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2011 GT 5.0 vs. 2011 M3 with suspension package

Discussion in 'Driveline/Suspension' started by Todd03Blown, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Todd03Blown

    Todd03Blown Active Member Established Member

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    2011 BMW M3 Coupe Track Performance - Motor Trend


    GREAT JOB FORD!!!!!!!!!





    Comparison: 2011 Ford Mustang GT vs. 2011 BMW M3 Coupe

    No, We're Not Kidding
    From the October, 2010 issue of Motor Trend / By Ed Loh / Photography by Brian Vance

    "Now are you high or just stupid? An M3 against a Mustang GT? On a racetrack? Seriously, son, which one is it? High or stupid?"

    Yes, we know how this sounds. And had we suggested this matchup just a few months ago, we would deserve more withering scorn than can found in a week long Judge Judy marathon.

    Why? Because this Munich versus Motown matchup has never been done before. Not even considered because it just didn't make sense. Sure, the M3 went V-8 in 2008, but that's not the issue. The truth is, the Mustang GT was never good enough to challenge Bavaria's finest. That is, until now.

    Your doubt is understandable, but check the specs. For 2011, both rear-drive, four-seat coupes use all-aluminum V-8 engines with double-overhead camshafts tickling 32 valves. The M3's 4.0-liter carryover makes 414 horsepower at 8300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3900 rpm. The Mustang's all new 5.0-liter V-8 cranks out 412 ponies at 6500 rpm and 390 pound-feet at 4250 rpm. But the most compelling number is 0.2: the difference in power-to-weight ratio between the two. The Mustang carries 8.8 pounds per pony to the M3's 8.6. And yet, at the test track, the 5.0 equals or betters the M3 in every performance category we measure. Both hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but the Mustang is faster to the quarter mile by a tenth of a second and 0.7 mph-12.7 seconds at 111.6 mph. It also stops two feet shorter from 60 mph-a tie as far as we're concerned-and the GT really shatters the M myth on the skidpad. America's original ponycar manages to outgrip one of Germany's most iconic sports cars to the tune 0.2 second through our figure eight and by 0.01 g in lateral acceleration.

    But the M3 is the better driving car, right? What about the vaunted BMW steering feel, cornering agility, and legendary suspension tuning? Sure, the Mustang's antiquated live rear axle is fine at the strip (and skidpad, apparently), but the M3 must be faster where it counts: on a racetrack, against the clock. Well, hold onto your buts (and butts), because we are about to find out.

    To keep things fair, we spec a brand-new 2011 M3 Coupe with only 1300 miles on the clock. It comes with all the extra goodies that make the M3 a world-class tourer, but the option that most interests us is the new Competition Package. This $2500 kit provides a slightly wider track via higher offset 19-inch wheels and improved grip by way of stickier tires and suspension lowered 0.4 inch. Combined with revisions to the M3's electronic damping control (EDC) and dynamic stability control (DSC) systems, BMW claims the Competition Package-equipped M3 is "the best-handling production M vehicle ever built." Hmmm, hope they mean on a racetrack...

    To meet this challenge, we ask Ford to send us a 2011 Mustang GT Premium with optional 3.73 gears ($395) and Brembo brake package ($1695). We also request nearly all the luxury options available (except the glass roof, for weight reasons) to make it a comparable GT. This explains the fancy stripes on the leather seats, HID headlamps, and Sync-based infotainment system.

    Despite all the box checking, the only thing we can't equalize is the price. In fact, the chasm between the $67,025 M3 and $40,275 Mustang GT can easily be filled with, well, another Mustang.

    Ah, but is it worth it? That's the $26,750 question, and for the answer, we implement a plan cribbed from basic cable. Behold, Mustang versus M3, "Pros vs. Joes"-style.

    The concept is this: To definitively determine which car is faster is relatively easy. We rent the 1.8-mile Streets of Willow Springs road course and employ the services of Randy Pobst, the very same championship-winning pro driver we use for our semi-annual Best Driver's Car showdown. Not only can Randy extract the fastest lap from anything with four wheels, he can tell you why it's so fast. To determine which car is better in the hands of the common man, well, that's this Joe's job.

    To keep things safe (for me) and fast (for Randy), we lap separately and with slightly different setups. I go out first, with all the traction and stability controls engaged, but set to the sportiest settings. A bit of yaw is available via Ford's AdvanceTrac and BMW's M-Drive system, but not so much that I could end up backwards in the tire barrier (known to happen). For those playing at home, that means I hit the Mustang's traction control button once to put it in Sport mode. For the M3, I set throttle response to SportPlus, Servotronic steering and EDC to Sport, and DSC to M-dynamic mode.

    Randy's setup is far simpler: Just turn everything off and get the hell out of his way.

    So which is faster? We didn't tell Randy until the very end, so we won't tell you yet, either. This is called dramatic tension, and it's created by discussing the relative merits of each vehicle -- Mustang first.

    That the 5.0 will lay two sets of stripes out of every corner isn't the surprise, it's how clean and in control the car feels while doing it. Another shocker is how hard it dives when those four-piston Brembo calipers bite down.

    "The car stands on its nose when you go to brake," says Randy, "And there's a fair amount of squat, so you feel a lot of pitch. It doesn't seem to be hurting the cars braking or entry that much, but it's disconcerting."

    We both found the 5.0-liter responsive and fantastic, but split on the six-speed manual. Rev-matching the rumbling V-8 is easy for me, but surprisingly, Randy can't be bothered. "I just skipped second. The shifts take so long that with the torque curve from the V-8 engine, it's better to just leave it in third gear," he says. "It comes out of these tighter corners at about 4000 rpm and it pulls!"

    As for steering, the Mustang's is fast but lacks feedback. "I'd give the steering about a B in feel but an A in quickness. The ratio was about perfect," concurs the pro.

    That live rear axle setup? A non-issue for both of us. "The undulations I felt at high speeds in the bumps did not appear to be coming from a lack of control of the rear axle," says Randy, who suspects a damper issue. "The shocks can handle the car up to 60 to 70 mph. At 80, 90, 100 mph, we have a really challenging set of curving bumps and braking zones for which the shocks are overmatched."

    So, shockingly good on the road course, but enough to beat the M3? Perhaps, because the first thing out of Randy's mouth after lapping the BMW is, "I missed the mid-range torque of the Mustang. The BMW ramps up more slowly and is skewed toward high rpm whereas the Mustang has a much broader, flatter torque curve."

    "Another surprise was the BMW understeers more. A lot more," he continues. "And that for me, took some of the fun out of it. It made it an easier car to drive fast, but it was not as much fun. The balance wasn't as good."

    But the BMW shines where it matters most: "The BMW has far better shock control when being driven hard, which gave tremendous advantage on the hairiest part of this track," says Pobst. "I don't know for sure how fast my speed was, but it sure felt a lot quicker in the BMW."

    Which is why when pressed, Randy admits that he believes he set the fastest lap in the M3. So do I. "I think the BMW is faster because of its superior shock control at high speed," he says. "It has very little nose dive, very little brake dive, which gives me more confidence as a driver. It's more refined, a more conservative car than the Mustang is and far better controlled."

    But is it faster? No, at least not with this Joe behind the wheel. Forget that my fastest laps were about 3.8 seconds slower than Randy's. There's an easy answer for that: "The pro don't pucker," observed tech editor Kim Reynolds after poring over the data (see graphic, previous page). All you need to know was that I was 0.55 second faster in the Mustang than the M3. My reasoning: the 5.0's broad powerband and less intrusive electronic stability-control system help me exit corners faster and maintain momentum.

    For the definitive answer, we go to Randy's times: 87.67 seconds in the BMW to 87.76 seconds for the Ford. That's right, the difference between the fastest laps of the M3 and Mustang GT is, literally, less than an eye blink: 0.09 second, to be exact.

    Randy's response? "God bless America! Let's hear it for the Mustang. To me, that is a giant win for the Mustang GT because the BMW is such formidable competition."

    What about us? Do we take Randy's advice and name the Mustang, even in defeat, the winner? No. Although it may test better, cost less, and lap faster in the hands of (an exceptionally) common man, on this day, the Mustang is beaten fair and square where it matters most. But that's not the reason we are loath to call the Mustang America's M3.

    A Mustang is a Mustang. Always has been, always will be, no matter how close it comes to knocking off one of the world's finest sports cars. Even if it had fully scalped the Bavarian, that wouldn't change the fundamental ethos of a legend 46 years in the making: fast, fun, and within reach of everyman. It's not America's M3. It's America's Mustang.

    WHO'S NEXT?
    Recently, we pitted the mighty M3 against the Audi RS5 and Cadillac CTS-V, a triple throwdown the BMW handily won. So does that automatically advance the Ford over the Audi and Caddy?

    Not so fast. That matchup dispensed with the track showdown of this story and heavily weighted performance as a luxury GT. That's a goldplated gunfight for the sharp, but knife-wielding Mustang.

    While there is reason to suspect the Mustang GT could dispatch the RS 5 at the track, the CTS-V's brute power and tricky magnetic shocks present a more enticing challenge. Anyone for Mustang Shelby GT500 versus Cadillac CTS-V coupe in a winner-take-all test of 500-horsepower supercharged supremacy? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

    1ST PLACE: BMW M3
    Did you blink and miss the M3's onionskin advantage over the GT? Here's a hint: It's in the chassis, not underhood.

    2ND PLACE: MUSTANG GT
    Never has a loss felt so much like a win. From not once considered to full-blown contender, 5.0 officially puts the world on notice.

    Joe vs. Pro
    Drivers 2011 BMW M3 2011 Mustang GT
    JOE 92.07 sec .................91.52 sec
    PRO 87.67 sec .................87.76 sec

    Pro Pobst proves 3.8 seconds a lap faster than your humble scribe in the Mustang, and a whopping 4.4 seconds faster in the M3. Is that embarrassing? Yes, but that's why we hired him. Final thoughts: "Both are really rewarding to drive. The BMW is far better controlled while the Mustang is more of a wild ride."

    Deep Drive

    We've graphed the M3's and Mustang's Streets of Willow performance as side-by-side "curtain graphs." Following up on Randy's comments about the Mustang's greater nosedive, we measured it at the dragstrip; for comparison purposes, they're shown stopping at 1 g (with pitch angle in yellow). Randy was right.

    Side-by-Side Speed Trace
    The BMW is shown in the outer "lane," the Mustang in the inner one. Included are spotlighted samples of top speed and steering wheel angle.





    Instantaneous Distance Between Cars
    Here, the height of the parallel curtains represents the distance between the BMW and Ford at each instant of time. Each color strip represents a five-foot increment; 19.8 feet was the greatest gap we saw.





    It's absolutely amazing how close these two cars are. No fewer than eight times during their fastest laps, the M3 and Mustang GT were tied in position, including at the exit of the very last corner.

    Maximums 2011 BMW M3 ...2011Ford Mustang GT
    Lap time, secs .....87.67 .....87.76
    Top speed, mph .....107.7 .....106.8
    Highest accel g .....0.47 .....0.39
    Highest braking g .....0.9 .....0.95
    Max lateral g .....1.32 .....1.3
     
  2. steedafever

    steedafever U.S. ARMY 13-FOX Established Member

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    Hmm
     
  3. Todd03Blown

    Todd03Blown Active Member Established Member

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    Here is the video of the comparison...
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOwSPccbzl4"]YouTube- Super Coupes Track Attack! - 2011 Ford Mustang GT vs 2011 BMW M3 Coupe[/nomedia]

    I love the 5:38 mark where the pro driver says it would destroy the camaro...LMFAO!!! I love it!!
     
  4. Driver72

    Driver72 New Member Established Member

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    Thanks for the link.
    That is surely a win for the Mustang GT.

    What bothers me is the M3 beats the Mustang GT around the race track by .09 seconds (about 1 foot) and at the end of the video they state, 'but a win is still a win, so the M3 is faster around the track.'

    However, the Mustang GT beats the M3 Competition Package in the 60-0 braking by 2 feet and Motor Trend proclaims, "to us that's a tie."

    WTF??

    So when the Mustang GT beats the M3 by two feet in a test it's a tie, but when the M3 beats the GT by single foot in a time that's faster than the blink of an eye, it's a win for the BMW?

    That's bogus.

    I just came from owning two BMWs and I love them, but let's be fair Motor Trend.
    The Mustang GT beat the M3 Competition Package in more of your performance tests and the one that it lost too was such a narrow amount, that 1 psi difference in air pressure in the tires could make or break that difference, but you don't call that a tie??

    True the M3 did get around the track in .09 seconds faster, which technically is a win, but the GT also BEAT the M3 in more performance tests including BRAKING distance.
    AND the Mustang costs A LOT less.

    That's a Mustang win plain and simple.

    Further, since the M3 already costs much more than the Mustang, the more fair comparison test should of been the 2011 GT with Brembo brake package vs. the non competition package M3. That M3 would still cost $20k more and it would be clear that the Mustang GT would beat it even more in the performance tests AND around the race track by probably over a second.

    Nice job Ford.
     
  5. Ry_Trapp0

    Ry_Trapp0 Condom Model Established Member

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    you know what i didn't hear mentioned in the video? solid axle. silence speaks spades, ford has a solid axle mustang that is damn near equal to not just a BMW 3 series, not just a BMW 3 series M model, but a BMW M3 with the "competition package". consider this for a second; the 3 series is available with a number of engines, including I4s, I6s, a turbo I6, and of course the V8. you could say that the I4/I6 are equivalent to the mustang V6(el cheap-o sales leader), the turbo I6 is equivalent to the mustang GT(premium mass market mover), and the V8 powered M3 is equivalent to the shelby GT500. i'm not saying the models are competitive with each other in quality or performance, but that, in the model ladder, these are the equivalents. this essentially has the mustang GT competing with what is essential BMW's GT500! and with BMW's own "SVT performance pack" too, lol. put the shelby GT500 with SVTPP up against the M3 comp pack and you will have a straight up messy homicide on your hands!
    and we don't need to mention the boss 302, let alone the boss 302 laguna seca...

    gigantic props to ford! this obviously doesn't take a thing away from BMW and the M3, they still agreed that it was the more complete package as far as driving goes(understeer and lack of torque aside). this isn't BMW dropping the ball, this is ford stepping up - way up!
     
  6. Jimmysidecarr

    Jimmysidecarr Semi user friendly Established Member

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    Pretty compelling!
    Nice job Ford, this is the comparo I have been waiting for and I am not disappointed.

    It would have been fun to see him use second gear in those turns he didn't want to blow the tires off in. He had to use second in the Bimmer.

    The BOSS comparo is going to have the fan boys freaking wailing and crying!

    Wait till the Laguna goes up against an M3 with R compounds, it won't be pretty, there is more to the Laguna than they are letting on, the Grand Am Cup cars are restricted and have weight added, the Laguna will not be restricted.

    Did anyone get a look at the Laguna tach?? The Cup cars run 8500.
    Hmmmmmm.:p
     
  7. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

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    Good for the Mustang, but never forget that this comparo is coming from the same people that named the Honda Ridgeline Truck of the Year.
     
  8. kingnut

    kingnut New Member Established Member

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    lmfao sid
     
  9. 2013Boss302

    2013Boss302 New Member Established Member

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    thats a kill or the mustang in my book. i cant wait to run my car on Streets Of Willow.
     
  10. wjk

    wjk New Member Established Member

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    This topic has been brewing for awhile. Motortrend first said that they weren't going to put them to the test, but I guess they changed their minds.
     
  11. Driver72

    Driver72 New Member Established Member

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    As I noted on another Mustang forum and I posted on M3Post (I've been a member there since 2006):

    The M3 got around the track .09 seconds faster with the pro driver (about 1 foot ahead), and Motor Trend declares that a win, and the M3 the winner because of it.

    However, the Mustang stopped from 60-0 2 feet shorter than the M3, but they declare that test a tie.
    Further, if you watch the drag racing section of the video, the Mustang actually wins by a bumper or a bit more in several of those drags they declared a tie. It didn't look like the M3 ever won on any of them. But they keep going until the Mustang beats the M3 by several feet.

    So again, on the track when the BMW wins by a foot and a mere .09 seconds they declare it a win, but when the Mustang time and time again beat the M3 in the 1/4 mile by 1 foot or .09 seconds they declared it a tie and made the Mustang win by several feet before they declared it a true win.

    WTF Motor Trend?
    I love the M3 and think it's one of the greatest cars made, but do you think you could have at least some journalistic integrity and be fair.
    If you declare 1 foot and .09 seconds a win for the BMW (and even giving it the overall "win" based on just that sole test) maybe you should try being fair and giving the Mustang the "win" when it wins by 1 foot or .09 seconds (or especially when it wins by twice that margin and you still don't give the Mustang the win in that category).


    Further, why did they order nearly every option on the Mustang (short of the glass roof)?
    Though minor the addition of Nav, cold weather package and some of the other stuff add 15-20 lbs to the weight of the Mustang.
    So in the interest of getting the price up to be more like the M3's they make it a bit heavier and therefore perform a bit worse, but they then order the BEST handling M3, disregarding the fact the Competition Package adds $2500 to it's price?

    Order the BEST handling M3 instead of the cheaper regular M3 but then order up the options on the Mustang to build up its price, disregarding the fact those options added probably 15-20 lbs to the Mustangs weight. That 15+ lbs extra the Nav, cold weather, and a few others added probably cost the Mustang the .09 seconds or more it lost on the race track by.

    The fairest comparison would of been the REGULAR M3 versus the Mustang.
    The M3 Competition Package comparo should of been saved for the Boss 302 (or if price is considered the GT500 with SVT Performance Package (which is still cheaper than the M3 Comp Pack). The Boss 302 would still cost $18-20k less, but I think we all know based on the M3 ZCP vs Mustang GT test how the M3 ZCP would fair against the Boss 302 which is essentially it's handling package for the Mustang GT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  12. Ray Lucca

    Ray Lucca Active Member Established Member

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    Well said Driver....I concur...
     
  13. apg2369

    apg2369 SNAKE OF ALL TRADES Established Member

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    What everybody forgets is the M3 is basically suspensioned out already not much you can do to it because the electronic struts and shocks are tied into the traction control and electronic stabilizer system ...Bmw also notes do not change springs . It has the bigger sway bars on it also ...plus it has lower profile tires than the mustang did .

    AND IT A TIE BASICALLY (LOL)

    Just think some nice Konis and springs , get some better tires and sway bars and its light out for the BMW . The 5.0 I looked at 31.5k the M3 all most 60k (you make the choice)

    I wont even mention Griggs either
     
  14. Jimmysidecarr

    Jimmysidecarr Semi user friendly Established Member

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    Track guys in 2011 GTs are going to be making serious waves out there!
     
  15. andymarkv

    andymarkv Active Member Established Member

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    I think Motor Trend is sitting the fence.
    The way they go on and on about the GT in the video they sound like Mustang fanboys. I think they tried to balance the piece by declaring the M3 the winner. (after basically saying the Mustang is just as good or better)
    They have a very diverse readership and they're trying to please everyone.

    If I didn't already have a GT500, I'd be looking hard at the new GT. (and this is from a converted GM guy)
     
  16. nicksender

    nicksender Member Established Member

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    Ford did a great job with the 2011 5.0. Motor Trend, as mentioned above, is probably on the fence. They probably decided to wait to declare the Mustang an official winner until the Boss comes in 2012 for a new comparison. And they will probably pit it against a 335i instead of the M3 so it doesn't look so bad for BMW.

    I like the BMW, but it's out of my budget. And I know which one I would rather have when the warranty expires.
     
  17. Kevinz00GT

    Kevinz00GT New Member Established Member

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    what up Todd....been a long time....u still rocking the Maxima??
     
  18. Todd03Blown

    Todd03Blown Active Member Established Member

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    Kevin!!!!!!!! I am buddy. I leased it as there was no car out there I wanted to buy when I got rid of the Cobra and SVT focus. I will be putting my order in for a new 2012GT in November. However I am still in search for a dealer to sell me the Boss 302 at MSRP but I havent been able to find one yet.

    How are things with you?
     
  19. Ry_Trapp0

    Ry_Trapp0 Condom Model Established Member

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    *oops, wrong thread
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  20. Kevinz00GT

    Kevinz00GT New Member Established Member

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    things are good.....I have been playing with the LS motors for a while now... sold my C6 and got another f-body but I gotta say the new 5.0 GT will probably be next on my list

    sounds like a good plan on waiting for a 2012....give em a chance to get the bugs worked out:beer:
     

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