Can The Aging BMW E36 M3 Still Be Relevant In Today’s Motoring World?

Honda just announced a new Civic Type R at the Paris Auto Show, but the current model can still pack a punch.

Sure, pitting it against a 20-year-old car doesn’t seem fair, especially against one that wasn’t very looked after. On the other hand, it’s an M3 E36 we’re talking about; a 3.2-litre, inline-six automobile with 321 hp on tap.

Back in 1997, the 1st-gen Type R (EK9) couldn’t hold a candle to the E36 M3, but fast forward nowadays and the new Civic will show you just how far automobiles have come. The Japanese hatchback’s performance variant boasts almost the same amount of power as the Bavarian brute, sending 306 hp and 400 Nm (300 lb-ft) of torque through the front-wheels. Thanks to a six-speed manual and a limited-slip-diff, the power figures translate into a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds, and a 167 mph (269 km/h) top speed.

Is it enough to give the old M3 a run for its money? Well, the German machine still puts up a fight.

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