If the price would have been similar to the E36 M3, I would have wait for it and buy the new M3 instead of IS. But to take the E46 out of door, you will need at least $65K (yes, that is not a typo) here in So. Cal. The salesman say the performance is on par with the 911, but I don't quite believe that until I see it. Right now the rumor I have heard is 0-60mph in 4.5 to 4.7 sec, and 1/4 mile in low 13.
daniel, official numbers i believe is 4.8(but some still cling to the original claim of 5.2)
out thte door, i know many people who are getting it out the door at 55k....not 65k. its not on par with the 911 and the 0-60 will not be that low, but it will still be a sweet car.
"There is way more to the new M3 than just more power, although that is all people seem to care about these days. It has a stiffer chassis, wider track, bigger brakes, new trick limited slip, etc. So not only is it going to be a sub 5 to 60mph car, it will get around and out of corners much faster. Despite the weight increase, //M insists it is more nimble than its predecessor.
One review complained it was too stiff a ride which means it is perfect."
A couple of tenths to 60mph won't mean anything on a backroad or on a track. Dropping a big in the IS will not make an M3. On bimmer.org there was a link to a //M engineer who discussed in detail how the car was designed. It is not simply an E46 with stiffer shocks and springs. I think it is a bargain compared to its competition.
The reason I said you will have to pay $65K to drive the car off the dealer lot is because of the premium they are putting on the car. Right now they are asking for $10k over the sticker to anyone who wants to get on the waiting list and get their cars by early next year. I wish it is $55k out of door, because I may be able to get that by end of next year if that is the price.
i dont' like the styling all that much, but for that perforamnce, hell yeah i agree its worth it, although i'm sure if you want an all out sports car the z06 is a better deal =) not ALL dealers are putting up a premium on the car...do some shopping around.