2011 Mustang GT: Better Than the BMW M3?

The eagle-eyed folks at Jalopnik have noticed something that is sure to fire up loyal followers of BMWs and Mustangs everywhere.

Turns out Ford’s newest masterpiece, the 2011 Mustang GT, runs in a dead-heat tie with the Bavarian scream machine, the mighty M3.

Granted, potential buyers of the M3 are probably not test-driving the Mustang GT first, but with numbers this close, maybe they should.

Check it out:

Engine and horsepower

M3: 4.0-liter V8, 414 hp
Mustang GT: 5.0-liter V8, 412 hp

Curb weight

M3: 3,652
Mustang GT: 3,612

0-60 time (seconds)

M3: 4.3
Mustang GT: 4.4

1/4 mile

M3: 12.7 seconds at 111.3 mph
Mustang GT: 12.7 seconds at 111.3 mph

60-0 mph (in feet)

M3: 105
Mustang GT: 104

Lateral acceleration (g)

M3: .97
Mustang GT: .97

Now, when you figure the last piece, cost, it would seem the Mustang GT is the clear winner. The M3 costs $59,975 compared to the Mustang’s $31,795.

The simple conclusion is to buy the Mustang and have $28,000 of gas money left over. But is that all there is to it? Not by a long shot.

BMW’s M3 is a refined and balanced car. Skidpad performance is a good test, but running in a constant circle is not representative of a corner with a fast change in direction and doesn’t indicate how the car handles its power on exit from the turn. It’s here I think the M3 would leave the GT in its rubber cloud.

Considering the leaps and bounds Ford has made with the Mustang GT’s refinement, interior, and overall quality, though, I wouldn’t fault anyone for choosing it over the M3.

But at the end of the day, the Mustang is only a GT while the BMW is an M, which the Germans have turned into the greatest letter in the alphabet. Yes, these are very different cars for very different buyers, but assuming I had the cash, I’d drive home in the M3.

Which would you take home, the BMW M3 or the 2011 Mustang GT?

-tgriffith

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6 Comments

  1. I’m with you WILL, sure in the “RIGHT CIRCLES” your cool, but I’ve given many an M3 driver a membership to the D*!@# I got slaughtered club, with my poor old canfield headed turbo 331 1993 mustang coupe, so you guys talking all that smack about ” they are two diffrent machines blah blah blah” whatever you say. Let me tell you something else the look of surprize on the face of those M3 pilots when I tell them I have less than 20K total in the thing is priceless. Oh, daily driver? A/C, 800Watt Stereo, Power everything, etc, etc. @randy

  2. Will, you’re confusing a blunt instrument with finesse. I sure wouldn’t want to have to drive your modified mustang to work or the grocery store!

  3. if u took the gt and put 28,000 dollars of extra modification into it, even bmw esque modifications, it would slaughter the bmw on any corner and on any straight. if you are attracted to the interface and ‘the feel’ of the car u are not a real enthusiast at all. u are too rich to have any sense of what a car should be.

  4. Without Considering The Price Difference I Would Take Home The M3.
    This Is Because Its A BMW And The User Interface System Is Sick.
    Simply For the Fact Of The User Interface I Would chose the M3

  5. The kind of specs you compare really don’t reveal the comparative feel of the two cars. You won’t like the Mustang’s electric power steering after driving the M3, and that lateral G rating will differ greatly if there are any bumps in the curve. Do you think the materials, fit, finish and standard features of the two cars merit twice the price for the BMW? Sit the cars side by side, open the doors, look under the hood, and operate the controls. Compare the manual transmissions and clutches and see how they operate and feel. While the Mustang has improved since it’s low point in the 1970’s, it’s no BMW.

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