IN DEFENCE OF E46

Gordon Batt, via email

THE February garage write-up on the M135i was impressive and, yes, there is an amazing plethora of super-quick cars for less than $100K in the sub-five-second bracket to 100km/h. Steps forward in performance have been quite amazing.

However, I did think the M135i comparison with the E46 M3, built 10 years apart, was a little misleading. I agree with the cost difference claims Ė my E46 M3 cost $141,500 in 2004 and itís now worth maybe $35,000. But the E46ís quoted 0-100km/h time of 5.78sec ainít right. Every magazine Iíve ever read, including MOTOR, gives it 5.2 or 5.1sec.

Due credit deserved methinks, as it produces 252kW from a naturally aspirated 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine. Back then, this was groundbreaking stuff, as it provided more power per cube than anything else, including Porsches and Ferraris!

No arguments from us about the E46 M3ís legendary status, but, in a manual at least, high-5s to 100km/h was all she could manage. The SMG íbox dropped it to 5.38sec and the lightweight CSL clocked 5.15sec at PCOTY 2004.