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      03-04-2012, 09:19 AM   #1
saildoc
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M3 vs C63 AMG vs Cayman R vs 991S

So the journey for replacing my M3 is over. I had a 2009 M3 DCT E92 with issues that were never resolved. I looked around for a replacement car that would make me feel good every time I got in it and not angry at BMWNA for not living up to their end of the bargain.
I drove a 2012 C63 AMG. Big torquey engine, lots of power at anytime. Nice interior. Very numb steering. Little communication with the road-however nice firm ride which I like.
Porsche 991S. Over all a lot like my E92 M3. Very cush, not the classic 911 interior I have experienced so many times before. Very high quality materials and design. No longer the edgy rear engine car I was expecting. Much more hooked up and predictable. Quick but way too quiet-no engine or exhaust noise can be heard inside reducing the aural connection to the car. PDK was boring but competent. Not really a sports car anymore. But a 911 that would be easy to live with every day.
Cayman R. Sweet. Very snug seats and interior. High quality materials. The body has great lines in person. While it is not the fastest car in this group it definitely felt like it: very eager and crisp. Extremely responsive and agile. Most fun I have ever had outside my track car. Definitely can hear the engine. Ride is very firm but not harsh. Even though it has 85 less bhp and 20 lbs less torque than the M3, the car weighs around 700 lbs less. It feels much quicker off the line than the M3-instant torque. The M3 has more top end grunt that I only experienced on the track at 7000 plus rpm. Beautiful steering feel and manual transmission is the best you can buy right now. Bought it. Done. Cant wait to go drive it again. Like being 16 again.

Last edited by saildoc; 03-04-2012 at 09:22 AM. Reason: typo
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      03-04-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Please keep the updates coming. I haven't lusted over a car (at least one I can afford) in a long time, but the Cayman R really has my eye. Thanks for the post!

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      03-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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If you're thinking of the Cayman R you should also look into the Boxster Spyder.

I drove the Spyder at the Porsche World Tour I was invited to last year and I really liked it a lot.

Too bad all the cars we drive were PDK's... It seems that in previous work tours they would go through too many clutches so now all cars are PDK's.

It's a tough choice between the Cayman R and the Boxster Spyder although a new body style is coming out so you may have to wait on that one.

I really disliked the 911's on the track. They really felt too weird. I really felt that the front was too light and all the weight was in the back. They require a different driving style that is completely different from any other car.

If you can get a Cayman R or Boxster Spyder and get maybe 50hp in full bolt ins I think that would be a damn fun second car. I wouldn't have any of them as my main cars just as second cars.
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      03-04-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Congrats! Caymans are great driver's cars.
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      03-04-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Congrats! Can't wait to see the pics.
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      03-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Montreal View Post
If you're thinking of the Cayman R you should also look into the Boxster Spyder.

I drove the Spyder at the Porsche World Tour I was invited to last year and I really liked it a lot.

Too bad all the cars we drive were PDK's... It seems that in previous work tours they would go through too many clutches so now all cars are PDK's.

It's a tough choice between the Cayman R and the Boxster Spyder although a new body style is coming out so you may have to wait on that one.

I really disliked the 911's on the track. They really felt too weird. I really felt that the front was too light and all the weight was in the back. They require a different driving style that is completely different from any other car.

If you can get a Cayman R or Boxster Spyder and get maybe 50hp in full bolt ins I think that would be a damn fun second car. I wouldn't have any of them as my main cars just as second cars.
The Sheer Balance of the Cayman makes it a great daily driver, especially with PASM.
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      03-04-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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You should have tried a 997 gts. Those care are being discounted majorly and have amazing steering feel and engine noise. They can also be driven comfortably on a daily basis. The buckets in the cayman r are not very comfortable but I agree with you about how responsive the engine is and I also agree about the manual transmission in that car, one of the best I've ever experienced. The handling of the cayman r is amazing, there's no doubt about that, however the 911 gts provides better steering feel, way better seats, more power and more entertaining handling. Plus it looks a helluva lot better than the cayman. You can't go wrong with the cayman r though it really is a fantastic car. The best handling, best driers car I've personally have ever experienced but I wanted something I can use comfortably every day not just on the weekend.
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      03-04-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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Fully loaded C63 AMG - ~81K.
Fully Loaded M3 - 75k
Fully loaded 991 Carrera S - 100k+

While they're base price is the same, fully loaded, that changes.
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      03-04-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Congrats, Cayman R is a great car!
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      03-04-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rated ///M View Post
Fully loaded C63 AMG - ~81K.
Fully Loaded M3 - 75k
Fully loaded 991 Carrera S - 100k+

While they're base price is the same, fully loaded, that changes.
Fully loaded 991 costs closer to 140k
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      03-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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Congrats, saildoc. Post up some pics when you have them. Have thought about doing the same thing when I make the decision to go to a 2 car setup.
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      03-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Congrats!

I had the opportunity to drive a number of Porsche models at the World Road Show last year (they had 997s and not 991s there) and came away most impressed with the Boxster Spyder and Cayman R. Since i don't do convertibles the Cayman R is the one I would own if I could.

Please post up some pics when you have time.
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      03-05-2012, 11:56 AM   #13
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Coming from a Cayman S. I agree. The Cayman S is one of the best driving cars in history under $80k. I would even say its the best driver's car under $90k.

When I purchased my 2008 Cayman S new, I was actually looking at the Carrera non S, and the M3. I test drove both. I liked both but then I took the cayman for a spin. Yes it feels fast for 300hp car. It feels like an extension of your own body - like putting on a glove. There is a great connection with the road, not harsh in any way but it makes you feel like you can do anything. The engine sounds sweet.

My only issues are:
  1. Cayman is the limited interior room. You cannot recline the seats much and there are no back seats.
  2. The styling of the car. The car is kinda small and alot of girls like the car which a good thing, but in Los Angeles i see alot of girls driving it.
  3. Engine right behind the seats gets my back sweaty during summer.
  4. HP/TQ. Wish it had more.
I still love the Cayman and may consider buying the new body style comes out. Ill have to see it in person but the photos of the new boxster look pretty good.
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      03-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #14
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      03-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KKM3 View Post
Fully loaded 991 costs closer to 140k
^^^This!^^^

Also, congrats on the new cayman r saildoc!

A write up of the car would be nice when compared to the M3.
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      03-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #16
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No doubt the 991 costs more, but you can get a nicely optioned example, with most of the go fast goodies minus the ceramic brakes for about $105K
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      03-05-2012, 09:56 PM   #17
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No doubt the 991 costs more, but you can get a nicely optioned example, with most of the go fast goodies minus the ceramic brakes for about $105K
What are most of the go fast goodies you speak of? Sport chrono package plus? Thats the only option box u can check if you want to be at or below 105k
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      03-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #18
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My boss has a Cayman R which I drive pretty frequently back to back with my m3. Both of our leases are going to end at the same time and at first I thought for sure I'd buy out the m3, but the Cayman is growing on me very rapidly. Every time you throw it into a corner it just amazes me, plus much better gas mileage and much less common. Definitely doesn't have all the amenities of the m3, but still very easy to live with daily. Tough choice....
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      03-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #19
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See you over on Planet 9 saildoc. I was in a similar position a couple of years ago and I got a great deal on my Cayman S. it has been a great car and I picked up some horsepower by adding a Remus exhaust and an EVOMS intake. It is a great track car plus 21 mpg in the city is not bad.

I still have a special place in my heart for BMW though.

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      03-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #20
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First 3 days in Cayman R compared to M3

Ok, this car is so much fun to drive. I actually can't wait until work is over to get in it and drive it home.
The reviews of the car reported wind and road noise. It is actually quieter than my M3 was. I can't hear any road noise-might be the crappy Bridgestone RE50 tires. My M3 had Contis and then Yoko Advan Sports, they were both much louder. There is very little wind noise, even at 80 mph and above, much less than the M3, the Cayman has a very slippery shape. What you do hear is the engine noise bouncing off the large rear window. Not unpleasant but you know the engine is doing stuff. With the porsche sport exhaust button pushed the tone changes from mechanical chains and valves to F1 ripping shreak. You don't hear it in the car as much as around the car. I can still hear the radio and use the cell phone with the PSE baffles open.
The ride is very different than the M3. I had the M dynamic system and it the R's suspension feels like the sport setting. It has never been harsh but I can tell there is not much suspension travel to soak up bumps. You really get a sense that the front of the car is very light and it moves alot over bumps where the M3 had a ton of weight sitting on the front axel to crush the bumps and keep things dampened down.
Taking turns is a whole different feel. The steering feels about right-not too light or heavy-hooked up and very immediate. You know exactly what the front tires are experiencing through the steering wheel feedback. No tramlining or oscillations however which I did feel at times in the M3. You really get the sense that you think the car through turns. There is essentially no body roll in the hardest turns. It is so easy to thread your way through traffic in this car-you sense that the weight is centered right behind you, there is little mass at the ends of the car, very different from a front engine M3 or a rear engine 911.
The brake feel is not as good as the M3. I have seen posts about people upgrading to the GT3 master cylinder on Cayman S's so that may be an option.
The clutch feel and shifter is truely beautiful. Effortless and precise. Heel and toe downshifting is natural and easy. I don't miss my DCT or a PDK. This may be one of the last cars made with a spectaular manual gear box and I am glad I have it.
The torque off the line is much better than the M3. It launchs with little effort. The car just feels fast all the time while in the M3 it felt like it was in sloth mode unless you really got into the gas and made it work. Just kind of took the fun out of driving such a powerful car. I definately have to watch my speed with the R because it just wants to go, and combination of a willing engine and great exhaust sound is intoxicating.
Downside? so far a few. It has only two seats so If you ever need to carry more it won't be for you. Limited storage inside the car-no door pockets, so you have to plan how much crap you are bringing-my ML320 is always full of junk I accumulate so this may be a good thing. It doesn't have keyless go so I actually have to turn the key to start it (OMG!!!) and it is on the left of the steering wheel.
The analog speedometer is hard to see and kinda of weird so I end up watching the digital speedo in the analog Tach face.
The car is low so you gotta watch your approach angles to not scrape when go up and down driveways.
I will add some photos and videos as I go along with more comments.
Any prospective buyers please feel free to ask questions.
I am not totally against BMW's even though I had a bad experience with M3, though I had three other BMW's in the past without issues. I am even eyeing the new M6 has I will soon have a daughter and I don't see her riding in the Cayman for a few years....
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      03-06-2012, 12:24 PM   #21
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What are most of the go fast goodies you speak of? Sport chrono package plus? Thats the only option box u can check if you want to be at or below 105k
Just playing with their configurator before. PDK, PDCC with Pasm, sports chrono and leather power seats was about 110K. But I enjoy minimal options myself.

I'd probably pass on the PDK so just about 106K or so.
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      03-07-2012, 04:18 PM   #22
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Any prospective buyers please feel free to ask questions.
Going to drive on this weekend, but it has PDK... Did you get 6MT or PDK? Anything to look out for?
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