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      04-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #23
LarThaL
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As a complete package for a street driven performance car, the M3 stands alone.

It has an absolutely perfect combination of power, feel, smoothness, sharpness, dynamics, luxury, refinement, utility, size and looks.

The closest competitors would probably be the Audi RS4 and RS5. Both very capable. The grip of the Audis make them much easier to drive hard with a margin of safety over the M3, but what you loose is the sharpness of the M3.

The Cayman is a phenomenal car, but you give a little on power, the subjective feel of the intoxicating high-revving V8 and utility.

There just isn't any one perfect car that can dominate others in every way, but the M3 is likely as close as you can get. I am discovering this more and more every day.
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      04-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #24
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I think it's the S2000 hands down (vis a vis feel and mechanical engineering). I've owned several S2000s, and still have one now.

I've gone through a 08 STi, 11 G37S, and a 11 Evo X all in the pursuit of having a daily drivable car with a similar feel and fun as the S2000.

I've wanted something with four seats in case I have some extra passengers, livable creature comforts, and quiet cabin, while at the same time offering near 50/50 weight distribution, rear wheel drive with an LSD, and a fun high revving NA engine (all characteristics of the S2000, and to me, the definition of a sports car).

After all the gyration, the M3 is the final answer. I've sworn off all wheel drive turbo machines for the foreseeable future.
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      04-15-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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M3 is a better-all-around car to live with and I think it's quite difficult to argue with this. However, I am just way obsessed by the 911.
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      04-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by py0413
M3 is a better-all-around car to live with and I think it's quite difficult to argue with this. However, I am just way obsessed by the 911.
I like the 911 GT3 variants quite a bit. I've test driven a few and gone on ride alongs at the track in a few. The thing that keeps me out of them for now is the rear weight bias. I'm still on the learning curve for track driving and the cayman's weight distribution and power/weight ratio is much more forgiving for me. When I'm ready, I'll move on to the GT3, but it makes me wonder why so many people are obsessed with these cars. Am I the only one that isn't ready for the less forgiving car?
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      04-15-2012, 09:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger22 View Post
I like the 911 GT3 variants quite a bit. I've test driven a few and gone on ride alongs at the track in a few. The thing that keeps me out of them for now is the rear weight bias. I'm still on the learning curve for track driving and the cayman's weight distribution and power/weight ratio is much more forgiving for me. When I'm ready, I'll move on to the GT3, but it makes me wonder why so many people are obsessed with these cars. Am I the only one that isn't ready for the less forgiving car?
People get obsessed on just the car and its capabilities, forgetting how it will really be used. A GT3 is a track car. Use it as such and it will be a phenomenal experience. Try to use it as a daily driver and you will need back surgery in about a year. Try to use it for long highway trips and you will come out very tired and feeling beat up. If you want a Porsche for the real world, get a Carrera S, but even so, your ride will be harsh compared to the M3.

Actually, the one car that nobody has mentioned yet is the Aston Martin Vantage. Similar power, weight, layout, etc, etc. You can pick up a 2007-08 model in the $70k's.
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      04-15-2012, 10:43 PM   #28
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Good thread idea and great responses. Please keep 'em coming.

I've wondered about the same thing. I haven't driven a whole lotta cars, but a new generation Cayman S is kinda the only one I see in my future besides the new M3.

I'd like to get into tracking but don't want to track my (incoming) DD M3. I don't have the budget at this point for a track car like the Cayman. But I have thought about picking up a used S2000 or E46 M3. For some reason, I'm not as enamoured with the Miata (test drove an NC) even those there's a lot of magazine praise for it. Now I'm thinking of the new Toyaburu FR-S/ BRZ twins. Great reviews so far, relatively inexpensive, and new cars... As I'm thinking about reliability and cost of consumables...
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      04-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieDriving View Post
Good thread idea and great responses. Please keep 'em coming.

I've wondered about the same thing. I haven't driven a whole lotta cars, but a new generation Cayman S is kinda the only one I see in my future besides the new M3.

I'd like to get into tracking but don't want to track my (incoming) DD M3. I don't have the budget at this point for a track car like the Cayman. But I have thought about picking up a used S2000 or E46 M3. For some reason, I'm not as enamoured with the Miata (test drove an NC) even those there's a lot of magazine praise for it. Now I'm thinking of the new Toyaburu FR-S/ BRZ twins. Great reviews so far, relatively inexpensive, and new cars... As I'm thinking about reliability and cost of consumables...
With the Cayman S, you will gain:

Out-of-this-world handling and responsiveness (not that the M3 sucks). Arguably the finest handling stock street car on the planet.

You will lose:

A bit of speed/acceleration capability and ride comfort. The ultra-short wheelbase on the cayman makes for a choppy ride so dont get it if it is going to see any real duty as a highway cruiser.

This was actually one of my biggest reasons in choosing an M3 over the Cayman S. My M3 sees a fair amount of highway cruising.
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      04-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #30
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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.
could not agree more. I was skeptical about the cayman R until i drove it around a track. You can actually squeeze every bit of power out of the Cayman R. Also the Mid engine setup is just perfect as the car doesn't get as unsettled diving under hard braking.

Only car i would put above a Cayman R based on my driving exp is the 458 italia. btw if anyone is ever in vegas you HAVE to checkout exoticracing.com I put 8 laps in a cayman R, 5 in a GTR and 5 in a 458 italia
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      04-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #31
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The main reason why I got into the M is because of it's a high revving engine - which is what I missed most about my AP1 S2000 (totaled it - not my fault The lightness is on a whole 'nother level than the 350Z (to my it's a pig) I believe they're 2900lbs. The only downside (if you call it that) was the loudness. But I absolutely loved to VTEC it in a tunnel. And who can argue with 120HP per liter??

If you're thinking of a RELIABLE, cost-effective track car... S2000 hands down.
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      04-30-2012, 12:38 PM   #32
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the cayman does look good and sounce really nice with aftermarket exaust. but it is kinda small for my taste and not really practical.

depend on what you need really.

If I'm going to get a new car in the same class as the m3 right now, i would go for the c63 amg because in canada it is 10k cheaper than the m3.

I like the c63 big engine (a tune away and you have 481hp). paint the brake red and add some carbon parts, would look sinister. I like the new interior in the c63 amg more as well.
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      06-04-2013, 08:39 AM   #33
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Cayman S
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      06-04-2013, 12:21 PM   #34
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LSx s2000 ftw
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      06-04-2013, 07:22 PM   #35
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Definitely the Cayman S. I believe it is very comparable if not better than the M3. However, the utility is where the Cayman looses.
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