Porsche Cayman S The Porsche Cayman is a mid-engine 2-seat sports car.

Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

Old 08-19-2006, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4
Default Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

Hello, i am a new member and i have joined this forum to gain more knowledge of Porsche so I can make the best desision when buying a new car next summer. I had a 2002 M3 w/ SMG trans. and i loved the car but sold it in anticipation for the new M3 coming out soon. Well I was convinced i was making the right choice until.....the Cayman S was revealed. The reviews were staggering, everyone loved this car. It looks awesome, the price is well, not so bad for a supercar marque, but I have to, to be fair to my conscience, compare it to the M3. 6 cyl w/ 333hp, 0-60 in 4.8 sec. and a starting price of $50k. The new M3 will be an 8cyl. car w/ 400hp., 0-60 in 4.5 and a starting price of approx. $53k. Now the Cayman S is 6 cyl. w/ 295 hp., 0-60 in 5.1 sec. and a starting price of $60k. Welcome to my conundrum, my heart moves at the thought of the Cayman, but my brain looks at the numbers and tells me the M3 is the obvious choice. How do you justify the $10k difference? All opinions are welcome to help all understand why the Porsche is a special car compared to it's fellow countrymen the BMW. thank you, and Good night and Good luck.
Old 08-19-2006, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Overland Park, KS
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Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

The cayman is an excellent car. We have tuned one to about 305hp at the rear wheels (about 360hp crank). This is with exhaust, headers, intake and ECU tuning. They handle wonderfully. I think you need to go out and drive each, and see which fits you the best.

For more cayman info, check out the forums at www.caymanclub.net

Old 11-07-2006, 01:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

Brit, I drive a 2005 M3, with Koni adjustable suspension, and recently test drove a new Cayman S, and a Carrera S. The answers to your questions will be in the driving, which you need to do. The Porsche sport setting with the PASM suspension option, is similar to my Koni suspension on full stiff, which is harsher than the stock M3. On the regular setting, it is probably about like the stock M3. The Porsche without PASM is going to be in between the soft and firm settings of PASM. Since I do 8 or 10 track events each year, I am interested in the PASM option.

The driving experience is very different than the M3, basically the differences one should expect when comparing a lighter, lower, mid-engine sports car, with a higher, heavier sedan (albeit a very good one). The Cayman S is much more nimble and neutral in its handling feel, better brakes, better steering, comparable acceleration. The new M3 will have more power; haven't heard about weight, but I expect it will be heavier (again). Weight, height, and suspension setup, all combine to make the M3 a challenge to make comparable with the Cayman on track. I am about 90% decided on a Cayman S myself. A late model Carrera S could be bought for not a lot more, but I think I prefer the mid-engine layout. You need to drive one. You asked how does one justify the price difference? Well, this car thing left practicality behind with the Honda Accord and comfortable shoes. You don't justify it, you buy what most pleases you if you can afford it. I'm sure the new M will be blistering fast, but I'm reasonably sure it will also be a heavy, understeering handful to push through the turns.
Old 11-26-2006, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

Brit, I agreed with Elh that Cayman S feels lighter and is more neutral in handling than the M3. I drive a 04 M3 cabrio and just test drove a cayman S today. My M3 is stock with the 19" rims, while the Cayman S has 18" rim without PASM. M3 is my daily driver, so I could say that the Cayman S has a more compliant ride than the M, has less body roll at cornering. The Cayman S gets off the line better due to its lighter weight, and the engine has good response at mid range. Yet I feel the M3's engine responds to pedal input faster than the Cayman S, and feels better if you drive it harder. Still, Cayman S is very good car if you can live with a 2 seater; I am still deciding if I could lose 2 seats.

Elh, one question for you. How different is the Cayman S and Carrera S? I didn't have a chance to try Carrera S today.
Old 12-15-2006, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2
Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

I have had the chance to drive a carrera S in germany. have to say that it's a good car but feels a little heavy and clumpsy when you are doing some heavy cornering. i would assume that the cayman S will do better in handling given its light weigh and mid-engine setting.

also, PASM is a must have if you plan on bringing the car to track. you should consider ceramic brakes too if you are serious.
Old 03-16-2007, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 194
Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

To justify the 10k difference in price, simple: IT IS A PORSCHE!
There are BMW all over the place. Cayman is a Porsche.
My 2 cents. :-)
Old 05-13-2007, 11:39 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?---please read and reply

Just went through the same comparison/purchase excercise myself. Drove a 540 i for 7 years previously. I even went to the M school and drove the M3 and M5 in a variety of circumstances. I was actively shopping for and ready to buy an M3 until I read some of the comparions tests between the M Coupe and the Cayman S. One test drive andI was hooked. No comparison in the fun department. The M3 is much more practical and straight line performance is a coin flip. The Cayman steals the show in the driving expierence particulary in the curves. There is also a cool factor surrounding the Porsche that no other brand will ever equal without spending 100 large or more. After driving the cayman the beemer was history.
Old 07-06-2008, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Default RE: Cayman S better than M3?-please read and reply

This is an old thread, but for anyone still comparing the two cars, I concur with Winchester21, having been an avid BMW fan. The driving experience in the Cayman S is great, unlike anything the excellent M3 can match. Still, one must remember they are two different animals. At some point, the new M3may suffer in comparisonwith the new S5,C63 AMG, IS-For GT-R, all of which are direct class competitors. The Cayman S, although it compares performance-wise to a number of cars on paper, the car itself has few peers inthe overall driving experience. As you know, Porsche does not strive to be horsepower king and there will always be something with more horsepower.Nevertheless, Porsches often compete and succeed against the horsepower kings and, in true Porschetradition,the Cayman S is simply an outstanding driver's car that lacks for nothing ontwisting, real-world roads.
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