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      04-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #1
Chemicals
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So, today I was wondering what other cars out there are like. I read alot about cars, but my own experience has given me a subjective quality I think is the most important: Smooth performance.

My first car was an old ass suburban, it was a POS and the doors didn't work anymore, nor did the AC or radio volume knob.

My second was a 6 speed MT 05 mustang, I purchased myself and it was another POS. It was brand new and over time erroded and died. Its resale was pitiful and everything rattled. I literally will never buy a Ford product again, and when I see a mustang I literally cringe and sometimes even get a sick to my stomach feeling because I hated the car that much. It was the absolute opposite of smooth.

My Nissan 370z (sport package, 6-MT) was next, I purchased it new and it was an entire new level of car. It was smooth up to a certain point (read: the entire upper band of its RPMs) and I loved mastering the handling and acceleration nuances of the car. The only downside was the tractor-like roar it had which made the whole car feel unstable and rough at the higher-end of the RPMs. I would definitely buy a japanese car again; but I really hope the engine characteristics are just the Z car...not all powerful V6s.

My current BMW M3 I feel has that amazing engine feel and the quiet refined feel. It is the next level. Very solid. I do miss the lightweightness of the 370z as well, however.

Other than extreme exotics, are there other cars that can deliver the same feel of a smooth high reving engine (m3), small light weight (370z), and the refined quietness in the cabin?

I was thinking the only thing that comes close is the cayman or gt3 variants of the porsche. I've also heard good things about the S2000. I say this because I was thinking about getting a track dedicated car that I can street as well, with the m3 being my DD and occasional tracker.

Last edited by Chemicals; 04-09-2012 at 07:17 AM.
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      04-09-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SehrSchnell View Post
911 or Cayman S... the S2000 isn't even in the same league at this point - fun little car, but really can't be compared to the rest you mentioned.

The 911 Carrera S is probably the closest to the M3 in terms of feel, performance, and practicality. However, its cost puts 911 in a different bracket.

The cayman is fantastic, but way underpowered (IMHO).
I totally agree with you on the Cayman...I stumbled on the TPC turbo upgrade...sounds preety insane. I wonder about reliability though. I've read mixed reviews.
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      04-09-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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370Z is not that light.

Try a Cayman S, although I am not sure you will still call it refined after the M3 experience. (But that might be a good thing).

Or a 996 S, they're cheap these days.
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      04-09-2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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What about an M coupe? Or too close to the Z?
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      04-09-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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      04-10-2012, 02:11 AM   #6
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What about an M coupe? Or too close to the Z?
I love the idea of the M Coupe. It is just so amazingly ugly to me, I could never drive it. I really think its hideous and I feel bad about that because I figured i'd love it if I drove it.
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      04-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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I have an E90 M3 and a new Cayman R. When I get out of my Cayman and in to the M, I feel like I'm driving a sloppy cadillac. I used to think the M was so efficient, smooth and controlled. Then I drove a Porsche. They are the next level of smooth and controlled; however, it does take a little seat time truly appreciate the differences. The M is still the ultimate all around car for DD and track work, but I'm not limited to that right now. So I am lucky enough to DD the M and use the Cayman on the track.

On a side note, don't be so quick to discount the power of the Cayman. I used to do that too. I always thought it was too weak for the price you pay, but this car has some hefty power curves and the weight is 700-900 lbs lighter than an M. Even though the peak power isn't as high as a Corvette or Mustang, the power under the curve is quite strong. This may explain why it's actually just as fast to 60 as the M is. Since I have both, I can compare the two quite well and I think the acceleration probably goes to my R just by a little bit. But then again, my M is loaded with all of the heavy options. All it took was a random Saturday test drive in a Spyder to change my mind about the power and ultimately get me to consider the Cayman for a track car.
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      04-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger22 View Post
I have an E90 M3 and a new Cayman R. When I get out of my Cayman and in to the M, I feel like I'm driving a sloppy cadillac. I used to think the M was so efficient, smooth and controlled. Then I drove a Porsche. They are the next level of smooth and controlled; however, it does take a little seat time truly appreciate the differences. The M is still the ultimate all around car for DD and track work, but I'm not limited to that right now. So I am lucky enough to DD the M and use the Cayman on the track.

On a side note, don't be so quick to discount the power of the Cayman. I used to do that too. I always thought it was too weak for the price you pay, but this car has some hefty power curves and the weight is 700-900 lbs lighter than an M. Even though the peak power isn't as high as a Corvette or Mustang, the power under the curve is quite strong. This may explain why it's actually just as fast to 60 as the M is. Since I have both, I can compare the two quite well and I think the acceleration probably goes to my R just by a little bit. But then again, my M is loaded with all of the heavy options. All it took was a random Saturday test drive in a Spyder to change my mind about the power and ultimately get me to consider the Cayman for a track car.
How much do Cayman R's weight? My fully loaded E92 M3 weighed in around 3500lbs (with akra evo and 3/4 tank of gas) 700-900 seems like a large overestimation unless those Cayman R's are well under 3000 lbs.
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      04-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #9
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1. High revving engine
2. Light weight
3. Refined cabin

If the other practicalities the M3 offers are not an issue for you then I'd say Cayman R. Power to weight ratio makes up for the lack of outright hp.
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      04-10-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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how light can you get an e92 m3 coupe without significantly disturbing the interior? Like, basically replacing the two front seats, keeping the back ones, and making only body/parts modifications to reduce weight further?
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      04-10-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3

How much do Cayman R's weight? My fully loaded E92 M3 weighed in around 3500lbs (with akra evo and 3/4 tank of gas) 700-900 seems like a large overestimation unless those Cayman R's are well under 3000 lbs.
Haha, that's funny. You must live on the moon.
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      04-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
How much do Cayman R's weight? My fully loaded E92 M3 weighed in around 3500lbs (with akra evo and 3/4 tank of gas) 700-900 seems like a large overestimation unless those Cayman R's are well under 3000 lbs.
Damn that's a light M3!! My 370z with everything taken out of it and me sitting in it weighed 3500 lbs. That was on a scale btw... you get that beast on the scale?

Hrmmm....
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      04-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemicals View Post
how light can you get an e92 m3 coupe without significantly disturbing the interior? Like, basically replacing the two front seats, keeping the back ones, and making only body/parts modifications to reduce weight further?
Seats, wheels, brakes, exhaust and CF trunk can net you around 200lbs. These are the easy 200lbs, but not cheap ($12-15k easily).

Frankly, if you add $15k to the cost of an M3 you end up in 997.2 territory, which already has all the performance/weight from the factory. I'm just not sure it's worth it, unless you absolutely have to drive a BMW.

The beauty of the M3 is its balance between the performance and comfort attributes. No sense trying to push it too much in either direction, IMO.
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      04-10-2012, 11:00 PM   #14
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Damn that's a light M3!! My 370z with everything taken out of it and me sitting in it weighed 3500 lbs. That was on a scale btw... you get that beast on the scale?

Hrmmm....
I got the weight from getting the car corner balanced last week.
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      04-10-2012, 11:02 PM   #15
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Haha, that's funny. You must live on the moon.
Maybe the earth's gravity shifted for a moment while I got the car corner balanced last week.
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      04-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #16
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Maybe the earth's gravity shifted for a moment while I got the car corner balanced last week.
Or you've saved 50lbs or so with your exhaust, brakes and wheels.
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      04-10-2012, 11:06 PM   #17
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Or you've saved 50lbs or so with your exhaust, brakes and wheels.
Well I did mention the exhaust in my first post. Wheels are stock. Also had a baby seat in the back.
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      04-10-2012, 11:08 PM   #18
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Well I did mention the exhaust in my first post. Wheels are stock. Also had a baby seat in the back.
Well my baby seat is made of helium.
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      04-10-2012, 11:32 PM   #19
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I got the weight from getting the car corner balanced last week.
Well dizzamn!
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      04-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I love the idea of the M Coupe. It is just so amazingly ugly to me, I could never drive it. I really think its hideous and I feel bad about that because I figured i'd love it if I drove it.
I had one for a few years and I have to say it was such a ridiculously fun car to drive, it sealed my passion for BMWs. It was my fourth, 325/525/750/Z3M(all mid 90s models) and by far the best of the lot. The nose looked like it stretched for miles, the handling was so great, and it was fun to drive on the highway. I got the same thing though, you either loved it or completely hated it. The estoril blue paint was and still is one of my favorite BMW colors... You should get one to track with, Im sure its a beast...

Some pix of mine w/18" BBS RXIIs. Grip for days...
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      04-11-2012, 04:35 AM   #21
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I'm actually thinking I might want an e46 m3 to just mess around in.
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      04-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger22 View Post
I have an E90 M3 and a new Cayman R. When I get out of my Cayman and in to the M, I feel like I'm driving a sloppy cadillac. I used to think the M was so efficient, smooth and controlled. Then I drove a Porsche. They are the next level of smooth and controlled; however, it does take a little seat time truly appreciate the differences.
+1. ex-Cayman S owner and ex-911s owner here. If you compare the M3 to the Cayman, I assure you the "cadillac" comparison is spot on; the cayman feels very crisp, very balanced and nimble. While not as fast as the M3, the driving experience in a cayman is altogether just a whole another level. As said from the above poster, very little time in the Cayman will have you very impressed. I cannot say the same about the 911 though. The rear engine feel takes some time getting used to but once the dynamics of the car is learned, it too is an amazing drive.

I honestly don't think there is another car that can compare itself to an M3. The M3 is impressive and very high performing for a 4 seating DD-able car. While in the category of a small size high performance vehicle there are other contenders, even those cars don't feel close to an M3.
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