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      01-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
James T. Kirk
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M3's closest Porsche...?

I've also noticed that out of all of the BMW's competitors, Porsche is one of the most highly regarded brands on this forum. As a result, I've begun some research on Porsche as a future purchase.

After spending quite a bit of time on Porsche's website, I find myself a bit dizzy from all of the combinations and permutations available. Rear wheel drive, all wheel drive, turbo, non-turbo... I don't know where to start.

Would someone please recommend which Porsche model is most equivalent to the E9X M3 in performance? Your recommendation can give me a starting point for which to focus.

Any recommendations on the next natural step up from the M3 would also be appreciated.
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      01-10-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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The logical choice would be a Carrera S from a M3. Unless you have some extra money and get a Turbo or GT3.
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      01-10-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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0-60, similar top speed, probably the vanilla carrera (911 997) is closest.

Lap time wise, depending on which track, the M3 can be quicker than the carrera S.

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      01-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
I've also noticed that out of all of the BMW's competitors, Porsche is one of the most highly regarded brands on this blog.....
What "blog" are you referring to?
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      01-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Agree with the above. I'd think a 2009 or greater Carrera S (C2S) would be a logical and meaningful move upwards. You get so much more than just a bigger engine with the S over the base Carrera.

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      01-10-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shift@red View Post
The base 911 and M3 will be neck and neck in nearly all performance (both 6mt and dual clutch transmissions), and a Cayman S will not be far behind. Any 'S' model will be faster (especially w/PDK) and handle better.
Once you hit the likes of GT3/RS, turbo, etc, there isnt a BMW that will touch them as they are in a different ballgame altogether.
Next logical step would probably be a 997S because it still combines world class performance/handling, luxury and a little bit of practicality.
Are you essentially recommending staying with rear-wheel drive?
That leaves the Carrera, Carrera S, and the Carrera GTS left on the table in the 110K and down price range. I probably wouldn't seriously consider a Cayman as I do want some luxury and PDK. PDK puts the GT3 out of the running for me.
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      01-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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You could always get a used 997 turbo...

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      01-10-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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C4(S)s add weight and money and give you more of a well planted cornering feel. Of course you get the wider a$$ too.

C2S or GTS would be my pick below a GT3. GTS really, wide body, X51, etc... Once you choose, you'll be driving yourself crazy picking options!
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      01-10-2011, 07:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Any recommendations on the next natural step up from the M3 would also be appreciated.
Since you're considering going from a sports sedan to a more focused sports car, I'm not sure there is a natural progression, depends on your goals and personal taste. I've owned a 997S, Cayman S, and 996 GT3, and all were great cars in their own way. The Cayman, similar to the M3, is forgiving, and can make a mediocre driver look good. The 911 platform cars require some attention to driving style, but are not as difficult to learn as some would suggest. Personally, I found the cost of options and service, combined with the elitism of too many owners, rendered the Porsche experience a bit disappointing. But, they are very good cars, no argument there.
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      01-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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If you're considering used and change your mind about PDK, I'd consider a 997.1 S over a newer base 997. They can be had for rather "cheap." Also some great deals on used GT3s out there.
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      01-10-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
If you're considering used and change your mind about PDK, I'd consider a 997.1 S over a newer base 997. They can be had for rather "cheap." Also some great deals on used GT3s out there.
I'd strongly consider a base .2 Carrera over a .1 Carrera S. Yes you will pay more but the .2 is argueably a better car; certainly in some ways. The 9A1 engine in the .2 is quite an advancement over the .1. Some of the .1's had IMS issues. The .2's no longer have an IMS and the engines weigh about 13 lbs less with far less moving parts. Power band is improved and they pump out nearly the same HP with better fuel economy as well.
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      01-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #12
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One cool thing about the turbo, that not many knows about is that you can make it rwd by lifting the hand brake a little, it is like a litte step where you put it and whola
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      01-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
After spending quite a bit of time on Porsche's website, I find myself a bit dizzy from all of the combinations and permutations available..
This is the truth, and coupled with the fact that there are so many cock Porsche sale people, trying to truly understand what you should order or what certain packages contain is a very arduous task.

It actually turned me off to buying a Porsche twice.
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      01-13-2011, 11:56 AM   #14
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If the question is still which Porsche would provide similar performance to the e9X M3, check out these lap times around VIR posted by Car and Driver. It looks like the M3, Carrera S and the Cayman S are within just a few tenths of each other. Pretty definitive info. Neither of the M3's reported here had ZCP comp package. ZCP would arguably shave some time off the lap.

29 3:04.2 CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE LL3 2/11
30 3:04.5 LOTUS EXIGE S LL3 8/07
31 3:05.4 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 2/10
32 3:05.4 LEXUS IS F LL2 2/11
33 3:05.6 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 11/08
34 3:05.6 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S LL3 2/10
35 3:05.8 PORSCHE CAYMAN S LL3 2/10

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      01-13-2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shift@red View Post
Not really difinitive at all.

A Carrera S is harder to drive than both the M3 and Cayman S and that alone is why the times are as they are.

Put a proper driver in the Carrera S and youd probably see a high 3:03.X or low 3:04.X

If you look at lap times on fastest between the two, the 997.2S has a commanding advantage over the m3 on every track there.
First, the original question here isn't which is faster, it's what is the M3's closest Porsche model performance wise. Right? These lap times are considered very good (if not definitive) measurements of the cars time and performance abilities. The Carrera S, M3, and Caymen S are in the same exact range (note, I'm not saying which is faster).

Second, if you're to make the assumption that a better driver would improve the Carrera S drivers time, then let's make the assumption that with a better driver and a ZCP package in the M3 it would get around the track faster too - again showing these cars are in the exact same ranges of performance and time capabilities.
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      01-13-2011, 01:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
If the question is still which Porsche would provide similar performance to the e9X M3, check out these lap times around VIR posted by Car and Driver. It looks like the M3, Carrera S and the Cayman S are within just a few tenths of each other. Pretty definitive info. Neither of the M3's reported here had ZCP comp package. ZCP would arguably shave some time off the lap.

29 3:04.2 CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE LL3 2/11
30 3:04.5 LOTUS EXIGE S LL3 8/07
31 3:05.4 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 2/10
32 3:05.4 LEXUS IS F LL2 2/11
33 3:05.6 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 11/08
34 3:05.6 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S LL3 2/10
35 3:05.8 PORSCHE CAYMAN S LL3 2/10
Nurburgring is by far a better and more definitive venue to determine pecking order. The Germans are far more precise in their approach to measurements, and the track itself with so many corners and undulations brings out far more of a car's true capability (not so point and shoot as a modern closed course). You'll find the M3 is most similar to the base 997 and Cayman S. The .2 997S was 15 seconds quicker thanks mostly in part to PDK (.1 about half that quicker with Sport Chrono Plus). Still all these Porsches are in the ballpark of the M3's performance. I certainly wouldn't buy/drive a car based on someone else's absolute best lap time around a given course. I purchased my 997S based on wanting the most enjoyable car to own and operate at a given price point. Who wouldn't want a .2 997S or GTS but I'm not willing to buy new when they'll depreciate by one-third in 18 months. I can wait. Pre-owned GT3s are still over $100K.
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      01-13-2011, 01:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shift@red View Post
The point I was getting at was this. The M3 and Cayman S are easier to drive so a less skilled driver is going to be able to extract more from them with less skill, which is why the times are similar. So, whereas mostly any driver can drive an M3 or Cayman S at 9/10th, the same driver will only be about to hit 7/10s maybe 8/10s on a 911 without previously learning its platform.
I agree a better driver will improve lap times in all the cars here, but there is more (time) to be gained from a better driver in a 911 than a Cayman S or M3.

The 997.2S holds a siginificant advantage as shown by the times.

http://fastestlaps.com/comparisons/b..._facelift.html

As far as which Porsche is closest to the M3, it is the BASE 911.
So, I would say the answer to the OP question is,

Based on the times presented, and some speculation as to driver abilities and differing options, the M3's performance appears to sit between that of the Carrera S and Caymen S, with a leaning toward the Caymen S.
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      01-13-2011, 01:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
So, I would say the answer to the OP question is,

Based on the times presented, and some speculation as to driver abilities and differing options, the M3's performance appears to sit between that of the Carrera S and Caymen S, with a leaning toward the Caymen S.
http://fastestlaps.com/comparisons/p...3_e92_dkg.html

Pretty close
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      01-13-2011, 04:08 PM   #19
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Posers buy 911's when they can have higher end Corvettes if track times and performance is the main criteria.
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      01-13-2011, 04:26 PM   #20
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Posers buy 911's when they can have higher end Corvettes if track times and performance is the main criteria.
Yep, and I'd much rather pose in my GT3 than anything else.
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      01-13-2011, 10:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R A W L S View Post
If the question is still which Porsche would provide similar performance to the e9X M3, check out these lap times around VIR posted by Car and Driver. It looks like the M3, Carrera S and the Cayman S are within just a few tenths of each other. Pretty definitive info. Neither of the M3's reported here had ZCP comp package. ZCP would arguably shave some time off the lap.
29 3:04.2 CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE LL3 2/11
30 3:04.5 LOTUS EXIGE S LL3 8/07
31 3:05.4 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 2/10
32 3:05.4 LEXUS IS F LL2 2/11
33 3:05.6 BMW M3 COUPE LL2 11/08
34 3:05.6 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S LL3 2/10
35 3:05.8 PORSCHE CAYMAN S LL3 2/10
The fact that the M3 time was achieved with Pilot Cups instead of the OEM PS2's would likely negate the quicker time of the ZCP. Pretty much a wash at the end of the day.
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      01-14-2011, 01:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Are you essentially recommending staying with rear-wheel drive?
That leaves the Carrera, Carrera S, and the Carrera GTS left on the table in the 110K and down price range. I probably wouldn't seriously consider a Cayman as I do want some luxury and PDK. PDK puts the GT3 out of the running for me.
sound like you want a Carrera GTS.
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