Originally Posted by jphughan
Good idea, because if you test drive an M3, you WILL force yourself to buy it. That'd probably happen even if you weren't already jonesing for an M3 as hard as you seem to be.
As for the next generation worries, if the M5 is any indication, the loss of a high-revving engine doesn't seem to be causing owners any real grief, even those who had the E60 previously. The next M3 in all likelihood will be better than this one, especially in terms of doubling as a DD when needed; it'll be lighter, faster (and easier to drive faster thanks to turbos), more fuel efficient, etc. I drove a 1M recently and could definitely see how it might be preferred over an M3 by someone who tracks occasionally (or never) but primarily DDs. It's just far easier to accelerate quickly at civilized RPMs in a 1M than an M3; the 1M makes lazier driving more enjoyable, whereas to really have a blast in the M3 you have to work it -- and all of those 1M advantages should carry into the next M3. But all that said, I still personally prefer this M3 because even though lazier driving can be more fun in the 1M (though lack of that V8 sound is definitely missed), spirited driving is hands down more fun in the M3, and that's the type of driving I bought my car for.
But even if the next M3 does somehow manage to combine the advantages of the 1M and the current M3, I think the current M3 is truly something special, so I expect to be able to resist the urge to upgrade. Plus by then I'll probably have my financial priorities focused elsewhere anyway, so that'll help too.
Driving the 335is has really been a great experience. Having so much power down low is definitely different from the Boxster S and I believe similar to what you're talking about with the 1M vs. M3. I'm going to have to think long and hard about how I am going to do this. Right now the options are:
Sell my 335is and jump into any E92 M3 w/ ZCP I find
Enjoy my 335is until the M4 comes out
I don't exactly know how soon until we'll decide to start a big family, but I know once that happens the M3 goes out the door and in comes the M5. So getting an E92 now would give me more time with my mechanical baby