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Senior Eurowerkz Member
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in 1997, bmw introduced the first 4 door automatic tran. m3 to drooling married men all across north america. later,it became the
car of choice among divorced women all across north america. outselling all other m3s in the u.s., the 4 door automatic m3 quickly became a subject of unparalleled derision for purists,especially e30 m3 drivers, who started saying."i told you so" about 100 times an hour. however,less rabid enthusiasts take the position that what is good for the co. is good for us. porsche builds 911 convertibles with automatic transmissions in abject recognition of the fact that male hairdressers need something to drive,too. if bmw wants to cater to chubby hubbies
with a latent driving fetish, we don't have a problem with that.
there i'm sure i've thorooughly pissed off about 15 % of you ,but it had to be said

the m3 seden was dropped in 1999 much to the chagrin of many,
including bmw north america

INFORMATION IS IN MARCH 2003 EUROPEAN CAR MAZ.

FOR ALL YOU4 DOOR M3 LOVERS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE ?????

BOBM3 ;) ;)
 

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'a certain moderator'
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35,565 Posts
an M3 sedan would be hot... but how was an automatic M3 ever made, and given the M badge? i thought the basic reason that the X5 4.6is was not called an "MX5" was because of its automatic tranny?

-brendan
 

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TheOnlyConstantIsChange
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Yah luckily they no longer make that car, regardless of sales :puke:
 

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Re: Re: 1997 m3 sedan-first ever m car with four doors

simsima325 said:
an M3 sedan would be hot... but how was an automatic M3 ever made, and given the M badge? i thought the basic reason that the X5 4.6is was not called an "MX5" was because of its automatic tranny?

-brendan
The reasons for the non-M badging are several.
1. The engine is not an M engine in the sense that M engines are tuned for higher revs and a broader powerband. The 4.6is engine is engineered for better low-end torque, because the X5 is, after all, a sport <i>utility</i> vehicle. This is also why they didn't just put the S62 in the X5.
2. MX5 might have BMW running into problems with Mazda, after all, they own the trademark on the name "MX-5", a.k.a. the Miata.
3. BMW doesn't make a manual transmission for their V8 engines with the transfer case for AWD. Delivering the X5 with an MT option would force them to develop an all-new transmission housing, for what is one of their lowest production-volume cars. (By comparison, the M5's 6-speed is used in the M5, 540i6spd, and the Z8, the M3's 6-speed is exclusively for the M3, but it has high enough production numbers to support its development). They <i>could</i> have used a new 6-spd for the X5 4.4i, but sales of the X53.0iMT are very poor in the US. So, they lacked an economical way to outfit it with a manual transmission, which is probably another reason why the M department decided to look the other way.
4. BMW didn't want to "dilute" the M line by adding an SUV to it - according to them, SUV's don't embody the goals of the M division (which I agree with). The M division should turn out high-performance sport sedans, they say (they apparently made an exception for the Z line of cars though).

However, I would very much like to see an M3 sedan. Now that the M5 is defunct for a few years, there'd be no "inner competition" between an M3 sedan and the M5, for sales.
 

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'a certain moderator'
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Karl- thanks for that wealth of information, i didnt even think of the similarities between an "MX5" and the MX-5 Miata

thanks

-brendan
 

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The X5 is an SAV not an SUV for all intensive purposes.
 

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carguy84 said:
The X5 is an SAV not an SUV for all intensive purposes.
It's for "all intents and purposes" sorry to nitpick.

Karl - :bow:

M3/4 = the ultimate sleeper - two baby seats in the back, 5sp, lots of go, very little show.

I guess I don't fit - I'm not a hair dresser, I'm not a divorced women, and my car is not a "slushie"

:thumbup: :pimpin:

BTW - little known fact, the new G35 was BASED ON the M3/4A :D:D

I LOVE pointing that out to G35 drivers. That their wonderful NEW Nissan is based on an 6 year old design!!!
 

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my 3rd e46, 1st ///M
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Re: Re: Re: 1997 m3 sedan-first ever m car with four doors

Karl said:
However, I would very much like to see an M3 sedan. Now that the M5 is defunct for a few years, there'd be no "inner competition" between an M3 sedan and the M5, for sales.
:dunno: :confused:
 

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97 is the only year that M3 with 4 doors.. it is super hot.
both conv. and 4 door E36 m3 came with automatic in USA and Canada only.
guess some canadian and American are to lazy to do the shifting.
:)
 

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Since the US version of the E36 M3 was merely a 325/328 with larger displacement, stiffer suspension, and gear ratio more tailored for low end accelaration, it was easy to fit it with an automatic as well. This was never an option on the real Euro M3s.

Personally, if I wanted an automatic rocket with 4 doors, I would have picked the C36 at the time over an M3.
 

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Slow in, slower out
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PhilH said:
The title of your thread, "1997 m3 sedan-first ever m car with four doors" is misleading. The late '80s E28 M5 was the first ever M series car with four doors.
Actually the E12 M535i built around 1979-1981 were not only the first 4 door M cars, but were the first M cars into production beating the M1 by one year if I remember correctly.

http://www.m535i.org


Ed
 

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my 3rd e46, 1st ///M
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Re: Re: Re: Re: 1997 m3 sedan-first ever m car with four doors

kidsdoc said:
ok let me rephrase that;

what do you mean by: " Now that the M5 is defunct for a few years, there'd be no "inner competition" between an M3 sedan and the M5, for sales."
 

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BMW Land Barge
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 1997 m3 sedan-first ever m car with four doors

kidsdoc said:


ok let me rephrase that;

what do you mean by: " Now that the M5 is defunct for a few years, there'd be no "inner competition" between an M3 sedan and the M5, for sales."
The reason BMW gave for not releasing an E46 M3/4 was that it would compete with the M5. They felt (probably correctly) that a lot of people who bought the M5 would have been happier with an M3 sedan. Now they claim there aren't enough S54s to go around.
 

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An E46 M3 sedan would be hot. I think they offered the E36 M3 sedan also in auto was for practicality (i.e. a person who wants 4 drs wants convenience, & therefore wants a auto option).
 

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papasuperman said:
97 is the only year that M3 with 4 doors.. it is super hot.
both conv. and 4 door E36 m3 came with automatic in USA and Canada only.
guess some canadian and American are to lazy to do the shifting.
:)
This is a "possibility" in Canada, but in the US, we had them for BOTH 97 (minus rear head rests) and 98 (with rear head rests).

I have a 98. 100K almost and still un-slowable:D
 

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Senior Eurowerkz Member
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Discussion Starter #19
guys let me tell you the reason why i posted

i saw this in europen car maz.. and i was talking to a brother e 46
fanatic that wanted a 4 door m3. i told him that i though that they still made that car in europe. when i saw this in the maz. that they had the car over here.i wanted to see if that brother would see my post because i am very bad with names. and i wanted to let him know that maybe he could still get one used if he wanted. and that way i posted this post.
bobm3 ;) ;)
 
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