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      08-25-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
LarThaL
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Drove my M3 and a 991S back-to-back today

This should come as no surprise, but overall, the newest 911S is just a superior performance car to the M3. It is faster, turns sharper and has gobs more grip.

That said, there were two areas where the M3 was clearly superior IMO.

1. The ride/handling balance in the M3 is better. Sure the Porsche corners better, but you definitely give up some ride comfort for this. It is not harsh, but lacks the suppleness of the M3 suspension. To drive on public roads and especially on longer trips, the M3 is clearly better.

2. The steering (and this surprised me) is better in the M3. Really must say that I hate the electric steering in the Porsche. It really does not communicate like the M3's. it is not horrible, but for a car that is otherwise so superb in its capabilities, a good bit of the tactile feedback of what your car is doing seems gone.

Other than that, I gotta say that the 991S is a phenomenal machine. The engine, while not as smooth revving, feels very gutsy. The exhaust sound is decent. No understeer whatsoever. The car goes exactly where you put it, and even in RWD guise, the limits of traction are very high.

In the end, one concludes that the M3 is a maximally tuned practical transport vehicle, while the 911 is a pure performance machine with creature comforts added in.

Does it blow the M3 away? No. But it is clearly a superior performance car.
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      08-25-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
This should come as no surprise, but overall, the newest 911S is just a superior performance car to the M3. It is faster, turns sharper and has gobs more grip.

That said, there were two areas where the M3 was clearly superior IMO.

1. The ride/handling balance in the M3 is better. Sure the Porsche corners better, but you definitely give up some ride comfort for this. It is not harsh, but lacks the suppleness of the M3 suspension. To drive on public roads and especially on longer trips, the M3 is clearly better.

2. The steering (and this surprised me) is better in the M3. Really must say that I hate the electric steering in the Porsche. It really does not communicate like the M3's. it is not horrible, but for a car that is otherwise so superb in its capabilities, a good bit of the tactile feedback of what your car is doing seems gone.

Other than that, I gotta say that the 991S is a phenomenal machine. The engine, while not as smooth revving, feels very gutsy. The exhaust sound is decent. No understeer whatsoever. The car goes exactly where you put it, and even in RWD guise, the limits of traction are very high.

In the end, one concludes that the M3 is a maximally tuned practical transport vehicle, while the 911 is a pure performance machine with creature comforts added in.

Does it blow the M3 away? No. But it is clearly a superior performance car.
Pretty balanced comparison Did u notice that the PDK has a slight lag when made to shift unlike the instant response of the DCT? The PDK however, is smoother in auto mode and low speed.
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      08-25-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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look man... I just went through this.

I had been debating the 911 vs ///M purchase for almost a year and finally bought an M3 a few months back.... why you stirring my emotions?!?!?

lol

... in all reality, I'm glad to hear you think this way. I was able to attend the local 991 release party and fell in love with it. The new interior is amazing (even if the "purists" don't like it), and the new lower/wider design is much more aggressive. not to mention the numerous mechanical changes... Maybe I'll let some others eat the 40% depreciation and snag one in a couple years.

... that gives me plenty of time to talk the wife into it.
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      08-25-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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Isn't the new M3/M4 going to get electronic steering?
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      08-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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That is one of the most balanced and honest reviews I've ever read on here. I'm sure accurate as well. Thanks
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      08-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyNate
That is one of the most balanced and honest reviews I've ever read on here. I'm sure accurate as well. Thanks
+1

Would love if the op had any other write ups to add to the mix. Neutral ground is hard to come by in forum land.
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      08-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
This should come as no surprise, but overall, the newest 911S is just a superior performance car to the M3. It is faster, turns sharper and has gobs more grip.

That said, there were two areas where the M3 was clearly superior IMO.

1. The ride/handling balance in the M3 is better. Sure the Porsche corners better, but you definitely give up some ride comfort for this. It is not harsh, but lacks the suppleness of the M3 suspension. To drive on public roads and especially on longer trips, the M3 is clearly better.

2. The steering (and this surprised me) is better in the M3. Really must say that I hate the electric steering in the Porsche. It really does not communicate like the M3's. it is not horrible, but for a car that is otherwise so superb in its capabilities, a good bit of the tactile feedback of what your car is doing seems gone.

Other than that, I gotta say that the 991S is a phenomenal machine. The engine, while not as smooth revving, feels very gutsy. The exhaust sound is decent. No understeer whatsoever. The car goes exactly where you put it, and even in RWD guise, the limits of traction are very high.

In the end, one concludes that the M3 is a maximally tuned practical transport vehicle, while the 911 is a pure performance machine with creature comforts added in.

Does it blow the M3 away? No. But it is clearly a superior performance car.
Hey doc, cool review!

I have started eye'ing the new Porsches coming out (Boxster/Cayman S, 911S, etc.) now that my M is here, as an eventual replacement for our 335i (if we keep it)...

When I tested the 2012 Boxster/Cayman S series, I thought the car drove on rails and had excellent steering, but it was not the "OMG, what a car" that I thought it might be and still preferred the M3 more. There's just something about the overall package of the M3 that I really love.....

Interesting to view your take.
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      08-25-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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Great review, although what is the price differential, $45k? The 991 should be in another performance category.

A better comparison will be the new Cayman S, although isn't the M3 also due for a redesign?

Former car: 2007 335i JB3

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      08-25-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskamatt View Post
+1

Would love if the op had any other write ups to add to the mix. Neutral ground is hard to come by in forum land.
Appreciate the compliments. I really do try to give honest comparisons. What's the use otherwise? Here's a write-up I did on the RS4 vs M3 soon after I got my M3. I was a previous RS4 owner. It was up on a few other forums and a couple of online publications:

************************************************** ************************************************** **************************************
A comparison between the Audi RS4 and BMW M3 is almost as inevitable as the Camaro-Mustang battle, or even death and taxes. These are two small, premium German supercars with practicality and daily drivability, yet both possess very substantial and similar adrenalin pumping characteristics. There is a high likelihood of people cross-shopping these two cars in the used market.

On an episode of Top Gear a few years back, Jeremy Clarkson stated that the engine in the Audi RS4 was "one of the greatest engines ever made". By that statement, then, the e9x M3 engine is also one of the greatest engines ever made. The engines in these two cars are just so very much alike. The rest of the cars couldn't be more different. This is where I will begin my in depth comparison between the RS4 and M3. Let me state at the outset that I will not conclude in this write up which car, overall, I think is superior. I used to own an RS4 and I now own an M3. If I said the M3 was the better ride, people would immediately say, "Oh yeah, sure, now that you own an M3, obviously you are biased". If I picked the RS4, people would say, "See, you shouldn't have sold your RS4. Bad move". So basically, if I declared a winner in this comparison, it is a lose-lose proposition for me in terms of responses. With this preface in mind, let's begin. People can draw their own conclusions.

As I said, the engines are very similar in their power delivery and subjective feel. The RS4 is more responsive early while the M3 just wails in the upper rpm range. This is all good, because the feel of the engine and the way it loved to rev was the single most intoxicating aspect of the RS4 for me. This is duplicated in the M3. In the end, it is a complete toss-up here, which should come as no surprise. The M3 consumes just a tad more fuel, probably because it is not direct injection. I am getting about 12-13mpg on hard-revving break-in style street driving. On a recent 160-mile highway trip at a 75-85 mph clip, I averaged 19mpg. On the flip side, it won't be plagued by carbon build-up.

Next, the transmission. The shifter is better in the RS4. The clutch is better in the M3. The M3's shifter is really the weakest thing about the car's execution. Now, keep in mind, that everything is relative here. It is not bad, by any means. It is very light and easy to use, but it doesn't slide into gear with the same solid mechanical precision that the RS4's shifter did. It has an almost rubbery feel to it. It is also too light in it's feel. It just needs to be better weighted. The design is not as nice or ergonomic as the RS4, although the shift pattern is illuminated at night. The throw length is similar to the RS4, however the "forward" gears (1, 3, 5) are more forward and the "aft" gears are not as far back. I slightly prefer the M3's range position, but this is mainly due to the fact that the center armrest in the RS4 was quite obtrusive when shifting. The M3's clutch is lighter and not as springy as the RS4. I like it better. It is easier to fire off fast smooth shifts as a result.

Next, let us look at traction. Well, there is really no comparison here and we all know that. You can pull maneuvers in the RS4 without blinking that in the M3 would have you, at the very least, see "C-A-U-T-I-O-N-!" flashing in red inside your brain. In rain and snow, it isn't even worth discussing. That said, in the dry, the M3 has some very substantial cornering capabilities and while you can break it loose with the throttle, it is extremely predictable and controlled in its responses. You also always know where you are in the spectrum of grip. It will never suddenly break loose like Z06 Corvette's have been accused of doing. This, of course, is with the stability programs fully off. Comparatively, the RS4's AWD does a great job of masking how close you may be to the limit….. until you happen pop over it !!

Next, steering. No comparison here. The M3 easily trumps the RS4 in terms of steering feel and responsiveness. The M3 steering wheel is the same size and a tad thicker than the Euro RS4 wheel. Overall, I like them equally. The standard US RS4 wheel doesn't compete. It is also the inevitable fact that on the M3, steering is the only task asked of the car's front wheels, and it is a task that the M does exceedingly well. It's almost as if your hands and arms are directly holding the front axle. It is handlebar-like in its connectivity to the driver.

Let's briefly look at the seats. Objectively, both are equal. Nice design, well bolstered. For me, the M3 seats work better. The Audi's recaros cater to a larger person that what I am. M3 seats have adjustable bolsters which the Audi does not, but overall, my personal anatomical traits aside, this is a tie.

Exhaust: The winner is the RS4 without question. The M3 sounds good when you really get on it, but the snarly RS4 growl is just so gutteral, even in stock form, and is there all the time. There are a huge amount of M3 exhaust options in the aftermarket that will make the M3 sound nicer than a stock RS4, but that is not what are talking about here. Plus, put something like an MTM or Capristo on the RS4, and there is no M3 that can match it. I prefer the M3's beefy chrome, staggered quad tips, however, to the RS4's big ovals.

Next, let's examine the exterior design and appearance. This can be a hugely important determinant in whether or not one buys a given car. The RS4 has a very powerful presence. It looks beefy and has a little more sinister face. The M3 looks fast and sexy as hell, almost panther-like. As a sedan, the RS4 takes the prize just ever so slightly. However, overall, the M3 coupe is just plain hot, hot, hot. The M3 competition wheels have the same tapered in spoke design that the RS4 wheels do, but the effect is even more pronounced, especially in the rear with the 10-inchers. End result…..M3 coupe is just more of a looker.

Braking. Well the RS4's front certainly looks the part much more than the painted but otherwise plain-Jane M3 units. The front discs are pretty much the same size. The rears are bigger on the M3 but the M3's weight distribution is also 7% more rearward than the RS4. By the numbers, the M3 has a better single stop distance, and have proven themselves at the track despite their less sophisticated design. There is definitely less brake dive with the M3, but this isn’t anything to do with the brakes per se, but rather the overall weight distribution of the car. So how do you judge…..Well, I had no urge whatsoever to put an aftermarket BBK on the RS4, and I'm thinking about it on the M3. By that virtue alone, I think this category has to go to the RS4, but by the tiniest of margins.

When examining the interior, one must recognize that historically, this is Audi's home court. They are renowned as the best in the business. Contrary to traditional thinking, the quality of the BMW's interior is in no way less than the Audi, at least in this application. If you opt for extended leather the look is decidedly more upscale. I like RS4's gauge graphics better. I love the M3's idrive system. I love how everything is controlled through this centralized system. It works well with my brain's sense of order and organization. The larger and wider multimedia screen on the M3 is also nicer than even the latest Audi offerings in this sized vehicle. There is no comparison with the sound systems', either. The M3's enhanced premium sound is 825 watts of real goodness, and is far superior to the RS4's Bose system. It is a curious phenomenon with Bose systems. The one in a Porsche Cayenne is stellar, for instance. The one in a Nissan 350Z that I used to own was just horrendous. The door speakers in the M3 do look like aftermarket afterthoughts, but even so, the M3 cabin has an overall sportier, "swept back" look to it. Surprisingly, I give the slight edge to the M3's interior….depending on how you option it.

Handling/dynamics is where the M3 simply dominates over the RS4. Just as the RS4 just destroys the M3 when it comes to traction, the M3 is simply in a different league here. The entire car is so responsive, and feels so tight in terms of the input/output equation. Look under the M3. You will see a very solid X-brace reinforcing the entire chassis. Look in the rear of the engine bay. You will see two substantial aluminum strut tower braces. The engine sits mostly behind the front axle. Weight distribution is 51/49. It is all an equation for supreme dynamics. And yet, there is just a hint of muting to everything; just enough to remove the harshness of the street environment without otherwise interfering with the car-driver-road interface. It has just the perfect amount of "filtering". M3 is also about 250 lbs lighter and the ride-handling balance is perfection. The stock M3 competition spec suspension is a nothing short of spectacular. No Stasis or KW kit required here. Even with those substantial mods, the handling and responsiveness of the RS4 is not what a stock M3 competition can deliver.

So there you have it. The RS4 makes a spectacular "only car". By that token, the M3 does not. In the more practical 4-door guise, some of the coupe's sexiness and sweptback quality is lost. It doesn't look quite as good as the RS4. In snow and even on wet pavement, the performance capabilities of the M3 are seriously hindered. The RS4 sounds better too. In the dry, however, and as a toy with a splash of practicality thrown in, the M3 rules. The dynamics are significantly better, and the fun factor is there in leaps and bounds. You can let the back end out at a turn or drift on a track with incredible poise when doing so. Once you learn how to drive an M3, there is just so much fun to be had with it. But, you must learn its limits first. You can't just get into it and slam it full-tilt like you can in an RS4 and expect the car to save you. It won't.

In the end, which is the better car? I do have my have my overall opinion, but I'm not telling
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      08-25-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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^^ Very well written.
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      08-25-2012, 10:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
Appreciate the compliments. I really do try to give honest comparisons. What's the use otherwise? Here's a write-up I did on the RS4 vs M3 soon after I got my M3. I was a previous RS4 owner. It was up on a few other forums and a couple of online publications:

************************************************** ************************************************** **************************************
A comparison between the Audi RS4 and BMW M3 is almost as inevitable as the Camaro-Mustang battle, or even death and taxes. These are two small, premium German supercars with practicality and daily drivability, yet both possess very substantial and similar adrenalin pumping characteristics. There is a high likelihood of people cross-shopping these two cars in the used market.

On an episode of Top Gear a few years back, Jeremy Clarkson stated that the engine in the Audi RS4 was "one of the greatest engines ever made". By that statement, then, the e9x M3 engine is also one of the greatest engines ever made. The engines in these two cars are just so very much alike. The rest of the cars couldn't be more different. This is where I will begin my in depth comparison between the RS4 and M3. Let me state at the outset that I will not conclude in this write up which car, overall, I think is superior. I used to own an RS4 and I now own an M3. If I said the M3 was the better ride, people would immediately say, "Oh yeah, sure, now that you own an M3, obviously you are biased". If I picked the RS4, people would say, "See, you shouldn't have sold your RS4. Bad move". So basically, if I declared a winner in this comparison, it is a lose-lose proposition for me in terms of responses. With this preface in mind, let's begin. People can draw their own conclusions.

As I said, the engines are very similar in their power delivery and subjective feel. The RS4 is more responsive early while the M3 just wails in the upper rpm range. This is all good, because the feel of the engine and the way it loved to rev was the single most intoxicating aspect of the RS4 for me. This is duplicated in the M3. In the end, it is a complete toss-up here, which should come as no surprise. The M3 consumes just a tad more fuel, probably because it is not direct injection. I am getting about 12-13mpg on hard-revving break-in style street driving. On a recent 160-mile highway trip at a 75-85 mph clip, I averaged 19mpg. On the flip side, it won't be plagued by carbon build-up.

Next, the transmission. The shifter is better in the RS4. The clutch is better in the M3. The M3's shifter is really the weakest thing about the car's execution. Now, keep in mind, that everything is relative here. It is not bad, by any means. It is very light and easy to use, but it doesn't slide into gear with the same solid mechanical precision that the RS4's shifter did. It has an almost rubbery feel to it. It is also too light in it's feel. It just needs to be better weighted. The design is not as nice or ergonomic as the RS4, although the shift pattern is illuminated at night. The throw length is similar to the RS4, however the "forward" gears (1, 3, 5) are more forward and the "aft" gears are not as far back. I slightly prefer the M3's range position, but this is mainly due to the fact that the center armrest in the RS4 was quite obtrusive when shifting. The M3's clutch is lighter and not as springy as the RS4. I like it better. It is easier to fire off fast smooth shifts as a result.

Next, let us look at traction. Well, there is really no comparison here and we all know that. You can pull maneuvers in the RS4 without blinking that in the M3 would have you, at the very least, see "C-A-U-T-I-O-N-!" flashing in red inside your brain. In rain and snow, it isn't even worth discussing. That said, in the dry, the M3 has some very substantial cornering capabilities and while you can break it loose with the throttle, it is extremely predictable and controlled in its responses. You also always know where you are in the spectrum of grip. It will never suddenly break loose like Z06 Corvette's have been accused of doing. This, of course, is with the stability programs fully off. Comparatively, the RS4's AWD does a great job of masking how close you may be to the limit….. until you happen pop over it !!

Next, steering. No comparison here. The M3 easily trumps the RS4 in terms of steering feel and responsiveness. The M3 steering wheel is the same size and a tad thicker than the Euro RS4 wheel. Overall, I like them equally. The standard US RS4 wheel doesn't compete. It is also the inevitable fact that on the M3, steering is the only task asked of the car's front wheels, and it is a task that the M does exceedingly well. It's almost as if your hands and arms are directly holding the front axle. It is handlebar-like in its connectivity to the driver.

Let's briefly look at the seats. Objectively, both are equal. Nice design, well bolstered. For me, the M3 seats work better. The Audi's recaros cater to a larger person that what I am. M3 seats have adjustable bolsters which the Audi does not, but overall, my personal anatomical traits aside, this is a tie.

Exhaust: The winner is the RS4 without question. The M3 sounds good when you really get on it, but the snarly RS4 growl is just so gutteral, even in stock form, and is there all the time. There are a huge amount of M3 exhaust options in the aftermarket that will make the M3 sound nicer than a stock RS4, but that is not what are talking about here. Plus, put something like an MTM or Capristo on the RS4, and there is no M3 that can match it. I prefer the M3's beefy chrome, staggered quad tips, however, to the RS4's big ovals.

Next, let's examine the exterior design and appearance. This can be a hugely important determinant in whether or not one buys a given car. The RS4 has a very powerful presence. It looks beefy and has a little more sinister face. The M3 looks fast and sexy as hell, almost panther-like. As a sedan, the RS4 takes the prize just ever so slightly. However, overall, the M3 coupe is just plain hot, hot, hot. The M3 competition wheels have the same tapered in spoke design that the RS4 wheels do, but the effect is even more pronounced, especially in the rear with the 10-inchers. End result…..M3 coupe is just more of a looker.

Braking. Well the RS4's front certainly looks the part much more than the painted but otherwise plain-Jane M3 units. The front discs are pretty much the same size. The rears are bigger on the M3 but the M3's weight distribution is also 7% more rearward than the RS4. By the numbers, the M3 has a better single stop distance, and have proven themselves at the track despite their less sophisticated design. There is definitely less brake dive with the M3, but this isn’t anything to do with the brakes per se, but rather the overall weight distribution of the car. So how do you judge…..Well, I had no urge whatsoever to put an aftermarket BBK on the RS4, and I'm thinking about it on the M3. By that virtue alone, I think this category has to go to the RS4, but by the tiniest of margins.

When examining the interior, one must recognize that historically, this is Audi's home court. They are renowned as the best in the business. Contrary to traditional thinking, the quality of the BMW's interior is in no way less than the Audi, at least in this application. If you opt for extended leather the look is decidedly more upscale. I like RS4's gauge graphics better. I love the M3's idrive system. I love how everything is controlled through this centralized system. It works well with my brain's sense of order and organization. The larger and wider multimedia screen on the M3 is also nicer than even the latest Audi offerings in this sized vehicle. There is no comparison with the sound systems', either. The M3's enhanced premium sound is 825 watts of real goodness, and is far superior to the RS4's Bose system. It is a curious phenomenon with Bose systems. The one in a Porsche Cayenne is stellar, for instance. The one in a Nissan 350Z that I used to own was just horrendous. The door speakers in the M3 do look like aftermarket afterthoughts, but even so, the M3 cabin has an overall sportier, "swept back" look to it. Surprisingly, I give the slight edge to the M3's interior….depending on how you option it.

Handling/dynamics is where the M3 simply dominates over the RS4. Just as the RS4 just destroys the M3 when it comes to traction, the M3 is simply in a different league here. The entire car is so responsive, and feels so tight in terms of the input/output equation. Look under the M3. You will see a very solid X-brace reinforcing the entire chassis. Look in the rear of the engine bay. You will see two substantial aluminum strut tower braces. The engine sits mostly behind the front axle. Weight distribution is 51/49. It is all an equation for supreme dynamics. And yet, there is just a hint of muting to everything; just enough to remove the harshness of the street environment without otherwise interfering with the car-driver-road interface. It has just the perfect amount of "filtering". M3 is also about 250 lbs lighter and the ride-handling balance is perfection. The stock M3 competition spec suspension is a nothing short of spectacular. No Stasis or KW kit required here. Even with those substantial mods, the handling and responsiveness of the RS4 is not what a stock M3 competition can deliver.

So there you have it. The RS4 makes a spectacular "only car". By that token, the M3 does not. In the more practical 4-door guise, some of the coupe's sexiness and sweptback quality is lost. It doesn't look quite as good as the RS4. In snow and even on wet pavement, the performance capabilities of the M3 are seriously hindered. The RS4 sounds better too. In the dry, however, and as a toy with a splash of practicality thrown in, the M3 rules. The dynamics are significantly better, and the fun factor is there in leaps and bounds. You can let the back end out at a turn or drift on a track with incredible poise when doing so. Once you learn how to drive an M3, there is just so much fun to be had with it. But, you must learn its limits first. You can't just get into it and slam it full-tilt like you can in an RS4 and expect the car to save you. It won't.

In the end, which is the better car? I do have my have my overall opinion, but I'm not telling
This is a very well written review, the only thing I do not agree with is the opinion of the sedan looking less sporty than the coupe....... For me it is the total other way around, I think the M3 sedan looks so much more muscular, sporty and purposeful than the coupe....... It is no wonder that I have Two M3 sedans.

Since my brother owns an 08 RS4, I have some seat time in one, and I have to admit that it is a wonderful car and is one Audi that I would definitely own.

To the OP, nice review on the 991 911S, I think that this shows just how good of a compromise the the E9X M3 really is. Take the kids to school and pick up groceries during the week yet still be able to take it to the track on the weekend. I honestly think that if you can only own "one" car, the M3 is hard to beat.
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      08-25-2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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This is a very well written review, the only thing I do not agree with is the opinion of the sedan looking less sporty than the coupe....... For me it is the total other way around, I think the M3 sedan looks so much more muscular, sporty and purposeful than the coupe....... It is no wonder that I have Two M3 sedans.

Since my brother owns an 08 RS4, I have some seat time in one, and I have to admit that it is a wonderful car and is one Audi that I would definitely own.

To the OP, nice review on the 991 911S, I think that this shows just how good of a compromise the the E9X M3 really is. Take the kids to school and pick up groceries during the week yet still be able to take it to the track on the weekend. I honestly think that if you can only own "one" car, the M3 is hard to beat.


No question for me either. The sedan looks great
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      08-25-2012, 11:09 PM   #13
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Thanks for the opinion. I've been avoiding driving one myself. I'm afraid I may like it too much.
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      08-26-2012, 12:34 AM   #14
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In the end, which is the better car? I do have my have my overall opinion, but I'm not telling
Thanks for both reviews on the new 911s and the RS4.

I have not driven the new 911s, but almost pulled the trigger on a used 2008 B7 RS4 last year until my brother's co-worker told me about the carbon build-up problem. He previously owned an RS4 and boy, the carbon build up was a headache he said. Yes you can open the engine and clean the intake valves and head, but I don't want to be doing that every 20K miles, while spending a lot of money in the process so I passed on the B7 RS4.

Anyways, I've been lurking in the RS4 forums and all they found was a catch can or the recirculating unit as the solution. The latter does help, but only by a tad. Has anybody found a fix yet?
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      08-26-2012, 01:27 AM   #15
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Hey doc, cool review!

I have started eye'ing the new Porsches coming out (Boxster/Cayman S, 911S, etc.) now that my M is here, as an eventual replacement for our 335i (if we keep it)...

When I tested the 2012 Boxster/Cayman S series, I thought the car drove on rails and had excellent steering, but it was not the "OMG, what a car" that I thought it might be and still preferred the M3 more. There's just something about the overall package of the M3 that I really love.....

Interesting to view your take.
Funny you mention that, i've driven the Cayman R, Boxster Spyder and 3.8 GT3 RS all in the same day on track and to a certain extent the Cayman R/Boxster Spyder didnt blow me away despite being extremely competent, it was almosta case of being too clinical.
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      08-26-2012, 06:02 AM   #16
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Funny you mention that, i've driven the Cayman R, Boxster Spyder and 3.8 GT3 RS all in the same day on track and to a certain extent the Cayman R/Boxster Spyder didnt blow me away despite being extremely competent, it was almosta case of being too clinical.
That's exactly it! Too clinical would be the best way to describe it for me too...
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      08-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #17
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This should come as no surprise, but overall, the newest 911S is just a superior performance car to the M3. It is faster, turns sharper and has gobs more grip.

That said, there were two areas where the M3 was clearly superior IMO.

1. The ride/handling balance in the M3 is better. Sure the Porsche corners better, but you definitely give up some ride comfort for this. It is not harsh, but lacks the suppleness of the M3 suspension. To drive on public roads and especially on longer trips, the M3 is clearly better.

2. The steering (and this surprised me) is better in the M3. Really must say that I hate the electric steering in the Porsche. It really does not communicate like the M3's. it is not horrible, but for a car that is otherwise so superb in its capabilities, a good bit of the tactile feedback of what your car is doing seems gone.

Other than that, I gotta say that the 991S is a phenomenal machine. The engine, while not as smooth revving, feels very gutsy. The exhaust sound is decent. No understeer whatsoever. The car goes exactly where you put it, and even in RWD guise, the limits of traction are very high.

In the end, one concludes that the M3 is a maximally tuned practical transport vehicle, while the 911 is a pure performance machine with creature comforts added in.

Does it blow the M3 away? No. But it is clearly a superior performance car.
Spot on! Great review. Thanks for sharing!
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      08-26-2012, 06:12 AM   #18
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That's exactly it! Too clinical would be the best way to describe it for me too...
That's what people say about the GTR also. High capability but a very "clinical" or "sterile" experience.
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      08-26-2012, 06:15 AM   #19
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This is a very well written review, the only thing I do not agree with is the opinion of the sedan looking less sporty than the coupe....... For me it is the total other way around, I think the M3 sedan looks so much more muscular, sporty and purposeful than the coupe....... It is no wonder that I have Two M3 sedans.

Since my brother owns an 08 RS4, I have some seat time in one, and I have to admit that it is a wonderful car and is one Audi that I would definitely own.

To the OP, nice review on the 991 911S, I think that this shows just how good of a compromise the the E9X M3 really is. Take the kids to school and pick up groceries during the week yet still be able to take it to the track on the weekend. I honestly think that if you can only own "one" car, the M3 is hard to beat.


Definitely true, but the RS4 can maintain a good amount of its performance capability in bad weather, be it rain or snow, while the M3 gets seriously hindered. If you live in an area where this is not an issue, the RS4 loses it advantages, but if weather is a factor, the RS4 comes out ahead as an only car.
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      08-26-2012, 06:17 AM   #20
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No question for me either. The sedan looks great
Sedan does look great, no question, but to my eyes, in sedan form, the RS4 looks a little better. This is purely subjective, however.
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      08-26-2012, 09:14 AM   #21
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One amazing thing about the 991 is the acceleration for a car that doesn't have that much HP relative to many of its competitors. I know the weight is low, PDK is great but still... it's quarter mile time is VERY fast. It would walk many higher powered cars.

Acceleration, handling, nicer interior now... it is a fantastic car. I would take the M3 for the DDer and the 991 for the weekend/track toy. Or better yet, wait for the GT3 to be released
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      08-26-2012, 09:14 AM   #22
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Great review! I love my M3 and for me it is a pure "toy" car. I don't really need the practicality but for me it was simply the best choice for a toy at its price range, which was the upper end of my limit. The 911/911s doesn't really do it for me and a GT3 is too much coin. The RS4 is cool but I have zero need for a sedan or AWD, my wife has a 4Runner Limited as a daily driver and I manage a Toyota dealership and one of the perks is a demo, I usually take a Tundra. So the M is our summer car and it gets put up in the winter and on rainy days as well as when any utility is needed. And even still, it was my number one choice.
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