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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Faster top speed 155 mph vs 133 mph 22 more mph; leaves lesser cars in the dust on the straights
Way more more powerful engine 343 HP @ 7,900 RPM vs 145 HP @ 7,000 RPM More than 2.2x stronger engine
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
Slightly 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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