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      12-26-2011, 03:27 PM   #75
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Drives: Space Gray '09 E92 M3
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Manhattan Beach, CA

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Originally Posted by runnerguy1979 View Post
I'm also a former S2000 owner. I absolutely loved that car.
My 2012 M3 6MT is being built at the moment, I'm expecting delivery around late Jan. My S2K was "space grey" which lead me to order my M3 the same color.

I'm curious what your thoughts are, transitioning from the S2K to the M3. I sold the car about a year and a half ago and can remember the epic handling, the intoxicating sound and the brilliant shifter.

Would appreciate your thoughts.
Nice. It's always a pleasure to meet another former S2000 owner on these boards -- there are more than you would expect. At any rate, here are some quick thoughts on the two cars:
  • The engine dynamics are remarkably similar. Both the F20C and the S65 need to be revved high to utilize their torque. As with the S2000, there's plenty of juice in the lower RPM range, but the real fun begins once you get past 4-5K.
  • Beyond the similarity in their high-revving engines, it becomes very difficult to compare the two cars. The M3 is a LOT heavier, and this weight is the first thing that you'll notice. I miss the nimble nature of the S2000, and how the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal, clutch pedal, shifter, and seat communicated all kinds of road data back to the driver. The M3 does so more than any other car in its class, but it's no S2000 in this regard.
  • Last note is on the shifter. The S2000's gearbox was a world class work of art. The only other car that came close to having that precise, rifle-bolt feel was the 370Z -- the 350Z's was pretty good too. Otherwise, you have to get into Porsche GT3 territory to start replicating the S2000's shifter's feel, and even that car's box is incredibly notchy and uncooperative (especially cold), with longer throws. So when I test drove a 6MT M3, I was really put off by the vagueness of the entire transmission. Clutch pedal was sloppy, throws were massive, gear engagement was vague -- the whole thing felt like I was making mashed potatoes. Now, plenty of people have a 6MT and love it, so it's a matter of different strokes for different folks. But coming from an S2000, I knew just about any car was going to be a downgrade in the shifter department.

Hope that answers your questions. Good luck with your delivery -- the M3 is a fantastic machine, and you will love it. Comparing it to an S2K is an apples to oranges proposition, but you will love it all the same.

By the way, I don't recall a Space Gray for the S2000. Do you mean Moonrock or Silverstone?
'09 E92 M3: Space Gray, Black, Carbon Leather | ZTP 2MK ZPP 2MT 6FL | link 1 / link 2
Mods: M Performance exhaust | ZCP retrofit | Euro airbox | GTS DCT flash | JPN 240 ECU flash | Euro LCI taillights | CRT lip | OEM alarm retrofit | Space Gray bumper plugs | BMW Performance: Mk. II spoiler / Mk. II non-electronic steering wheel / mirror caps / front grilles / side gills / intake louvers / emblem