- Photo Credit: BMW

Bavarian Motor War: F80 M3 vs E90 M3

Two iterations of BMW's legendary sport sedan go head-to-head...

4w ago


BMW's iconic M3 has been a favorite among enthusiasts for decades and BMW just seems to keep making them better and better. Well, depending on whom you ask. See, it would appear that most people are of the opinion that BMW has kind of been slacking off on what made their old cars so good. Which was primarily how they drove (and the engine note but that's a little more subjective). Nevertheless, we're not here to do a biography of the M3, we're here to compare the last two M3 generations: The F80 and the E90. As always, I'll be using MotorTrend for my numbers. With that small disclaimer done and accounted for, let's get into it!

Overall Length:

Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 180.4 inches or 4,582 millimeters long.

F80 M3: 184.5 inches or 4,686 millimeters long.

Modern cars growing and growing is something many people have been complaining about for at least a decade now and the F80 M3 is an example of a car that's bigger than it's prior self. Still, that does mean more legroom for rear passengers so it's not all bad! I do like the svelte and neat styling of the E90 over the more butch styling of the F80 but in terms of dimensions they're not that different.


Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 108.7 inches or 2,760 millimeters long.

F80 M3: 110.7 inches or 2,811 millimeters long.

Here's another fairly interesting metric between the two cars. Once again the F80 grew a bit over its E90 counterpart, but only by two inches! I was expecting something closer to at least 112 inches or more if I'm being completely honest...


Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 71.5 inches or 1,816 millimeters wide.

F80 M3: 73.9 inches or 1,877 millimeters wide.

Once again, not a big change here. With that said, those few extra inches might make the F80 a slightly bigger pain to park in small spaces.


Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 57.0 inches or 1,447 millimeters tall.

F80 M3: 56.1 inches or 1,424 millimeters tall.

Now here's one I didn't expect! The newer M3 is actually slightly lower than the old one! I mean you can kind of see that in its design (what with it being wider and lower) but sometimes that's down to visual trickery (cough Viper cough), it's actually kind of refreshing to find a car where it looks the way it does because it's different physically.

Curb Weight:

Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 3,689 pounds or 1,673 kilograms.

F80 M3: 3,571 pounds or 1,619 kilograms.

Most modern cars tend to be heavier than their earlier iterations, but not the M3. The F80 M3 has managed to buck the trend of becoming heavier than it's old self and by (give or take) 100 pounds! Well played BMW.

Weight Distribution:

Photo Credit: BMW

Photo Credit: BMW

E90 M3: 50/50 (perfectly balanced).

F80 M3: 52/48% (front biased).

Bit of a surprise here but I guess it's not the end of the world. I do wonder what caused the weight to be tilted slightly forward though (maybe the turbos).

That's the end of the article! Which do you prefer, the F80 M3 or the E90 M3? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed, I'll see you all next time :)

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Comments (1)

  • I definitely prefer E9x M3, that is why I have one... (E92). The "old-school" model fits me more... And above all, the best feature of E9x M3 is its V8 engine with no turbos and wonderful sound...

      8 days ago