Originally Posted by VVG
I test drove a GTR 3 times and still chose the M3. Here's why:
The GTR has no soul.
By that I mean that while, objectively, it is better by the numbers, aside from the mind numbing acceleration, the subjective driving experience is superior in the M3.
The GTR interior is so-so at best. Materials are mediocre and the design is very 1980's. Not like my extended leather, sweeping lines, and real aluminum in the M3.
The steering on the GTR (or any AWD car for that matter) was just not as precise as the M3.
Ride in the GTR is really harsh. M3 has a much nicer ride/handling balance.
The clunky transmission noises in the GTR are just awful. Makes you think something is broken. The sounds are almost embarrassing for a car of this caliber.
Exhaust note is truly pitiful in comparison to even a stock M3.
The engine sound is also unpleasant. Loud turbos with no pleasing engine revving sound to speak of.
The exterior design, while supposedly functional, is an aesthetic nightmare.
Jeremy Clarkson said on an episode of Top Gear that the GTR was an "instrument for speed". That is all it is. It is a tool to go fast, with little character, no sexiness, and little subjective appeal.
There is no question that in terms of performance bang for the buck, the GTR reigns supreme in automotive world. For that relative bargain price, however, you lose virtually all the subjective things that make driving enjoyable also.
The M3 wins due to its gorgeous flowing exterior design with the just the right amount of extrovertedness added in, it's impeccable dynamics and responsiveness, it's glorious, instantaneous throttle response and wailing engine note, it's absolutely magnificent ride/handling balance and notably more upscale interior.
Congrats on the Boss 302.
GTR no character! No way. I own both. Comparing it to an m3 is an apples and oranges comparison. I know this is a bimmer forum and I'm a die-hard bimmer fan who has an m3, but the gtr is an amazing car that's in a different league. This is coming from someone who has owned a variety of sports cars.
The turbos, tranny noises, ride and looks are part of the character of the car and a higher performance vehicle...not embarrassing. In other words, there is some sacrifice for the performance, but not much compared to what you get in return. For me, it's totally acceptable as a daily driver unless you plan on carrying adults in the back frequently. Then again, what performance car of this caliber even has back seats with decent gas mileage?
Have you driven a 2012? The comfort setting is quite comfortable and the tranny isn't as clunky at slow speeds. However, I still prefer the normal setting. Looks of course are subjective. I think it looks great. I can tell you that I get many more complements on it than I ever have the M3. The interior, although sportier, is on par with the M, esp. the 2012. The m3 has more of a spartan luxury interior. That style wouldn't fit in the GTR. I agree that the exhaust note could be improved. That's easily done with a $700-800 mid pipe if desired.
Clarkson actually said he wants a GTR. They hardly felt it was boring: http://bcove.me/i0dd6r06
Don't get me wrong, I love the m3, but since picking up the gtr, it hasn't been out of the garage much. The traditional "balance" argument of the M hasn't been enough for me to leave the GTR behind.
Here are some other members that recently picked up a GTR: