Holden benchmarked BMW’s delightful E39 5 Series from a decade prior when developing the VE Commodore, and in the steering and suspension of 2006’s ‘billion-dollar baby’ it showed.
Meanwhile the VF Series II Commodore SS V Redline, as the pinnacle – excluding limited editions – of this final rear-drive sedan, coincidentally lines up with the now-decade-old BMW M3 E90 sedan and E92 coupe.
For driving enthusiasts with $55,000 to $65,000 to spend, this is a legitimate comparison. Both V8s are within 5kW of each other, the new Redline using an extra 170Nm to offset its 168kg-heavier kerb mass and match the M3’s 4.9-second 0-100km/h claim.
The BMW is now one-third of the price it was new, and on par with the Holden that is an equally cracking driver’s car.
The BMW E90/E92 was the first of the compact M cars to swap six cylinders for eight, and this delectable motor soared past its 8300rpm power peak with a strident, metallic howl.
Only 400Nm seems measly, but at 100Nm-per-litre it makes the pushrod LS3’s 570Nm look inefficient. The 6.2-litre is also slower to rev, with a soft sub-7000rpm cut-out.
Engine and cabin quality finesse is where the biggest differences between Australian and German lie. Both feature tuned two-stage ESC and mechanical limited-slip diffs; electrically actuated in the BMW that had inch-smaller 18-inch tyres – 19s optional.
The M3 had adaptive dampers matched only by the Commodore Motorsport Edition.
The generations that succeed both these two are also completely different in configuration and character – the boosted-six F80 M3 is as controversial for some as the next imported all-paw Commodore is. That will likely carve future-classic status into both the E90/E92 and VF Series II.
Here’s one from TradeUniqueCars.com.au
WHILE examples with beyond 100,000km can be found for $40,000, this low-km, Oz-delivered coupe has a full service history – important when buying an M car. While manual is the go, the DCT was at least superbly tuned. View the ad here and be very, very tempted.