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      12-17-2011, 04:39 PM   #67
DocJohn
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      12-18-2011, 03:31 AM   #68
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I test drove a Cayman S and considered it many times over, but I fell in love with the M3 every time I test drove it for the last year. Since I have 2010 Z4 on lease and recently purchased a 2008 M3 with extremely low miles, it was a steal. If I had leased or even purchased a 2012 M3, my payments would be more than what I pay for the two cars put together. Not sure how much you would save depending on new/used and what you currently pay for your current cars. My insurance is not too bad since I have it all under one umbrella with the house.

I've only had the M3 for about 1 month and half. With work travel, I haven't had much chance to drive either car much

My "M-pressions" of the M3 so far are:
I love taking it in the switch backs and pushing M button. It just responds so much better and tightens up a lot. Very sharp and precise. Even in normal mode, it is still well composed and planted when pushed to the limits. I need to get used to the clutch, I'm still a bit jerky compared to my Z4 with easy to push clutch. I would have preferred it came with a short throw shifter similar to the Z4.

It took me 7 months to find a CPO used with Alpine/Coral Red with a 6 speed manual. I only cared to have NAV with EDC. But luckily I picked up a loaded one with only 8600 miles. Overall, this car is awesome! I plan to track it soon when I have some time.

I disagree that people think it just looks like an ordinary 3 series. I don't get that at all. I get a lot of props at the gas station every time.

I've been debating on getting the ZCP wheels, but I heard from the dealership parts guy that the 19" forged are better quality and pricier. Plus the fact that everyone has ZCP looking wheels already. I do like the new M5 wheels! I'm open to suggestions?

Good luck on whatever you decide.

With exception to black wheels, which I don't want, here is what mine looks like with 35% ceramic tint and CF OEM parts:
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      12-19-2011, 12:28 PM   #69
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I agree with you on the 2007 Cayman S. I was looking at them along with a 09 M3. Test drove both and the Cayman S was just not for me. Interior felt cheap, car was not that fast coming from a modified Z4MC and the overall experience was a 7/10. Z4MC was a solid 8/10 and the M3 was a 8.5/10.

I did see a new all blacked out Cayman R and it was like $80k. After being disappointed by the 2007 Cayman S I opted not to even look at the 2012 Cayman R. For that price you are getting into the 2005, 2006-2007 Lamborghini Gallardo range which I would gladly take over ANY Cayman.

So now having said that I bought the M3 and in OEM form the exterior needs a lot of work. Interior is done. On the Porsche Cayman S the exterior was awesome but the interior needed a lot of work.

So for me these cars boil down to preference really... You can't say anything negative about the OVERALL package of both.

And honestly the Cayman S or Cayman R is the rival of the BMW E86M (Z4MC or Z4MR) in reality, not the E92 M3.
In all honesty, the new gen cayman S is far superior to the e86 M. And the cayman R is leagues ahead - maybe best handling car in the world ATM. The 2006 cayman S and z4m were close with the cayman S just being more precise, a little quicker, better handling/feel and just a better car all around. And talk about shitty interior, the z4m wins that by a long shot. My cayman S ('06) interior as I said in prev post was better than my current e92 m3 with ext leather.

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      12-22-2011, 01:11 AM   #70
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Yeah, I'm really not getting the cheap interior comments AT ALL. I have an E90 right now, and the interior is far worse. The dash is not well put together and things move and creak if you touch them. The Cayman is SO much more solid. The design is just simpler and perhaps more traditional. Again, I have full leather - which does help.

The M3 E92 will definitely win on modern tech stuff, but as far as quality - no comparison IMO.

^^^ That white M3 is almost exactly how I would envision mine in the long run. Very, very nice. Except I would have black wheels.
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2. I have 15K on mine now and feel that the shifter is an absolute joy to use. Fast, precise shifts with a great 'mechanical feel'. At 800 miles I would have said the same thing as you.
I'm sorry, I could NEVER love that shifter. Personal preference. No matter how many miles I put on the car. I've had a ton of manuals and know what I like, and the stock shifter on the M3 is the opposite of what I like. One of the first things I would do to the car is a SSK+ZHP knob.
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      12-22-2011, 07:42 AM   #71
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Just an observation:

Gotta say that I don't get all of the "not even close", and "no comparison" type comments. (in any context, not just BMWs and P-cars)
It is always odd that we have in the M3 one of the finest FR chassis in the world, just as Porsche has one of the finest MR and RR chassis on the planet. Yet once the Kool-aid is drunk, one is crap and the other is nirvana.

I sold my porsche at a heavy loss, and it was because of the crap interior and the middling engineering/driving experience for $100K.

I guess because I tend to buy these cars based on these types of posts and find out that they are usually pretty great and for differing reasons...And if I don't see it, I learn that I need to buy more kool-aid!

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      12-22-2011, 12:37 PM   #72
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I'm going to have to disagree with the "base" Porsche interior being nicer than the e9x. You can tart up the interior so it's nicer, for example changing trims/painted trim, adaptive sport seats, extended leather but to do so is not a cheap proposition. There are a lot of hard plastics in the basic package, the Porsche silver trim is no better than BMWs and the basic seats are great, but not better than the m3s (which are also far more adjustable).

I like some of Porsche's electronics, but it's a mixed bag. 997 PCM is clearly worse than the current iDrive, Bose stereo is just OK and the basic is an abomination. I like Porsche's dials (I actually prefer the black to the S white background) and white lighting better than BMWs, and also the TPMS display. I think Porsche's HVAC also works alot better than BMWs also but part of that is due to a smaller cabin size.
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      12-22-2011, 06:21 PM   #73
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Yeah, I'm really not getting the cheap interior comments AT ALL. I have an E90 right now, and the interior is far worse. The dash is not well put together and things move and creak if you touch them. The Cayman is SO much more solid. The design is just simpler and perhaps more traditional. Again, I have full leather - which does help.

The M3 E92 will definitely win on modern tech stuff, but as far as quality - no comparison IMO.

^^^ That white M3 is almost exactly how I would envision mine in the long run. Very, very nice. Except I would have black wheels.

I'm sorry, I could NEVER love that shifter. Personal preference. No matter how many miles I put on the car. I've had a ton of manuals and know what I like, and the stock shifter on the M3 is the opposite of what I like. One of the first things I would do to the car is a SSK+ZHP knob.
You can't really compare your base model E90 to the m3 interior. While they do share a lot, extended leather and carbon leather trim makes a huge difference in upscaling the interior: http://www.flickr.com/photos/radiant...57625194054809

My interior doesn't squeak or rattle at all. While I haven't owned or driven a Cayman (or any porsche for that matter), I find the M3 interior nicer than my loaded 335i and world's apart from the 328i loaners I get.

I also think the M3 6MT is mediocre at best, but if it's the only car you drive, you get used to it.
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      12-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #74
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Shifter changes significantly after the first few thousand miles and it seems to be a combination of a) it getting much better and b) the driver learning to work with it. The gear change is very unforgiving if you do not have a good bit of experience with it. I drive the E9X M manual differently than any other. I can't claim to be any sort of manual expert but I have learned what works with the M over the last 15K miles and it is really has become quite fun to use as a result. I would not do SSK or ZHP knob, the added weight of the ZHP is not necessary, it looks out of place, and the stock shifter throws are just right when you get a hang of it.

I remember what it was like when I first got in the car in the Welt and started shifting on my way out. I was thinking to myself "shit, this is awful!" But it is a completely different experience now. For reference I had my "1200 mile service" done early (at around 900 miles), but did not notice a substantial change in shifter feel till around 2K. That was about the point that I realized that transmission could be operated with one finger if I modulated the throttle properly.
I don't want to get used to a bad shifter, I want to enjoy a good shifter. There's no way I wouldn't switch it out.

The car I drove had 30,000 miles so it was plenty broken in.

Quote:
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You can't really compare your base model E90 to the m3 interior. While they do share a lot, extended leather and carbon leather trim makes a huge difference in upscaling the interior: http://www.flickr.com/photos/radiant...57625194054809
It's more a quality vs. design issue. I felt the same about the M3 I drove, although the seats and trim were nicer. My Cayman just feels higher quality (but simpler too).

Btw - I love your car. That's exactly what I want, from the color combo to the mods you did. Well done!
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      12-28-2011, 03:32 PM   #75
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Coming from a 996tt x50 to a e92 m3, having own e30, e36, and e46's M's (with the exception of the e30 m), I like the appeal of the e9x m3.

The 996 was great, fast, tons of torque, tons of power, and a beast on both street and track. However, it's practicality was limited greatly. I'm a big guy, 6'3", so leg room in the Porsche was tight. Driving it back from Bay area to Arizona was rough, only because my legs started to cramp.

I briefly test drove the m3, first thing I noticed was lack of torque, but a ton of added comfort including an updated interior! I hate the idrive, but I want navigation.

While the 996 was a beast, I didn't think it was practical enough for me. I also had other issues which made the decision to sell it easy. Now that i've taken care of that, the 3 series is among my top choice for a new toy. Much of it being style and function, practical, but not over the top.

My 996 had some nice mods and a reflash would have put it at roughly 430hp and 500ftlbs to the wheels. However, the porsche and the bmw are in two completely different categories. Despite half of the torque, I gain better styling (imo), much more comfort, and a car I don't feel that I have to keep the miles off of it. Will I own a porsche again? Of course. But, I'll probably own two or three more BMW's before I step into another p-car.
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      12-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #76
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Cayman S vs. M3???

Ummmmm,.... keep the Cayman S. You will miss it. I am getting rid of my 2009 M3 and getting a Cayman. Once you drive one the M3 feels way too heavy and sluggish.
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      12-28-2011, 09:15 PM   #77
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Here is my take, I had a 987 the 2nd gen BoxsterS and recently moved to the M (3 mo ago). My Box was truely minimalist; 6spd, no tech/PASM.

Handling: Tie: similar for the larger mass

Steering: Boxster definitely gave more feedback to the texture of the road, M3 seems weighted but not the same

Acceleration/Power: M3 quicker of course, yet in past track days I caught up with the 987 to e92s in corners.

Braking: Don't think it's fair to compare Porsche 4 piston fronts/2 piston rears with track pads/SS lines to the stock M3 brakes, we'll see when I add SS. However no fade yet in the back roads.

Ride: M3 = 987 in full sport mode, comfort mode is better in the M3

I miss Box, but now I can take 4 ppl fast, truely excited for a track day in it.
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