Eight debate

Aussie grunt faces off against German muscle in a $60K dilemma

by DANIEL DEGASPERI

New v Used Performance treasure hunt

Aussie grunt faces off against German muscle in a $60K dilemma

vs

2017 Commodore SS V Redline

6162cc V8, OHC, 16v 304kW @ 6000rpm 570Nm @ 4400rpm 1793kg 4.9sec (claimed) $57,190

2008 BMW M3

E N G IN E 3999cc V8, DOHC, 32v POWER 309kW @ 8300rpm TORQUE 400Nm @ 3900rpm W E I G H T 1625kg 0 -1 00KM/H 4.9sec (claimed) P R I C E $152,300 (new)

The BMW is now one-third of the price it was new, and on par with the Holden

OLDEN benchmarked BMW’s delightful E39 5 Series from a decade prior when developing the VE Commodore, and in the steering and suspension of 2006’s ‘billion-dollar baby’ it showed. Meanwhile the VF Series II Commodore SS V Redline, as the pinnacle – excluding limited editions – of this final rear-drive sedan, coincidentally lines up with the now-decade-old BMW M3 E90 sedan and E92 coupe.

For driving enthusiasts with $55,000 to $65,000 to spend, this is a legitimate comparison. Both V8s are within 5kW of each other, the new Redline using an extra 170Nm to offset its 168kg-heavier kerb mass and match the M3’s 4.9-second 0-100km/h claim.

The BMW is now one-third of the price it was new, and on par with the Holden that is an equally cracking driver’s car.

The E90/E92 was the first of the compact M cars to swap H six cylinders for eight, and this delectable motor soared past its 8300rpm power peak with a strident, metallic howl. Only 400Nm seems measly, but at 100Nm-per-litre it makes the pushrod LS3’s 570Nm look inefficient. The 6.2-litre is also slower to rev, with a soft sub-7000rpm cut-out.

Engine and cabin quality finesse is where the biggest differences between Australian and German lie. Both feature tuned two-stage ESC and mechanical limited-slip diffs; electrically actuated in the BMW that had inch-smaller 18-inch tyres – 19s optional. The M3 had adaptive dampers matched only by the Commodore Motorsport Edition.

The generations that succeed both these two are also completely different in configuration and character – the boosted-six F80 M3 is as controversial for some as the next imported all-paw Commodore is. That will likely carve future-classic status into both the E90/E92 and VF Series II.

NOW $63,888

Here’s one we found on Trade Unique Cars

2008 BMW M3 E92 75,309km, DCT, $63,888

WHILE examples with beyond 100,000km can be found for $40,000, this low-km, Oz-delivered coupe has a full service history – important when buying an M car. While manual is the go, the DCT was at least superbly tuned.