The Mustang, Camaros, and SRT cars were never the M3's competition. These are muscle cars. Until very recently however, they all lacked serious muscle car power. It hasn't been since the late 1960's that America has put this kind of power out on the streets. The M3 never existed at that time.
What is happening now, is a completely new phenomenon to the current generation of car enthusiasts. For years the top straight line performers were the Japanese in the 1990's then the Europeans from 2000 onwards. Now the US is making big power cars for a much lower cost, which is the basic muscle car formula. The current generation of car enthusiasts, myself included, hasn't seen this in their driving lifetimes, however, so it's difficult to know what to make of it .
One thing is for certain in my mind however. When you start getting over 450-500 lb-ft or torque, all wheel drive makes an enormous difference in the usability of the power. What you will sacrifice is some steering feel and sharpness. Of course, stability technology is improving also, but it is not pefected yet. You can still feel those mechanisms kicking in and robbing you of power. When the technology is perfected, the stability functions will be seemless and imperceptible, but we are not there yet.
Audi S6 * Audi S3 * Porsche Cayman GTS
--Former BMW M3 owner
Last edited by LarThaL; 04-28-2012 at 05:41 AM.