs and so on not social status sleds

        • 1Mc says:

          The M3 isn’t a social status sled, a 3 series might purchased heavily among the middle class (in Europe anyway, cars are cheap in the US, and status there is incredibly muddy), but the M3 is aggressive looking, indiscreet and often scorned at by a lot of angsty middle-classers. It’s a sports car with daily driver usuability. And it’s outstanding – if you have some sort of hang up over it because of social status, maybe that’s something you need to deal with internally?

          • michael says:

            a lot of angsty middle classers lol my dumb ignorant middle class ass had to look that one up. Listen keep thinking you didn’t buy it because of vanity whatever makes you feel better and able to sleep in your over sized house. Some of us don’t feel the need to show off our wealth others buy bmw’s

  6. 1Mc says:

    Sorry michael – but if you think that the M3 is about social class, then you have some issues. I think you really need to check your attitude, it sounds typical of someone who’s got a chip on their shoulder. But I know nothing I say would make you admit to that, so I’ll leave it there.

    • michael says:

      sorry 1mc but what you drive reflects directly on your social status. If my comments bother you maybe its b/c there is some truth to them. As far as a chip I have no problem admitting I cant stand vain yuppies I also couldn’t afford a m3 no problem admitting that.Sounds to me like someone has trouble admitting their vanity. Most m3 drivers will never even see a track most 3 series are base models because the people that buy them can’t afford them and just want the badge. here in America there is no Middle class Reagan killed that along time ago rich or poor you choose

      • 1Mc says:

        Well I can’t really comment on the US..

        Take a trip to the UK you will see that things are a lot different. The middle class struggle with tax and rates and just a very expensive standard of living. Many struggle as much as the working class to sustain their lifestyle. Will they buy a badge car for status – sure like you say, but a 320i or 320d. But it won’t be an M. The money in an M gives performance and a rebellious image, not something most middle class people would want or can afford.

        Here it really is an enthusiasts car for the most part. I never look at someone with an M in the UK and think – this person has social status or a lot of money. I do think this person likes performance cars and is prepared to put some money into it.

        Didn’t mean to be offensive earlier ^^
        I don’t have an M3, so for me it’s all just observation.

        • michael says:

          no worries I guess it depends on who you see as enthusiast. at 2500+ usd spent on a weekend its hard to get on the track much without some huge corporate sponsor. the e92 isn’t better its just newer. e39 m5 is much more subtle and gets the same respect by “enthusiast” I have never seen a e92 owner racer at any local event just on the interstate street racing. i realize my comments are huge generalizations but none the less they are still true. Not one m3 driver that i have ever rolled down the window to talk to has ever showed up for a lap time. Apparently if you don’t street race your car must be slower but thats America

  7. michael says:

    this is hilarious by the way

Leave a Reply