Road Tests Real world tests of M3 (E46) vs 1999 Lotus Elise 111S

0-60mph

M3 (E46) Coupe Elise 111S @ supercars.net
BMW estimates the M3 will hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and will eat up a quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds—on a par with the 911 Carrera and Corvette - and we think those numbers are accurate.
M3 (E46) Coupe | by Car and Driver (Dec, 2000)

Top speed

M3 (E46) Coupe
155 mph
Elise 111S
133 mph
BMW says the individual throttle valves, which are positioned much closer to the intake ports than in a conventional single throttle body, improve throttle response.
M3 (E46) Coupe | by Car and Driver (Dec, 2000)

0-100mph

Elise 111S
14.4 s
It was also pretty effective against the Stalker gun, forcing error messages from 1100 feet down to 200 feet coming at the gun, and from 0 to 1000 feet going away.
M3 (E46) Coupe | by Car and Driver (Mar, 2003)

1/4 mile

Elise 111S
13.9 s
With 1940 miles on it, we took the M3 to the test track and measured a 0-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds and a standing quarter-mile of 13.1 seconds at 107 mph.
M3 (E46) Coupe | by Car and Driver (Mar, 2003)

Differences What are the advantages of each

Default view of BMW M3 (E46)

Reasons to consider the
BMW M3 (E46) Coupe

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Way more more powerful engine 343 HP @ 7,900 RPM vs 145 HP @ 7,000 RPM More than 2.2x stronger engine
Faster top speed 155 mph vs 133 mph 22 more mph; leaves lesser cars in the dust on the straights
More torque 269 ft-lb @ 4,900 RPM vs 129 ft-lb @ 4,500 RPM More than 2x stronger engine from a stand-still; more acceleration power
Faster to 100mph 11.7 s vs 14.4 s Around 20% faster to 100mph
Faster in the quarter mile 13.5 s vs 13.9 s Around 5% faster at the drag strip
Bigger engine 3,246 cc vs 1,800 cc More than 80% bigger engine
Better power-to-weight ratio 10.09 lb/hp vs 11.68 lb/hp Around 15% better power-to-weight ratio
Front view of Lotus Elise 111S

Reasons to consider the
Lotus Elise 111S

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Much lighter curb weight 1,694 lb vs 3,461 lb 2x lighter curb weight; less inertia to overcome when accelerating

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

M3 (E46)  vs
1999 Lotus Elise 111S 
Brand BMW Lotus
Price 46,000 40,682
Year 2001-2007 1999-2001

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 10.09 lb/hp 11.68 lb/hp
Maximum hp 343 HP @ 7,900 RPM 145 HP @ 7,000 RPM
Maximum torque 269 ft-lb @ 4,900 RPM 129 ft-lb @ 4,500 RPM
Engine placement Front Mid
Steering system Rack and pinion Rack and pinion

engine

Displacement 3,246 cc 1,800 cc
Fuels
Gas

physical dimensions

Curb weight 3,461 lb 1,694 lb

road tests

M3 (E46)  vs
1999 Lotus Elise 111S 
Top speed 155 mph 133 mph
1/4 mile 13.5 s 13.9 s
0-60mph 5.1 s 5.4 s
0-100mph 11.7 s 14.4 s

transmission

Drivetrain Rear wheel drive RWD
Gearing Traditional Traditional
# of gears 6 5

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc Disc
Rear brakes Disc Disc
BMW M3 (E46) Coupe
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Lotus Elise 111S
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