• May 30, 2008
Click above to view the shoot-out between the BMW M3 and the Dinan 335i.

This is a head-to-head battle we've been waiting to see: BMW's new M3 versus a Dinan-tuned 335i coupe. But we're only going to talk numbers and let the video tell the tale.

The BMW 335i has proven itself as a credible player in the sports coupe segment, particularly with a tweaked ECU to extract maximum output from its twin-turbo'd 3.0-liter inline-six. Dinan announced its Stage 3 package a few months back, which includes a fully-adjustable suspension and a handful of engine mods that bring output up to 406 hp and a kidney-punishing 460 lb.-ft. of torque (at 4,300 RPM). But it doesn't come cheap. All the necessary Dinan kit to get it up to Stage 3 spec (and get that nifty badge on the boot) costs around $14,000. But compared to the $71,000 $56,500 (no mark-up, no oxygen) base price of the new M3, it's still a steal. While the M3 has the peak horsepower advantage, you can't ignore the allure of the Dinan 335i's torque and lower curb weight. Will it be enough to match the M3? Hit the jump to find out.



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  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
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      Sandi
      • 6 Years Ago
      they really don't seem to realize that the M3 is a modded 3-series as well. BMW Motorsport (or MPower) is an in-house tuner for BMW so the M3 is not really "stock". i know it's just a formality but it's big when it comes to accuracy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The M3 is not a modded 3series ..
        the M3 engine is not tuned..it is the only 3series avaible with it
        M GmbH starts develompent of the M cars during the development of the basic cars. 80% of all parts in the M3 are completely different to the basic 3series, example from the complete suspension/brakes/axle parts is ONE pice the same as in the other 3series the rest is completely different. The M3 are build on the same producton lane as the normal 3series. They are not rebuild after production!
      • 6 Years Ago
      they should have done a comparison for between a dinan 135 and the M3...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder ow much lag the modded 3.0 has.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know Dinan prides himself on thoroughly testing all of his kits... but I just cannot see how the 335i's stock turbos will consistently withstand the increased load. Did the Dinan kit come with upgraded oil chiller and intercooler?
        Digitalinkartist
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not much lag at all. The 335/135/n54 motor uses pretty small turbos. The dinan kit bumps the boost from 8.5 to 13.2 PSI but uses the stock turbos. Lag is a non-issue. (this is coming from a current 335 owner and driver of both dinan and procede tuned 335's.

        One last thing. I can practically guarantee the the tuned 335 will embarrass the m3 at a 30+ rolling start. The m3 lsd and wider tire tract is a considerable advantage from the dig and on the road course/turn exit.

        I wish the editors included the type of rubber these cars are rolling on.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So there you go, more proof that torque isn't everything.
        • 6 Years Ago
        true, torque isn't everything.

        but this test never spoke about REAL LIFE

        where people commute on public roads

        are you really going to appreciate the M3 on your drive to work more than the 335i enough to warrant the extra cost?

        That's what I want to know.

        (I think the answer might be yes, but with all the talk and conjecture going around, it's not 100% clear to me. I have a 335i btw, so no bias here :D )

      • 6 Years Ago
      Id take the M3. Dinan 335i is pretty much maxed its potential, the M3's naturally aspirated V8 on the other hand still has plenty of potential.

      Furthermore, like user mkm3 mentioned, the M3 has SO many options that justify the price gap in my opinion. It has the M mode button and sophisticated adjustable settings much like the M5/M6 that allow you to change the ride quality depending on the type of driving you are doing. Going to work? Set the suspension a little softer etc, cruising on a saturday night? Hit the magic M button and off you go.

      And thats without mentioning the carbon fiber roof, slick M styling, M wheels, better seats, more sport oriented cockpit and the fact that you own a piece of BMW motoring history.

      With that said. The 335i is still an excellent vehicle, especially when you take gas prices into consideration.

      BMW has two winners on their hands here, they continue to set the benchmark while Audi and Mercedes Benz continue to pursue it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      much nicer sound on the V8 of c ourse
      • 6 Years Ago
      lol, they said the 335i is lighter do to it's smaller displacement motor. The V8 is LIGHTER, do your homework.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What I am not sure of is what modding a 335 still under BMW's warranty does to the BMW warranty. Dinan states that existing BMW warranty might become voided with some of their mods and that doesn't surprise me as I would believe BMW would void their warranty if you mod their products with non approved companies.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Irrespective of which car won this test, or how close it was, the 335 will probably be the better car to live with on the street-even if Dinan is a joke as someone else said (and I'd agree that they are).

      Why? One word: Torque. The 335 has it. The M3, when compared to the 335 at least, doesn't. And torque, particularly at low RPMs, is what matters on the street. It's why the '70 Cadillac I almost bought would jump away from a stop, despite weighing 4600lbs and having maybe 300hp if it were measured by today's standards. It's also why my STI is such a pain in traffic-it has to be run to 3k in 1st and close to that in 2nd as a minimum before upshifting, or it lugs and complains because it has no torque when you haven't got your foot in the turbo.

      Torque-and having a lot of it available at low revs-is what matters for driveablity on the street. Keep the M3, I'll take a properly modified (i.e. by just about anyone other than Dinan) 335.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're confusing how fast/hard the car launches with day to day driveability. The M3 has very little torque compared to the 335, and it has to be revved higher to get what little it has out of it. This makes for more shifting, more clutch slippage, and higher shift points, which accelerate engine wear (not to mention being just plain irritating in normal driving). I have yet to drive a stick shift 335 or an M3, but I'd be willing to put money on the 335 being a much nicer car to live with for commute duties.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Doesn't matter. Point is, as of right now, the 335 has it, and the M3 doesn't. Until that changes, in the real world, the 335 is a superior car imo.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But the torque on the M3 is computer limited. BMW set it that way to ensure the overall fastest and safest launches. Too much torque will require too much driving skill and a large budget for replacement tires.
      Jason
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah well Roundel Magazine stated that the presses Dinan 335i actually has 22K in mods. The 14K isnt including some key things. My guess is the 7.5K Dinan BBK and aftermarket performance tires.

      Jason
      • 6 Years Ago
      it might be 53k but i dont think you can get an m3 anywhere in the us for that price.

      good thing dinan can almost match up the m3 performance. the v8 engine the m3 comes with, even though being na its powerful its just not fast enough for the money and for todays competition. if i had 70-90k i would definately try to get a skyline before i think of an m3
        • 6 Years Ago
        dinan has tunes for the M3 V8 which pushe it to over 500hp
        • 6 Years Ago
        Skyline = G35.

        But for the GTR, well, if you can find one at 70k, buy it now. You will instantly have made 20k or so.
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