Old Versus New: BMW M135i vs BMW E36 M3

Every owner of an older BMW always wonders how his car would stack up against a comparatively similar newer model. When your car is an E36 M3, the question becomes even more interesting.
BMW E36 M3 Drifting 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from Youtube
The E36 version is probably the most underrated version of the M3 ever made. Filling in the shoes of the legendary and first such M car, the E30, it was difficult for the little coupe.

Now, nearly 15 years after the last of them was built, other cars are in the spotlight of today’s enthusiasts, cars like the F20 M135i and the more recent F22 M235i.

The hatch is even drag racing an E36 M3 in the video below with rather disappointing results. Looking over the numbers, it’s kind of hard to think that the M3 was stock, even though the video suggests it.

The M135i has a 3-liter turbocharged engine under the bonnet, making 320 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque, whilst the ‘granny’ has, at best, a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated engine that used to make (when it was new) 321 HP and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque.

The problem is that with age, usually, engines start to lose their efficiency, usually putting down less HP than they had when they were brand new. It seems like that doesn’t apply to BMWs, though...

PS: Which one would you choose?

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