• Apr 16th 2010 at 7:24PM
  • 271

Ford Mustang GT and BMW M3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Alright, fan boys (and girls), prepare for battle. The ever keen-eyed Sam Smith over at Jalopnik has spied an interesting phenomenon in the car universe. The new 2011 Ford Mustang GT performance figures are within spitting distance of the mighty 2010 BMW M3. The Bavarian bruiser produces 414 horsepower out of its milky-smooth 4.0-liter V8 and hits the scales at 3,652 lbs. Meanwhile, the 5.0-liter Mustang serves up two less horsepower, but weighs 40 pounds less, too.

At this point, odds are your blood is pumping no matter which side of the ring you happen to find yourself on. Stats that close yield frighteningly similar numbers when the two cars hit the track, too. The M3 can clip off the 0-60 dash in 4.3 seconds. The Mustang can do it in 4.4. Quarter mile? Deadlocked at 12.7 seconds at 111.3 mph.

It's true, a quarter mile doth not a sports car make, which is why these next figures are so important. While the M3 can come down from 60 mph in 105 feet, the Mustang can do the same in 104. And here's the real shocker: Both cars hold onto the skidpad at .97 g. Now, before the comments go superfly TNT, it's worth noting that the as-tested BMW will set you back an eye-widening $28,180 more than the Ford. We could think of a thing or two to do with an extra 30-large.

So the question remains, which would you take home?

E92 BMW M3 or 2011 Mustang GT?
BMW M3 20296 (52.7%)
Mustang GT 18196 (47.3%)

[Source: Jalopnik]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      As an M3 owner, I can only say this: 1. M3 just won the 24hrs of Nurburgring, against Porsche, Ferrari, Audi RS8, etc, etc. This is the ultimate test of a car: Performance and reliability. Ford cars came nowhere...
      2. M3 has won every comparo in all car magazines: against Porsche 911, Mercedes C63 AMG, Audi RS4 , Audi S5, Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 Turbo, etc. etc.

      Yes, it is expensive, but Motortrend calls it "the best car on the planet", and Car and Driver calls it: "The best car ever made? Seriously, yes!"

      So sorry, Ford guys, Mustang may be good, but it is in a different league...
      Speed is not everything, handling and chassis is way more important, and this is where the BMW is head and shoulders above anything else, and where American cars fall apart.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think I have the unique perspective as being one of the only posters here having owned both a mustang and an M3; so maybe I can shed some light onto the common misconceptions I've read in here so far.

      First of all, while I owned a 1997 estoril blue E36 M3 coupe (obviously not much of a supercar these days) I bought it as a true BMW enthusiast, and did a lot of work/modifications in the ~4 years I owned it. It should also be noted that I got a great resale value for it, having fetched nearly $12,000 out of an 11 year old car with 123,000 miles on it.

      What did I buy with that money? For $17,200 I bought a used 2005 mustang GT (1st year of new S197 body style) with 26k miles DECKED out, red/red leather interior, 1000 watt factory sound system (simply incredible) and with a few grand, transformed it into something that at least LOOKED like a supercar. http://www.athomasphoto.com/3AT_2905sml.jpg

      I got looks in the M3, but the attention I get in the mustang is shocking. I can't pump gas, go to a grocery store, etc.. without winding up in lengthy conversations with people I've never met before, talking about their first car; first prom date, first drive, parents car, etc etc.. in a 1960s Ford Mustang GT. There's a lot of nostalgia in the new 'stang styling.

      This comparison is about bang for buck. For anyone who starts their post with "...if money was no object" is totally missing the point of this article. OF COURSE MONEY IS AN OBJECT. That's the point. Ford has found a way of creating, and putting into production, an engine which (UNDERRATED) produces similar figures than that of one of the best engine designers in the world.

      In a market where model-year changes are noted by 10-20hp increases, to simply slap 100hp into a market segment which already has buyers staring at HP/performance statistics is SHOCKING. And they did this with 26mpg?

      Oh and it's not 412hp, it's closer to 450hp according to numerous pre-production test car dyno runs.

      Someone in a similar thread/forum said it best when they explained that the M3 won't really begin to out-shine the mustang till it's driven near 98% of its capability - which can't be attained on the streets anyways. There have been a handful of times when my stang's brakes simply werent up to the job (obviously the new Brembo'd 2011 won't have this problem) or the steering didn't communicate quite as well; obviously the rear end is a little less settled than the M3 was - but really, for what we DO with our cars, the mustang has it beat. Personally I get stuck in traffic for 70% of my driving, and the remaining 30% is spent on the highway or just cruising, where they'll remain a fairly even match. I don't track my car, and neither will most M3 owners.

      The new (2005+) Ford Mustang is NOT the mid-90's garbage that gave the mustang a bad reputation, it's the car that's continuing to put ford on the top in the domestic market lately. Time and time again, most reviews I come across involving the mustang inevitably wind up comparing it against more expensive cars, in a different class, with more horsepower and torque - and the mustang winds up on top half the time! The mustang's newest and most challenging competitor, the mighty 2010 camaro, was beat out by a few reviewers against the 315hp 2010 mustang!

      To take an already-superior car and give it another 100hp has me (and many others) scratching our heads. What SHOULD we compare it to?

      Why not an M3? They're both performance cars. I don't care what the badge says, if it's your hard earned money than it's something to consider. I don't know too many people who can afford to drop an additional $30,000 on a BMW sports car that will likely get beaten at a stop light by a stock Ford.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a bit like comparing a ferrarri to a corvette, sure the corvette is fast, but the corvette does not have the luxury, balance or overall experience of the ferrarri. Now don't get me wrong, l think the corvette is a great car and a super value, at least for the base and maybe even the z06, but nobody seriously thinks of the corvette as a competitor to ferrarri. In the same way, there is no question.that the mustang is a lot of performance for the money, but it is not a serious competitor to the m3, they are just different kind of cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mustang 5.0 over the Bimmer. I'll take the $30K as well and buy some extra tires to smoke.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone remember WW2 a lot of young Americans died in Europe fighting the stupid Germans, so I say i'll. take the mustang made in the USA and not a German car anyday. At least when I drive by a 85 year old veterian I won't have to feel ashamed and duck my head, god bless the remaining vets and all those fallen heros since then .

        • 5 Years Ago
        So, Mr. Logic, what must the American Indians buy? As far as I remember, a lot of them died at the hands of the Americans....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mustang all the way.
      M3's are nifty and all, but come on. The M3 is like a kid whose dad is awesome but it's just a snot nosed little brat. The 2011 Mustang GT is a much better car. A lot of technology went into it and it's actually a really nice car. It has electical steering, like the fly by wire they have in fighter jets. The new mustang is nothing like the Mustang from 2010 and cant even be compared with mustangs from before. (also ford marked the hp way down, it's actually more like 425-435 instead of the 412 listed) And oh yeah, like you guys were saying, 30k would make the Mustang smoke any BMW, period. I would put a 2011 Mustang GT on any type of track against the M3, and I have no doubt the Mustang would win.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Trouble is...money is ALWAYS an object, except for people too stupid to care. Thus, for the same sixty-eight large that Bimmer costs, you can buy....lessee...a CTS-V...a GT500...any number of luscious, year old, barely past run-in cars from AMG or Audi ...or maybe even that year old demo Z06 down at the Chevy dealer where your buddy works.

      I realize the BMW elitists here are gonna jump all over me, but hey...I don't think the sun shines out the ass of Bavaria, and getting essentially the same perfformance, and a check for $28K besides, this is a no-brainer. Or, even better, getting a CTS-V Coupe for the same money might even be better.

      Ford wins this by 28K lengths.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Even if they both drop $30,000 in value over the next 6 years the Mustang will still save you $30 grand plus interest. The reality is the M3 will drop that far and the Mustang will still be work 5 figures.

      Another major point, once that warranty wears off the Mustang will be much cheaper to maintain, be it routine service or any repairs. Once things start going on an M3 it is like buuying it all over again.

      I have had 7 Mustangs and one BMW. The BMW was very nice, but the Mustang just makes more sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      with the extra 28 grand, why not just buy the 2011 gt500? its bad ass and way stronger than the M3
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was /this/ close to an 2010 M3 - just couldn't stomach the premium over the 335i, which is a good 85% of the way there.

      The Mustang has really come into its element from a performance perspective, but you'd have to show me some back-to-backs at Laguna to convince me that you can surmise a car's track performance from it's quarter mile and skid pad. On the street, well, yeah, there are going to be some very surprised M3s coming off the line. But the Japanese have been doing that with their rally beasts for 20 years now, and you still couldn't convince me to buy an Evo or an STI.

      The M3's interior is, as they say, spartan. The Mustang's interior is PT Cruiser. One of these is unfortunate, the other would have me waking up in a cold sweat every night.

      Wound up with an S5, incidentally, which as been the happiest decision of my automotive life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Caught, it would seem - I've made the poor assumption that the photographic representations of the interior are good indicators of it's aesthetic appeal, and further, that my intense dislike of it might affect the enjoyment of my hypothetical purchase. I won't do that again.

      As for the rest of that - man, did I hit a sore spot or something? I thought my opinion was valid. As you say, must be an S5 owner thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take a Miata and send it to Flyin' Miata to have a 450hp LS3 installed.

      Smoke all ya'll

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