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      06-07-2019, 12:10 AM   #1
chris the man
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Arrow STi to M3?

Hi all, thanks for taking the time to view this.

Im at that point in my life, sold my N54 335i a few years back and have began to miss it.

Locally there is a fella with a straight piped, pulley and intake e92 M3. The sound, the looks, the prestige is just stunning about this car.

I drive a 2014 WRX STi. The car is fully built maxing out the stock frame turbo location, a true 400WHP pump gas AWD car. Its a blast to say the least, but it is sensitive - change the window wipers and you will need a retune...

The other day we had a blast racing around, though my car would pull away from the M, I noticed it cost me over $12k to do so.

So I am starting to ask myself who the real winner here is? The guy with a million smiles per gallon, high end luxury and exotic refinement 2door machine? Or the 30yr old driving the 400hp vape box getting thumbs ups from guys wearing their little sisters jeans?

Has anyone made this switch? From STi to the big bad V8?

Any input is greatly appreciated!
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      06-07-2019, 12:44 AM   #2
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I had a couple imports, the m3 just feels more significant to drive than the 335 to be quite honest with you. Iím sure the difference will be day and night coming from the Subaru product but eventually youíll want to feel the power delivery so keep in mind a blower is about $10k with supporting mods.
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      06-07-2019, 04:48 AM   #3
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How about an F80 M3? Faster, handles better, more tuneable for less money, more modern, plenty of torque for daily driving.

Did you drive the E92M3? If it is a 6 speed you have to work it hard to play, downshifting and driving it around at 6000-8400 rpm. The DCT trans will do the work for you and is probably the better choice.
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      06-07-2019, 06:16 AM   #4
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I've had a 2005 STI with a rotated GT3076 turbo kit and all supporting mods making over 400 whp on pump gas. I've also had a 2008 fbo STI. Both had upgraded springs and the 2005 also had sways and bushings. My E90 M3 has an ESS tune, Akropovic exhaust, and intake which commonly produces around 385 whp. I also have a Stoptech bbk front and rear and MCS 3 way coilovers. If the feeling of power is your pleasure, stay with your STI. My M3 doesn't feel fast. The low torque and linear power delivery is unique to the S65 and is much loved on this forum, but it does not give one the feeling of power. There is no surge nor noticeable hit of of power. It is smooth and rewarding in its own way, but I do miss torque in the mid range. My 600 whp, 600 wht 2009 CTS-V was a monster in that department. If you desire a combination of prestige, better looks, better interior, higher reving engine with linear power delivery, and much, much better driving dynamics, then get an E9X M3. Putting a supercharger on an E9X M3 is a game changer, but as mentioned it's $$$$.
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      06-07-2019, 07:04 AM   #5
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I was in a similar boat and switched from my built Evo to an e92 m3. Even supercharged it. It still doesn't scratch my itch for power like the Evo did. It does pull hard up top but as stated above there is no low end torque at all. I'm not going back to the Evo however since i decided I'm permanently staying away from those "boy racer" cars. The prestige of the m3 is nice and people treat me with more respect. Also got pulled over 10X more often in the evo.
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      06-07-2019, 07:12 AM   #6
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I also had a 2005 STi that was pretty heavily modified and made 440whp/450wtq. That car was a blast to drive and I can say that I still regret selling it to this day. Would I buy it again if I had the chance now? Probably not... but I wish I would have kept it for a few more years. I had the best experience with that car because it was by far the most reliable modified car I've ever had, and I've had a few. I bought it new and put nearly 100k miles on it and honestly never had anything major break even with about half of those miles at the higher power level with constant abuse.

The M3 is a huge step up. The fit and finish of the car is in a different league to the STi and it's just a different car in terms of power delivery. The STi garnered a different type of attention than the M3 does. It was more of a teenage dude magnet which is not ideal... not for me anyways. My M3 gets a lot more respectful attention from the few that know what it is. Don't expect to be breaking records or snapping necks in the M3 but what I was after when I bought mine was the high revving, high piston speed V8 and boy does this car deliver on that front. I feel as though it's a much more mature car even though there are plenty of immature M3 drivers.

Overall I would make the choice to move from a STi to the M3 (and a few cars between: supercharged S2000, Z4M, and more) again because I am at a different stage of my life and it's a little more fitting for me now. The STi sure gave me a ton of smiles when I was younger though. What a great car.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
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      06-07-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Ya I agree with JP. We got a feeling that based on our age we wanted to move up to a car that's not associated with young immature kids. The m3 isn't as raw but we appreciate the refinement and it's still a heck of a car and can be enjoyed especially if brought to the high rpms. I do miss my Evo FOR SURE but and glad I moved on. If I could go back I may have kept that car for a track/ drag car only but that's it.
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      06-07-2019, 11:55 AM   #8
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I had an 04 STi and have an 08 E90 335i MHD Tuned and an 11 E92 M3 comp. The Sti was a lot of fun for the time that I had it and I never tuned it so it was stock. The 335i is a beast off the line and can keep up with just about anything on the street. The M3 is what I go for every morning. It's just special and gets that respect from those in the know. I've never gotten a compliment from anyone in my 335 but the M3 gets compliments and looks from passerby's every day. Between that and the engine and intake note it just does it for me. As for the speed, it's fast enough for me but I'm older now and could care less about street racing and HP wars.
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      06-07-2019, 02:22 PM   #9
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I dont know, you might be disappointed if you are coming from a STI. I would just keep what you got.
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      06-07-2019, 02:52 PM   #10
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I'm coming from an evo 8 (still have it) to an e90 m3. Track wise, evo is much forgiving but damn v8 rear wheel drive is fun!. If I had to get rid of 1 car, id probably keep the M. More refined and would be nice to get away from the fast and the furious jokes
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      06-08-2019, 12:22 AM   #11
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M3 hands down. Won't be as fast but makes up for it in looks, sound, and experience. The older I get, the more I appreciate how beautifully the m3 combines luxury and performance into one perfect package. I still love driving mine every time and I've owned it for 3.5 years now, making it the longest car I've owned in my life. And I have no plans on looking for anything else either, just completely satisfied, which is very rare for me.

So yes, definitely get an m3 if you can!
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      06-08-2019, 11:50 AM   #12
chris the man
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First, I would like to thank all of you that have taken the time to provide some insight.

A special thank you to those that hauled over the detailed explanation of the M in comparison to comparable vehicles like my Subaru.

For me, its not about speed - hell I wouldn't have bought the STi in the first place if it was!

There is something so thrilling to me about the idea of a DCT M. Start the car in the driveway and let it rip! No heavy clutch or methanol controllers to warm up, no massive turbo lag or loud fast and furious noises.

I live in a small town now where weather permits a RWD car year round. With this being said, the top speed in the whole town is 45mph, I drive very slow anyways.

I have always said, more fun to drive a slow car fast, then a fast car slow.

Sure, the subaru makes more power and is faster on the straight. But like I said, the M was close enough in speed to me to genuinely surprise me. Plus, he spent an 1/8th of what I did to get there!

Do any of you all have first time buying advice?
Rod Bearings
DCT Pan
Throttle Actuators

Anyone in the market to look at trading for my STi? ROFL! =]
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      06-08-2019, 12:08 PM   #13
pbonsalb
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I guess everyone in your small town knows who you are.
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      06-08-2019, 09:11 PM   #14
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I also came from a Mazdaspeed 3 / Sti background and the difference is in refinement, looks, and sound.

As I got older the M3 was just a better fit and a nicer car as I got more successful and more mature. It's higher end meaning with a good aftermarket exhaust the V8 sounds borderline exotic. STi's sound cool with the boxer rumble but doesn't give the same holy shit that sounds just good/refined/exotic feeling. Hard to explain. V8's man, they are amazing to own.

It's also probably a better drive in terms of just being a nicer car. BMW's don't have the best interiors, but its a nicer car in general than the Suby.

Plus IMO and totally subjective but my car looks nicer than any Subaru.

Classic lines that you can't fake.

Comes down to what you like though, but I could never go back to a car like the STI as fast and cool as it is. Don't mean any offense at all. But it's a natural progression I feel is to head this way. The Suby feels like an economy car at the end of the day, and will never sound as good. Plus, E90's have that classic BMW feel, hydraulic steering, there is a real German feel to the car overall.

Bring $5K in reserve though for rod bearings, and throttle actuators. These aren't cheap cars to own but you gotta pay to play.


Help change your mind?


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      06-08-2019, 09:38 PM   #15
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I wouldn't worry about Throttle Actuators until they actually go out. Main thing is Rod Bearings, DCT pan can be addressed later on unless its an excessive leak.
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      06-08-2019, 11:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris the man View Post
There is something so thrilling to me about the idea of a DCT M. Start the car in the driveway and let it rip! No heavy clutch or methanol controllers to warm up
^I'd suggest you maintain a good warm up routine with a E9X M3 as well - the oil is essentially molasses until it gets up to temp so you wouldn't want to prematurely wear out rod bearings. So no starting the car and letting it rip plz


I also came from the import side before my E9Xs and definitely echo what everyone has already said!
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      06-12-2019, 12:02 AM   #17
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It will drive very differently from AWD.

I suggest you first start with E46 M3 to better appreciate the high speed capability of E92 M3.
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      06-13-2019, 09:41 AM   #18
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I would say the first step would be to go test drive an E92 M3 if you haven't yet. My previous vehicle was an Evo 8 with full bolt ons, cams and I loved it. But I felt like I out grew the car in terms of maturity and was finally in a position to buy an M3. If you're looking for a car thats fast in straight, I would highly recommend checking out the F80/F82 platform. They've depreciated to a reasonable price and respond to mods well. Anyways good luck!



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      06-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #19
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I had a stage 3 STI before the M3 - the M3 wins hands down in every way.
Coming from Nissan GTRís I couldnít get over people saying cool hot hatch.
Iíll probably get a R35 one day...
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      06-14-2019, 07:07 AM   #20
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Actually the STI does win in one way, the aftermarket parts support is huge and heaps cheaper then the M3.
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      06-14-2019, 09:42 AM   #21
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STI's

well, I had two STI's before catching the BMW bug. Like the STI's, my E92 is fairly analog. Steering on both is great. The same could not be said about my M2.

also like the STI, you really need to work the upper end of E92's revband to get the most of it. don't expect low-end torque....which you have probably already learned to live with.

in terms of the car itself, the E92 is so much more refined and it will not be nearly as raw a driving experience as your built STI. you really need to drive the M3 and decide for yourself before you make the move because despite some parallels, it really is apples and oranges.

Last edited by JRF; 06-14-2019 at 09:43 AM.. Reason: typo
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      06-14-2019, 11:23 AM   #22
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I currently have a 2007 Sti Swapped Built WRX making 350whp/wtq, and just bought a 2009 E90 M3 6spd. I can say that I will miss the wrx when I sell it, especially because I've owned it for 10 years, but the high revving S65 V8 in the M3 has won me over. The M3 is also much more refined, and gets more respect. Generally, driving around in the wrx, people always assume the worst. With the M3, I get nothing but compliments from people of all ages. Sure, the M3 isn't going to be the fastest car in the world, but the pure sound and driving experience makes up for it in my opinion.
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