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      05-03-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
mikeokimster
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DD: Cayman S vs M3

I have been a long time member here and I have been getting that overly familiar itch to try something different. The two cars I have interest in are a used M3 6mt/DCT or a used Cayman S 6MT. Has anyone had considerable seat time in both? I hvae driven a bunch of E9x M3's 6mt and DCT so I know how awesome they are.
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      05-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #2
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I remember reading a lengthy comparison thread, try to search and find it.

With what porsche has done with the new Boxster, I've got my fingers crossed that I'll be able to afford a lightly used 2013+ Cayman S in a few years.

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      05-04-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeokimster View Post
I have been a long time member here and I have been getting that overly familiar itch to try something different. The two cars I have interest in are a used M3 6mt/DCT or a used Cayman S 6MT. Has anyone had considerable seat time in both? I hvae driven a bunch of E9x M3's 6mt and DCT so I know how awesome they are.
Both are good cars. How suitable they are as daily drivers is really up to you and your needs. In general, the M3 is the better choice as a daily driver due to more comfort options and cargo/passenger capacity, while the 987 the better sports car in terms of on-the-limit handling and braking.

Personally, my preference would be a DFI-engined Cayman S over an E92 M3, but an E92 M3 over the older Cayman.
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      05-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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I had a Cayman S that did street/track duty for a year or two and now have a E92 M3. They're very different cars. The M3 is much more comfortable and has more room for luggage etc. of course. Driving experience is superior in the Cayman on the street only, the 6 speed in the Cayman is wonderful. The M3 kicks its ass on track. I wrote up a long comparison of the two cars on track awhile back: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=630403

If you are never going to track the car and don't care about the 100hp differential the Cayman is a more engaging street car and is flashier. Obviously since I now drive a E92 and had a Cayman I prefer the M3 overall.
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      05-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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boxster s for the win
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      05-05-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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OP: Unless you're a track guy I vote CS over M3 if you can get a gen 2 CS. The DFI 987.2 motor is more responsive and is noticeably faster (especially PDK). My Cayman S was a 6MT gen 1, but I've driven gen 2 PDK cars as well and they're much quicker according to the butt dyno.
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      05-06-2012, 02:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile

OP: Unless you're a track guy I vote CS over M3 if you can get a gen 2 CS. The DFI 987.2 motor is more responsive and is noticeably faster (especially PDK). My Cayman S was a 6MT gen 1, but I've driven gen 2 PDK cars as well and they're much quicker according to the butt dyno.
Thanks for your feedback. Looking at 6mt's alone, which fares better during occasionally city drives?
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      05-06-2012, 08:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mikeokimster View Post
Thanks for your feedback. Looking at 6mt's alone, which fares better during occasionally city drives?
6MT CS vs. 6MT M3 it's close for me. I'd probably pick the Cayman. DCT M3 is more convenient in traffic and faster though. The Caymans generally lack any kind of electronic equip. too if that matters until you get to '09+. I picked the M3 DCT, but a large part of that is the M3 is so stable and fast on track and the Cayman is less than composed.

If you're looking at earlier Caymans, which would be a good $5-10k less than a M3 DCT, I'd say the M isn't worth the extra cash for a street only car. The Cayman is subjectively prettier IMO, although the M3 still looks great. Plus the induction sound from that flat 6 right behind your head is sweet. The induction noise on the Cayman S is so loud I had people at VIR asking if I had a turbo setup.

You really can't go wrong with either car, you just have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each (and each has some). The M3 shows it's heft in really tight corners, whereas the Cayman excels (until 9/10 or so, which you wouldn't do on the street anyway). The Cayman gets way better gas mileage. The M3 is more useful for hauling people and luggage and is faster in a straight line and on a race track. And the Porsche factory short shift kit in the Cayman S feels awesome, best shifter I've driven on a car under $100k.

I know that probably isn't much help since each has advantages and disadvantages but you should really find a Cayman to test drive or you won't know which will suit your purposes best.
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      05-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefile View Post
6MT CS vs. 6MT M3 it's close for me. I'd probably pick the Cayman. DCT M3 is more convenient in traffic and faster though. The Caymans generally lack any kind of electronic equip. too if that matters until you get to '09+. I picked the M3 DCT, but a large part of that is the M3 is so stable and fast on track and the Cayman is less than composed.

If you're looking at earlier Caymans, which would be a good $5-10k less than a M3 DCT, I'd say the M isn't worth the extra cash for a street only car. The Cayman is subjectively prettier IMO, although the M3 still looks great. Plus the induction sound from that flat 6 right behind your head is sweet. The induction noise on the Cayman S is so loud I had people at VIR asking if I had a turbo setup.

You really can't go wrong with either car, you just have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each (and each has some). The M3 shows it's heft in really tight corners, whereas the Cayman excels (until 9/10 or so, which you wouldn't do on the street anyway). The Cayman gets way better gas mileage. The M3 is more useful for hauling people and luggage and is faster in a straight line and on a race track. And the Porsche factory short shift kit in the Cayman S feels awesome, best shifter I've driven on a car under $100k.

I know that probably isn't much help since each has advantages and disadvantages but you should really find a Cayman to test drive or you won't know which will suit your purposes best.
Allow me to supplement what porschefile is saying. I've had the opportunity to track Caymans and autox m3's. Talk to an Average Joe at an HPDE and he will tell you the Cayman is so easy to drive, he can do it wrong and still comes out right, etc etc. Talk to a race car driver and they will tell you the Cayman is twitchy and unpredictable. The thing is as a street car ie: Canyon Roads, offramps, onramps, things you see everyday, as well as an occasionally driven track car (by a more beginner driver) the Cayman is seriously tough to beat. Until your at the absolute limit of grip at all points around a track, under braking-turn in-and corner exit the car feels awesome. There is something about Porsches and their flat 6's. Go drive one, and I mean DRIVE it, it makes your stomach turn in adoration. On top of their driving dynamics, Porsche makes bar none the best built cars for the money, interior wise by a small margin, engineering wise by a mile. It takes an engineer to appreciate all of the little details they incorporate.

Agree Porschefile?
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      05-06-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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Agree Porschefile?
100%. Up to 8/10 or so the Cayman feels subjectively better and then it falls apart. There are few people that bitch about the Cayman's track handling, but most racers are in that group. HPDE beginner/intermediate would never notice. M3 feels great at all levels, including when you're giving it hell on a track. Loved my Cayman though.
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      05-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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I have both right now. I mostly DD my Cayman S, but I borrow my wife's M3 a day or two a week. Both are great cars. Obviously the M3 has more room, but you can get a surprising amount of stuff in the Cayman's trunks.
The Cayman is more fun to drive, but the engine in the M3 is awesome in itself. The tech is better in the BMW.
I have a DCT in both, but I hear the MT in the Cayman>M3.
Nothing I've driven before handles like a Porsche. I've only been to a track once in my life, in my Cayman last year, was a blast!
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      05-10-2012, 08:04 AM   #12
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These responses are pretty interesting. Definitely what I have not imagined.

Has anyone driven both of these in snowy icy conditions on snow
Tires?
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      05-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeokimster View Post
These responses are pretty interesting. Definitely what I have not imagined.

Has anyone driven both of these in snowy icy conditions on snow
Tires?
Yep. The Cayman is absolutely terrifying in snow on the stock Bridgestones. The M3 is bad but much less bad. I actually drove on CMP with snow on the track in the Cayman and it was quite an adventure.
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