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      01-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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M3 vs. Cayman S track comparison

Interesting comparison of track performance of M3 vs. Cayman S. Written by planet-9.com forum member Porschefile back in Mar 2010:


My comparison between E92 M3 and Cayman S at the track
I had the chance to take a E92 M3 DCT to the track yesterday and I was really impressed. I have been tracking a Cayman S for awhile, and I love it on track. The main differences are the power and the way they feel in the corners, the M3 has way more power and is more stable through high speed corners (because the stock Cayman suspension is less than optimal and the stock M3 suspension on sport is stiffer). I took the M3 to VIR, and I have done several track days at VIR in the last year in the Cayman. The only mods to the M3 are eisenmann race exhaust, ATE brake fluid, Yokohama AD08's and H&R springs.

Powertrain: The engine sounds amazing and has great power top end and pretty good torque. The thing never over heated, and I was running it hard. The transmission is awesome, it is fun, sounds great downshifting (I can heel toe but it doesn't sound as great and consistent), and easily shaves a second or more off each lap. The Cayman engine feels weaker obviously, but the torque isn't drastically different.

Handling: The M3 on the sportiest suspension setting feels very planted on the track. It has very little body roll and feels stable at speed (150 or so at VIR and it felt great). I can carry 5 mph or so more through the upper esses at VIR than I can in the Cayman, but the Cayman is faster through oak tree. The m3 feels heavy in the slow sections, whereas the Cayman is nimble.

Brakes: Uh oh, the M3's only major fault. I was running stock pads and rotors and I was not pleased at all with the stopping power. They had decent feel but lacked stopping power even before I overheated them. I got pad fade bad several times after long straights, to the point that I had to brake much earlier in case they failed. The rotors are completely warped after one hard track day. I ran the Cayman with stock brakes and it had no issues whatsoever, and had more bite and torque.

Overall the M3 is a somewhat superior track car overall, especially with the DCT. I really enjoyed running it around VIR. Put some brakes on the M3 and it's the way to go, especially considering it is comfortable and has a back seat. I may have to come back to BMW's

My Laptimes: 6MT Cayman S with GT3 seats, harnesses, harness bar, performance friction 97 pads, ate fluid, nitto nt05's (285/235), GT3 cup brake ducts: 2:21 at VIR full

E92 M3 with Eisenmann race, Yoko AD08's (295/245), ATE fluid, H&R springs: 2:17 at VIR full

YouTube - E92 M3 at VIR Full Course Wilderness Trail PCA
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      01-02-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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Very good time at VIR for this time of year - cold track, but great for the engine performance. Surprised at your brake experience. I run stock rotors/cals but use PS race pads. No issues, even during August 100 degree days. Brake performance is execellent. My times with BFG R1s (275/35/18) and stock everything else is in the 2:20 range, and I really have to lean on it.
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      01-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
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Very well write-up.
I had a well-modded cayman for 2 years. I agree on most of the points. My guess for the reason why M3 had better laptime is due to the tires.
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      01-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
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Not me--it was written by a Cayman S owner over on the planet-9 forum after he took an E92 M3 out for a track day. I ran across it and thought I'd share it as it is an interesting comparison of the two cars in a track setting.
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      01-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Nice find
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      01-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
The rotors are completely warped after one hard track day.
What a NOOB!


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      01-03-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Sweet
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      01-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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More like pad deposit ??!?
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      01-09-2012, 11:28 AM   #9
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I recently bought a lightly used Cayman S (my second), a 2010 with LSD and PASM. I have my ’11 E92 on the market (my third M3). Having a lot of track time in these cars, my take on the overall experience might be a bit different than the concensus here (realizing, of course, this is not a neutral forum). I think the M3, especially with DCT, is without doubt the faster car around most tracks, especially one that rewards hp as much as VIR full course. The Cayman stock suspension, assuming PASM on sport setting, is at least as stiff as the M3, and certainly offers adequate control with the stock springs. The limited slip differential option in the Cayman makes a very noticeable difference in its character in mid-turn through exit, with much easier rotation and exceptional utilization of the power available. Yes, the M3 feels more “planted”, due mostly to the amount and distribution of its weight. But, since we aren’t talking about winning or losing here, it’s really a matter of which car is more fun to drive, assuming your budget allows either car, and, you don’t need the utility of the sedan. I continue to believe that both the M3 and the Cayman S, are the best cars in their respective classes.
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      01-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elh0102 View Post
I recently bought a lightly used Cayman S (my second), a 2010 with LSD and PASM. I have my ’11 E92 on the market (my third M3). Having a lot of track time in these cars, my take on the overall experience might be a bit different than the concensus here (realizing, of course, this is not a neutral forum). I think the M3, especially with DCT, is without doubt the faster car around most tracks, especially one that rewards hp as much as VIR full course. The Cayman stock suspension, assuming PASM on sport setting, is at least as stiff as the M3, and certainly offers adequate control with the stock springs. The limited slip differential option in the Cayman makes a very noticeable difference in its character in mid-turn through exit, with much easier rotation and exceptional utilization of the power available. Yes, the M3 feels more “planted”, due mostly to the amount and distribution of its weight. But, since we aren’t talking about winning or losing here, it’s really a matter of which car is more fun to drive, assuming your budget allows either car, and, you don’t need the utility of the sedan. I continue to believe that both the M3 and the Cayman S, are the best cars in their respective classes.
Well said. Thanks.
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      03-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #11
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I wrote that writeup and have recently been lurking around m3post since I just bought a E92 M3 DCT, thought I'd clarify a couple of statements on here.

Re: Tires being the main reason the M was faster: The Cayman also had wider stickier tires than stock. The time difference was about half DCT and half the more stable/higher top speed nature of the M IMO.

Re: Noob/brake deposit theory: I ran a 2:17 in a near stock M3 and have raced with NASA since then in a e36 m3, not a noob not an expert. The car had major vibrations driving home to the point that it was scary braking normal levels on the highway. The car was under warranty so I took it to a dealer, which replaced all 4 rotors and pads and told me the rotors were all out of spec [warped].

Also, the cayman of course braked way better because it is 600-700 lb lighter, has awesome brakes, and had race pads.

Obviously seeing as how I sold my Cayman and bought an M3, I feel that the M3 is more fun as well as faster.

Anyway, look forward to seeing you guys at the track and this seems to be a useful forum for E92 m3 track folks!

Vid of the M3 in question:
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      03-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #12
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E90 M3 drivers like it too!

The noob comment was based on that the stock pads start laying down uneven deposits when the improving tracker gets to that point in their driving ability and complains of warped rotors! It's a right of passage!

Thanks for the video. I am way behind you on VIR times, so it is good to see these videos!
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      03-27-2012, 05:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
Re: Noob/brake deposit theory: I ran a 2:17 in a near stock M3 and have raced with NASA since then in a e36 m3, not a noob not an expert. The car had major vibrations driving home to the point that it was scary braking normal levels on the highway. The car was under warranty so I took it to a dealer, which replaced all 4 rotors and pads and told me the rotors were all out of spec [warped].
I seriously doubt this. The M3 discs are pretty sturdy. I do believe the shudder is more likely caused by pad deposits. When measuring disc run-out/flatness, pad deposit will seem like a warped rotor... Street pads are especially sensitive to pad deposit. Proper technique at the track will minimize the deposit and a few days/weeks of street driving should eventually get rid of it.

I have attached an interesting link for reference:

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-su...nd-other-myths

PS Cool vid . Always enjoy seeing an M3 at the track Good driving, nice to see how you stick to the line even if the car in front of you is all over the place.

Last edited by CanAutM3; 03-27-2012 at 05:48 PM.
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      03-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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Welcome to the party!!! IMHO this is the best all around car on the planet. It's got everything, style, tradition, utility, elegance, performance. Not many cars that can pull off a day at the track and a night on the town in the same day. Looking forward to some more impressions and enjoy your ride, it rocks
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      03-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #15
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Great thread, thanks to paradocs an porschefile posting up their experiences. Would be curious how this write up would change (if at all) on more of a handling circuit.
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      03-28-2012, 07:50 AM   #16
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I'm with porschefile as far as the stock brake goes. The stock pads are horrible for the track and melts as soon as you do any kind of aggressive braking. That results in warp rotors and not just deposits on the rotor. This was confirmed two times, one from the dealership who replaced them under warranty and the second time by the shop that I paid out of pocket to replace. The stock brake gets too hot, the rotors can't dissipate the heat fast enough, and the pads are crap. Everything I've said only applies to the fronts though, the rears work fine even on stock pads at the track.
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      03-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyav8tor View Post
I'm with porschefile as far as the stock brake goes. The stock pads are horrible for the track and melts as soon as you do any kind of aggressive braking. That results in warp rotors and not just deposits on the rotor. This was confirmed two times, one from the dealership who replaced them under warranty and the second time by the shop that I paid out of pocket to replace. The stock brake gets too hot, the rotors can't dissipate the heat fast enough, and the pads are crap. Everything I've said only applies to the fronts though, the rears work fine even on stock pads at the track.
I also agree.

I had my rotors and pads changed twice with the warranty due to them being warped. Stock pads are really bad (i guess depending on driver speeds and track).

I was also told it should be deposits but after 2 weeks of it not going away i brougbt it to the dealer and was confirmed they were warped.

I rememeber Leh Keen having the same problem and people that didnt know at the time that he was a pro racer were saying he didnt know how to drive. Im not saying im anywhere near his level... Lol
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      03-28-2012, 12:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Montreal View Post
I also agree.

I had my rotors and pads changed twice with the warranty due to them being warped. Stock pads are really bad (i guess depending on driver speeds and track).

I was also told it should be deposits but after 2 weeks of it not going away i brougbt it to the dealer and was confirmed they were warped.

I rememeber Leh Keen having the same problem and people that didnt know at the time that he was a pro racer were saying he didnt know how to drive. Im not saying im anywhere near his level... Lol
I don't know if you guys had a chance to read the article I referred to earlier, it is very interesting in terms of explaining how pad deposit happens. I'll repost the link:

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-su...nd-other-myths

I do agree that the stock pads are very prone to bad deposit though.

I guess if you can get BMW to replace your rotors under warranty, you don't really care...

However, once you are off warranty, it can become costly to replace rotors that are still perfectly good. I've experienced this brake shudder issue after track events with my E92 M3, my previous E46 M3 and with multiple non BMW cars before that. Changing your habits helps a lot reducing the deposit: proper bedding, cool down laps, not applying the brakes when they are hot and the car is stopped, etc... If the deposit is severe, it can take more than 2 weeks of street driving to remove. To accelerate the process, you can install a very abrasive pad (like Hawk Blue for example). This should remove the deposit in a day or two.

If you are rich, go ahead and change the discs. I'd rather keep the money for sticky tires .
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      03-28-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
I don't know if you guys had a chance to read the article I referred to earlier, it is very interesting in terms of explaining how pad deposit happens. I'll repost the link:

http://www.stoptech.com/technical-su...nd-other-myths

I do agree that the stock pads are very prone to bad deposit though.

I guess if you can get BMW to replace your rotors under warranty, you don't really care...

However, once you are off warranty, it can become costly to replace rotors that are still perfectly good. I've experienced this brake shudder issue after track events with my E92 M3, my previous E46 M3 and with multiple non BMW cars before that. Changing your habits helps a lot reducing the deposit: proper bedding, cool down laps, not applying the brakes when they are hot and the car is stopped, etc... If the deposit is severe, it can take more than 2 weeks of street driving to remove. To accelerate the process, you can install a very abrasive pad (like Hawk Blue for example). This should remove the deposit in a day or two.

If you are rich, go ahead and change the discs. I'd rather keep the money for sticky tires .
I'll stick to my side with Leh and the service techs, that they warped. I felt like my 2:17 was quick til I rode with Leh at VIR, which quickly showed me that I am a complete beginner compared with a real pro. I think he did like 2:08 in his lightly modded M3.
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      03-28-2012, 01:00 PM   #20
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I am aware of all the literatures out there regarding this issue but from my experience it all comes down to the crappy OEM pads and it will warp the rotors. The shop I had replace my rotors the second time is a race shop, Tauber Motorsport (Germany) and if they say the rotors were warped, I'm going to believe them.
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      03-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #21
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I am surprised there are not more posts about warped rotors at the track based on the discussion here. I am also surprised that the rear rotors needed replacing at the same time as the fronts with the M3's brake balance.

Since switching to race pads, and going through a set of Hawk DTC-70's in five track days, I haven't had any of the symptoms of shudder under braking associated with either pad deposit with OEM pads or warped rotors. However I did have front rotors replaced due to small cracks forming at the venting holes. Using race pads, the kinetic energy dispersion and temperatures are the same (kinetic energy is higher by v^2) as using OEM. If the rotors were warping under these conditions, wouldn't the problem get worse with better pads?
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      03-28-2012, 05:11 PM   #22
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The problem doesn't come out at all unless you're really pushing the car. The stock brake pads are the worst from what I hear, I don't know the engineering behind that.

My game plan is to get some PFC's (my fav pad), proper ducts, fluid, Ti plates, and see how that goes. If that doesn't work then PFC rotors too. I'm going to miss my 2500lb E36 braking-wise.

Last edited by Porschefile; 03-28-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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