Originally Posted by LarThaL
As M3 owners, we may take our cars for granted once in a while, but they are close to the top of the automotive food chain. Still, I am sure that many M3 owners fantasize about exotic car ownership "someday". For me, that "someday" is just around the corner, and in fact, if I really wanted, I could go out and pick up a Gallardo or 458 tomorrow.
Here's my question to you: What aspect of owning a super-exotic draws you in?
-Is it the beauty? If so, then there's nothing wrong with a garage queen, because that's the only place it can be and ultimately maintain it's gorgeous looks. Let's face it----those low slung lines are hypnotic. This aspect of a super-exotic can't be touched by an M3.
-Is it performance? Let's be honest, the first things someone talks about when they have a super-exotic is the amount of power it has. No one talks about the dude who sweat his ass off doing the custom stitching on the leather. Off the showroom floor, a super-exotic will in general have superior performance characteristics than an M3. But you could drop in a very powerful blower, race suspension, and race brakes into the M3 and still be WAYYYYY cheaper than a super-exotic, and many of those performance gains would largely vanish. I did those things to my M3 this year (VF620, AP Racing, JRZ RS Pro), and let me tell you, my M3 is pretty awesome now. My main goal was to make sure the car didn't become an untamed beast with those mods and it hasn't; it's still 100% drivable in town, in fact, even MORE fun to drive in town, but an absolute beast on the track (I track the car around 2 times/month). In Vegas, at Exotics Racing, I drove a 458 Italia a few months after I supercharged my car. As far as power goes, I was underwhelmed with the 458's power because the M3's blower had spoiled me. The M3 with the blower, actually has more power at the crank than the 458. Of course, the 458 was a dream around corners, but the M3, when setup properly on a quality suspension is no slouch either. So, comparing stock to stock, yes, the super-exotic performs better, but mods can erase much of that rather quickly, and still not ruin the in-town aspects of it. (I have kids too. They love driving in my M3.)
-Is it prestige? Of course, the super-exotic will always draw the eyes of people as it growls by and make most people envious/jealous. But I've found that the Italian exotics draw the eyes and heads turns of men, and eye-rolls of women. When have you ever watched a super-exotic roll by and thought, oh yeah, that must be a cool nice guy.......haha c'mon, admit it. We all sit there and watch the guy go by revving the engine and think, "what a tool. My M3 could probably kick his ass because I'm a better driver....."
-It's definitely not reliability. All super-exotics have pretty terrible reliability reputations, or at the very least, have expensive maintenance demands---even a GTR is expensive to maintain. The cost of ownership is far beyond the mostly-taken-for-granted convenience of no maintenance costs for the first 4 years of an M3. You need to factor that into the ownership of the car because it will continue to drain the wallet.
Honestly, if you had a few bucks laying around, every 6 months I would say go rent a different super-exotic each time and go play with it for a weekend. Get your kicks. Get some pics. Have a great time. Spend the money, and then give them the keys back at the end of the weekend, and don't worry about the other hassles---insurance being at the top of the list, garage space, maintenance, worries about parking pretty much anywhere, worries about damage to it.
In the end, if you HAVE to have one, start the used route and get a taste for it, and go from there. But you know how human nature is----the desire and anticipation for something usually far outweigh the actual moment of acquisition. And then, once obtained, hardly any time is spent with it after the glow wears off. How many Christmases or birthdays have we gnashed our teeth with so much intense desire for something, and then two weeks later the item is at the bottom of our closet never to be seen again......Of course, this is different than finally getting the Star Wars action figure you so greatly desired, but the feeling of the anticipation is exactly the same.
Back in '09, my friend and I both acquired two vehicles that year. And we both spent the same amount of total money for the two vehicles. I ended getting a new E90 M3 built-to-order and a new X5 4.8. He ended up with a used SL500 and a used Gallardo. Can you guess who was single?
Anyway, he loves the Gallardo. I've been in it. It's a raw twitching beast, the seating position is hilarious with the back bolster throwing your back out, there's no room for a celery stalk in it and the insane noises that come from the aftermarket exhaust that the previous owner put on it literally scream "look at me"! He loves it. It's not for me. But there's no denying, it sure is pretty!
So, if it's about prestige and beauty, then you're stuck....you have to get one!
Otherwise, I agree with your original points, and the M3 is a great car and is probably one of the best cars on the road that strike a balance between performance and real-world usability. And with a few mods, it can be a pure beast too. With my mods, I quickly swap out my brake pads, wheels and adjust suspension settings, and the car turns into a pretty awesome track toy. Come back into town, swap street pads, street wheels and dial back the suspension, and the car is back to it's mellow self. I get to push it to it's limits at the track, and I get to chill with it in town with the family. And it's 100% comfortable and adept at doing both things. How cool is that?