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      07-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
JPBesl
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From 991 C2S to M4

Well, I did it.

After over two years with the most amazing car I've driven in my life, I decided to switch it up a bit and go M4.

You can see my history in my signature - this is my 5th BMW, my last being an E92 M3. I've enjoyed every one of these cars at various stages of my life, but the C2S took the cake. You can read about my switch from M3 to C2S here:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...6#post12829906

So why did I come back? Well, firstly I couldn't pull off a move like this guy:

http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho....php?t=1009426

He wins

But also because I always wished I could use the car for family outings, in addition to my fun driving times. Now I've been hauling my daughter around in my 911 for two years, and in the E92 a year and a half before that, and I'm proud that she knows where the engine is in a 911, and that "daddy's car is fun". It was NOT a chore to do this - whoever discounts a 911 because of toddler toting is short-changing themselves.

But for longer trips, and days out shopping or going to a museum, with both my wife and daughter in the car, the 911 was suboptimal. So most of the time we wound up taking our family car.

From my test drives and reviews and reading forums, I was so impressed with how the M4 raised the bar on the E92 M3 that I felt it would be an overall net positive in my enjoyment of the car.

Two days in and the result is.... I was right.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first.

What's the biggest tradeoff? Weight and balance.

The feeling of weight transfer in the M4 is difficult to stomach after coming from the 911. It's actually a combination of overall weight added to the lack of the engine planting the wheels in the back.

The 911 became my best friend in these two years - always in Sport+, PDK in manual mode, PSM off. I could break the back end loose and it was sooo progressive (I know, counter-intuitive). Much more so than my E92 was. Less snap, more confidence.

What little understeer the car had could be corrected with a little trail-braking, and coming out of corners, I could plant my foot down and just launch. Foot to the floor, engine roaring behind me, hitting the apex pretty much every time. It did exactly what you told it.

I would go out for a drive and stand in my garage afterwards replaying what I just managed to accomplish in my head. I am NOT an amazing driver. It is a special car.

OK enough of what I miss, let's talk about this amazing M4

A couple days with the M4 and I have had DSC off literally since I drove it off the lot. Here's what I've learned.

Driving Dynamics:
  • If you get over the weight transfer feeling, it corners just as flat as my 911
  • With warm tires and road I can still lose traction at the rear in 1st -> 2nd and 2nd -> 3rd, but only with DSC completely off
  • I can get the tail out MUCH EASIER than the 911
  • It's MUCH easier to play with the rear end at low speeds
  • Oversteer is snappier than my 911, but not as snappy as my E92
  • I am much more likely to get arrested - the overall weight and solidity of the M4 masks your speed more than the 911. Speed alarm FTW

Transmission

The DCT is so good - it matches the 911 PDK in terms of crispness and involvement. However, it lacks pulling both paddles to shift to neural (which goes further than you'd expect giving a feeling of involvement) and seems to have more play in the drivetrain when manually shifting gears and engine braking. Net result is that I'm giving my passengers a rougher ride if I elect to shift manually than in the 911. I may get better and learn to negate this with throttle and brake inputs.

One thing is I did have an ever so slight delay on the 911 PDK that gave me upshift timing trouble (see next section). I think the response of the M4's DCT is actually quicker in my driving style.

Engine

The sound is different. Good different though.

There's nothing like the sound of that 911 flat 6 at 7k RPM. Oh it's so good. But I don't miss it as much as I thought.

The exhaust note on the M4 is so ... dirty? menacing? guttural? All of the above? I really like it. It suits the car - and since I have Black Sapphire on black interior on black wheels, the whole package with that sound is so intimidating and wicked. It's a really nice change.

As I mentioned above, one thing I had trouble with on the 911 was hitting the rev limiter unintentionally. There was this weird delay in my PDK upshifts under hard acceleration that only hit sometimes, so I'd be feeling like a superhero at one moment and then get that power loss bounce off redline and hear a sad trombone in my head...

The thing is, given the power band of the 911 (and the awesome sound up there), I was playing over the 5k mark so much, especially while trying to get some tail movement, that this became an actual problem. Given the broad torque band of the M4, I'm only up near redline when I want to be, not because I need to be.

Comfort / Usability

This is one of the main drivers for my switch, and it does not disappoint. We've already had one family outing with all seats filled and every single person was comfortable. My wife was happy in the back playing with my daughter, and everyone felt the ride quality - even in Sport+ - was great for short or long trips.

iDrive and the general tech integration of the car is a huge step above Porsche. Now I'm here to drive, not poke around the computer, but just the feeling of premium features and technology you get for the price makes you feel that much better about the money you're spending. And hell, I will absolutely use many of the features - they won't go to waste.

Summary

No regrets. Another chapter in my automotive life that I'm proud to embrace. I am going to love learning this car, just like I loved learning the cars before it. And I'll do it while being able to really use it as a family hauler and getting my money's worth.

I'll miss my old friend, and I have no doubt I'll be in a 911 again someday. But one of the best things about cars is that if you don't get uptight and personal and fanboy and base your identity on them, you get to have so much fun enjoying them for what they are, and what they bring to your life.







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Last edited by JPBesl; 07-14-2014 at 05:00 PM..
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      07-14-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
However, it lacks pulling both paddles to shift to neural (which goes further than you'd expect giving a feeling of involvement)
I so desperately want this feature in either the M4 or the RS5. Out of curiosity how does it work when you sell a more expensive car for a less expensive car? Does the dealer write YOU a check instead of the other way around? What about the taxes?
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      07-14-2014, 04:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPBesl View Post
But one of the best things about cars is that if you don't get uptight and personal and fanboy and base your identity on them, you get to have so much fun enjoying them for what they are, and what they bring to your life.
So true and should be part of the masthead for these forums. Great review. Enjoy your car...
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      07-14-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinim3 View Post
. Out of curiosity how does it work when you sell a more expensive car for a less expensive car? Does the dealer write YOU a check instead of the other way around? What about the taxes?
Actually, every one of these cars (save the first M coupe) was a lease. Since I put so few miles on my car (lucky enough not to have a daily commute), I am able to get out of my leases pretty much even, since my buy out equals the trade in offer. From the 325xi to the 335 I actually made $4k!

So downside is I'm paying for miles I'm not using, but it's actually allowing me to trade out of cars more aggressively when I want.
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      07-14-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Love that pic of your 911 and your new m4 looks bad ass too. Congrats.

You hit the nail on the head explaining Pdk. There is an annoying delay in upshifts from when you pull the paddle to when the car actually decides to shift. This was really annoying and always made me wonder why so many claimed that Pdk was so much better than the dct in the m3
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      07-14-2014, 05:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OW View Post
You hit the nail on the head explaining Pdk. There is an annoying delay in upshifts from when you pull the paddle to when the car actually decided to shift. This was really annoying and always made me wonder why everyone thight that Pdk was so much better than the dct in the previous m3
Wow, so it wasn't just mine!
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      07-14-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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Wow congrats! Both are great cars.
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      07-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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Great read and pretty much hit the nail on the head. I am currently as well debating on the 911 replacement though I am leaning more towards cayman. If a larger family pops up M3/M4 all the way.
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      07-14-2014, 06:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ridin135 View Post
Great read and pretty much hit the nail on the head. I am currently as well debating on the 911 replacement though I am leaning more towards cayman. If a larger family pops up M3/M4 all the way.
The cayman s is a fantastic car. I would recommend a manual. It is probably the only car on the planet I would get in manual at the moment. I had the oppurtunity to drive one for a few days and I would buy one in a heartbeat over an m3 m4 if I did not need 4 doors.
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      07-14-2014, 08:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by M3OW View Post
The cayman s is a fantastic car. I would recommend a manual. It is probably the only car on the planet I would get in manual at the moment. I had the oppurtunity to drive one for a few days and I would buy one in a heartbeat over an m3 m4 if I did not need 4 doors.
Agreed, although a well-equipped Cayman S or GTS is quite a bit more expensive than a similarly-equipped M3/M4.
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      07-14-2014, 09:44 PM   #11
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Agreed, although a well-equipped Cayman S or GTS is quite a bit more expensive than a similarly-equipped M3/M4.
Yes but your getting a car that is so much more fun to drive and a very rare mid engine layout. I think it's honestly worth the extra dough. Nothing sounds better than a Porsche flat six IMO. The second I find a cpo cayman s 6spd for a decent price I'm jumping on it.
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      07-14-2014, 10:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OW View Post
Yes but your getting a car that is so much more fun to drive and a very rare mid engine layout. I think it's honestly worth the extra dough. Nothing sounds better than a Porsche flat six IMO. The second I find a cpo cayman s 6spd for a decent price I'm jumping on it.
No argument - the Cayman is worth the extra dough. It is something special.

Here in CA, a well-equipped one with sales tax and fees will approach $100K - not an easy amount to stomach for a Cayman, but it is a unique car that offers a great driving experience. It just doesn't feel like you're getting $90K+ worth of "stuff", but that's obviously not the right way to look at it.
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      07-14-2014, 10:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
Agreed, although a well-equipped Cayman S or GTS is quite a bit more expensive than a similarly-equipped M3/M4.
I was thinking M4 but feel the Cayman GTS is better but then the Cayman GT3 will be out. Therefore I ordered a M3 but deep down inside I know the Macan is probably a better daily driver.

I've had GT3RS, 911TT, and Boxster spyder and I can say Porsche makes the best sports car in terms of feel, accuracy, precision, and driving feel.

As a daily driver the M3/M4 is really hard to beat for a regular useable car that can be tracked. Porsche gets unwanted attention and not great for store runs.
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      07-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #14
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As a daily driver the M3/M4 is really hard to beat for a regular useable car that can be tracked. Porsche gets unwanted attention and not great for store runs.
True - a Cayman/Boxster/911 is not very good as an only car...

The unwanted attention Porsche sports cars get is one factor that prevented me from considering them seriously in the past. Didn't want to deal with that, and also with the fear that it would be vandalized. Not too many places where I would dare park it...

Another thing I don't like about these cars is how hard it is to repair them due to the lousy engine access. Even something like replacing the alternator is a big pain on the Cayman, for example. Parts of the interior need to be dismantled, the work is done from inside the car, etc. I wouldn't keep a 991 or 981 past the point where non-trivial work need to be done on the car.

Great cars to drive, but not very practical...
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      07-14-2014, 11:40 PM   #15
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No argument - the Cayman is worth the extra dough. It is something special.

Here in CA, a well-equipped one with sales tax and fees will approach $100K - not an easy amount to stomach for a Cayman, but it is a unique car that offers a great driving experience. It just doesn't feel like you're getting $90K+ worth of "stuff", but that's obviously not the right way to look at it.
Here in California there are a ton of 2014 caymans well equipped in the mid 70's. You will even find some in the high sixties. Trust me I've been looking into buying the new cayman for quite some time. Granted you will not get the kind of standard equipment that comes in an m3 but it's not what you would call sparse either. You can get the car in and around 100k but with meaningless options. For me I would never spend 10k on carbon ceramics when the standard brakes are more than sufficient on a 3000 pound car.
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      07-14-2014, 11:50 PM   #16
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Here in California there are a ton of 2014 caymans well equipped in the mid 70's. You will even find some in the high sixties. Trust me I've been looking into buying the new cayman for quite some time. Granted you will not get the kind of standard equipment that comes in an m3 but it's not what you would call sparse either. You can get the car in and around 100k but with meaningless options. For me I would never spend 10k on carbon ceramics when the standard brakes are more than sufficient on a 3000 pound car.
No meaningless options or ceramic brakes, just add PASM, PTV, Sport Chrono, Sport exhaust, 20" wheels, nav, Bose, reversing camera, auto climate control, auto dimming mirrors, multifunction steering wheel...
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      07-14-2014, 11:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OW View Post
Yes but your getting a car that is so much more fun to drive and a very rare mid engine layout. I think it's honestly worth the extra dough. Nothing sounds better than a Porsche flat six IMO. The second I find a cpo cayman s 6spd for a decent price I'm jumping on it.
Bye bye now.
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      07-15-2014, 12:08 AM   #18
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Fun to drive, but not fast enough for me.
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      07-15-2014, 12:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
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No meaningless options or ceramic brakes, just add PASM, PTV, Sport Chrono, Sport exhaust, 20" wheels, nav, Bose, reversing camera, auto climate control, auto dimming mirrors, multifunction steering wheel...
I had mine priced out at 79k

-premium package
-pasm
-ptv
-sport exhaust

Vs F80 75k

-19's
-mdct
-adaptive suspension
-lighting package
-executive package
-USB Bluetooth

About a 4k difference.
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      07-15-2014, 12:33 AM   #20
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Beautiful cars. Congrats.
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      07-15-2014, 01:00 AM   #21
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Great write up! congrats on your M4.

It truly is awesome!
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      07-15-2014, 02:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3OW View Post
Yes but your getting a car that is so much more fun to drive and a very rare mid engine layout. I think it's honestly worth the extra dough. Nothing sounds better than a Porsche flat six IMO. The second I find a cpo cayman s 6spd for a decent price I'm jumping on it.
Have you heard a ferrari? The absolute pinnacle of looks and sound. I hate to admit that it's a subjective topic because it's something that shouldn't be

I loved the Cayman S as well, but it just looks so dull. Very boring personality on the outside, plus the M4 has been achieving better lap times than the S.

Great OP though, really good stuff, especially the closing.

My father has a C2S, though he lives a good distance away from me now, we have been babbling about the M4 vs P-car. I don't give the M4 the time of day compared to the P-car because I know how bad ass of a car that is but he admits that the M4 has something about it's looks and aggressiveness that is extremely attractive.
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