2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test


2002 BMW M3: Still Great After All These Years

January 08, 2008

2002 BMW M3 -- Photo by James Riswick

It's been a while since a 2002 BMW M3 ventured to a test track, but with 50,576 miles on the odometer, our black M3 showed definitively that it still is one heck of a machine. While the 0-to-60 and skidpad are a little off "historical" numbers for it, the braking was dead-on and the slalom was actually better. It also beat the M3 Competition Package we had back in early 2005. Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton immediately knew this M3 felt better through the slalom than any previous edition of this generation he'd tested, guessing 50,000 miles had softened up the dampers making them more compliant and less likely to force a slide. As the above picture shows, though, sometimes a slide can be a good thing.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 50,576 miles ACCELERATION

0-30 - 2.1 seconds
0-45 - 3.6 seconds
0-60 - 5.3 seconds
0-75 - 7.8 seconds
1/4 mile - 13.9 seconds @ 107.1 mph

Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton: "Hard to maintain grip with any more than 2500 rpm on the launch. There's some throttle/timing manipulation with each wide-open-throttle upshift that smooths each gear change nicely."

BRAKING

30-0 - 29 feet
60-0 - 111 feet

Walton: "Hard pedal but near zero dive. This is a sports coupe. Tires almost vibrate and hum under full ABS stop. Excellent."

SKIDPAD

.87 g

Walton: "It should not come as a surprise that with near 50/50 left-right weight distribution (including the driver) that this car post nearly identical clockwise/counterclockwise skidpad times."

SLALOM

70.4 MPH
(Previous M3 testing generally showed between 68 and 69 mph)

Walton: "Astounding, excellent steering response and feel of the road. Confident, crisp turn-in with immediate yaw response. Despite previous experiences with this generation M3 that always threatened to spin, this one keeps its tail planted. I love this car more this time around than when it was new."

TESTING SPECS

Curb Weight: 3,472 pounds with 50/50 distribution

Idle dB:
51.5
Full Throttle dB: 85.3
70 MPH dB: 70.8

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