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1997 BMW M3 vs. 1974 Renault 12

To start off, 1997 BMW M3 is newer by 23 year(s). Which means there will be less support and parts availability for 1974 Renault 12. In addition, the cost of maintenance, including insurance, on 1974 Renault 12 would be higher. At 3,201 cc (6 cylinders), 1997 BMW M3 is equipped with a bigger engine. In terms of performance, 1997 BMW M3 (240 HP @ 4800 RPM) has 187 more horse power than 1974 Renault 12. (53 HP @ 5250 RPM). In normal driving conditions, 1997 BMW M3 should accelerate faster than 1974 Renault 12. With that said, vehicle weight also plays an important factor in acceleration. 1997 BMW M3 weights approximately 350 kg more than 1974 Renault 12. So despite on having greater horse power, its additional weight may have an impact towards its acceleration in comparison.

Because 1997 BMW M3 is rear wheel drive (RWD), it offers better handling in dry conditions; in addition, if you are looking to drift, it will be much easier to do with 1997 BMW M3. However, in wet, icy, snow, or gravel driving conditions, 1974 Renault 12, being front wheel drive (FWD), will offer much better control with better grip. With that said, do keep in mind that many other factors such as speed and the wear on your tires can also have significant impact on traction and control. Let's talk about torque, 1997 BMW M3 (236 Nm) has 140 more torque (in Nm) than 1974 Renault 12. (96 Nm). This means 1997 BMW M3 will have an easier job in driving up hills or pulling heavy equipment than 1974 Renault 12.

Compare all specifications:

1997 BMW M3 1974 Renault 12
Make BMW Renault
Model M3 12
Year Released 1997 1974
Engine Position Front Front
Engine Size 3201 cc 1289 cc
Engine Cylinders 6 cylinders 4 cylinders
Engine Type in-line in-line
Horse Power 240 HP 53 HP
Engine RPM 4800 RPM 5250 RPM
Torque 236 Nm 96 Nm
Drive Type Rear Front
Transmission Type Manual Manual
Vehicle Weight 1300 kg 950 kg
Vehicle Length 4440 mm 4410 mm
Vehicle Width 1720 mm 1640 mm
Vehicle Height 1370 mm 1460 mm
Wheelbase Size 2710 mm 2450 mm


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