2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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2009 BMW M3 Sedan: Short 6th

December 07, 2009

CotW_05.jpgM3-at-80-mph.jpg

As you can seen in the photo above, at 80 mph the 4.0-liter V8 in our long-term 2009 BMW M3 Sedan is at about 3,400 rpm in top gear. This is not a problem considering the M3's V8 is very smooth and redlines at over eight grand, but it is in stark contrast to our long-term Camaro SS, which is geared much taller.

At 80 mph in 6th gear the Camaro's 6.2-liter V8 is lumbering along at just 1,860 rpm, which I posted about a couple of months ago. Which do you prefer? I think I'm in the Camaro's camp on this one. I don't see any reason for the BMW not to have a taller 6th gear, especially when gas costs what it does, and the M3 runs on pricey premium.

Oh and I should point out that the BMW's EPA highway rating is 20 mpg, while the much heavier Camaro, which is powered by a larger, more powerful engine, is rated at 24 mpg.

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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