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Re: Which is more fun? Z3-M or M3??? (archive)

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Posted by Dave N on November 16, 1998 at 10:24:29:

In Reply to: Which is more fun? Z3-M or M3??? posted by Can't Decide on November 14, 1998 at 10:57:37:

: Which car would you prefer for $40K, if your primary concern were pure driving enjoyment?
: This will be a second car, and day-to-day practicality is not needed.
: In addition to fun, which is the "better performing" car?

I have a '98 M3/4 and havae driven a '98 M Roadster. In terms of 'fun to drive', I would have to admit that after driving the M Roadster, my M3 seemed a little tame for a while. :-) The short wheelbase, the unmatched feel of an open-top car, and the fantastic engine combined to put a huge smile on my face. The exhaust is also a little louder (with the four tailpipes just a few feet from you, especially with the top down), though I'm sure I could get a similar effect with an aftermarket exhaust.

In terms of straight line performance, the M Roadster is a little quicker than the M3. However, the rear suspension in the M Roadster is not on the same level as that in the M3. The M3 is widely held to be the superior handler.

If this is going to be a second car and your priority is day-to-day cruising fun (little autocrossing or track time) I would recommend the M Roadster. It's really an incredible little car. However, for more serious endeavors, the M3 is the way to go.

Just remember you are in an enviable position. :-) I had to make a similar decision; however, the car had to be my daily driver and I enjoy carrying some passengers occasionally, so I chose the M3. I love my car, though a little envy surfaces every time I pass an M Roadster. :-)

Good luck with whichever you choose.


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