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BMW M Coupe vs. Porsche Cayman

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in BMW
Which one wins? The BMW or Porshe? Read the comparison and post your comments.

2006 Sport Coupe Shootout: BMW M Coupe vs. Porsche Cayman S


  • mpowerf1mpowerf1 Member Posts: 1
    Like all Porsches now, the Cayman S is too clinical to be fun. The M Coupe, on the other hand, may perform worse on a track (barely...) but is a lot more fun to drive. You are more involved. Plus, 15 grand is just too much to pay for something that has less power than a Mustang.
  • decodog2decodog2 Member Posts: 1
    I have been reading auto mags and the edmunds site for many years and Mr. Hellwig's second opinion on this comparison is the biggest load of BS that I have read yet. All reviews of the Porche Cayman S have been consistent about this being a true driver's car. Mr. Hellwig is going to choose the BMW M roadster because it is harder to drive fast and because it looks odd. It would have been more believable if he had just said because its cheaper. If Mr. Hellwig had to choose one as his only car for the next 10 years, I know he would choose the Cayman.
  • sandydebsandydeb Member Posts: 19
    When you tear up a back road, you actually feel like you had something to do with it. With the Cayman, it was all the car's doing.

    So if Porsche designs a car which just natural handles better than the M, you need to penalize them for it?

    I thought experienced auto journalists would evaluate cars on the basis of how they line up in teh hands of the same driver. If we have an expert driver driving both cars, would he ultimately end up extracting more out of the Cayman than out of the M? I think this shootout provides the answer and then answer is yes.

    And I dont think the 'real' hardcore drivers of the sort Mr. Hellwig seems to refer to would (or should) even care about these cars. They should rather get an evo or wrx and soup it up to deliver more gut wrenches at half the price!

    I think the target segment for these cars is very well defined. And in every respect, the Porsche wins. Leaving everything else aside, I think even from the exclusivity perspective Porsche flogs BMW. Due to the proliferation of their lower end models (3 series has almost become the quivalent of accords / camries in my office parking lot) I dont think BMW has retained as much exclusivity.

    Porsche is the better car and has more exclusivity appeal, both desirable for the intended market. Sigh, too bad that I am not yet in their crosshairs. Someday......
  • barrosjabarrosja Member Posts: 2
    From an owner of a 06 M Roadster i can tell you this dude is way off. Granted i have not driven a Cockster (top gear anyone?) But ive had this car for 7 months and each drive is better than the next. Its ride is NOT harsh at all contrary to many reviews stating that. I used to own a G35 and and that ride was much worse, 350Z? EVEN more harsh. The BMW handles so fluidly, you know exactly where its going to go around a corner and the ride is EXCELLENT for such a "on rail" handling sports car. Dont believe the lies, its heaven! :P
  • charlesbcharlesb Member Posts: 43
    The M-coupe rides harsher than the M-Roadster so unless you have test driven one on the same roads as the Edmund's tester your saying the remarks are "way off" must be considered in that light.

    Several published reviews have mentioned that BMW might have gone too far in stiffening up the suspension to take advantage of the more rigid coupes inherent capabilities.
  • ambientflierambientflier Member Posts: 10
    The lotus elise has WAYYY less power than a mustang too, yet that doesn't stop it from beating the hell out of the FROD. That's called power-to-weight ratio. The porsche has 5hp less and 500lbs less than a mustang gt. Light weight ain't cheap.
  • m3guym3guy Member Posts: 6
    I can understand why cayman S won over the m coupe but come on now, we're comparing a 70k car to a 54.5k car! lets try to keep it within 10k range at least.

    im sure if BMW spent more money in research in developing a lighter chassis/materials, use a new engine (instead of the 2001 s54 engine)....and charge the car for like 65k then i bet the BMW M coupe will win :)
  • stromilestromile Member Posts: 1
    ambientflier is right on the money. Check out the November Car & Driver and read the article that they are calling their new performance benchmark. It's interesting to see how well the Cayman S performed against cars with much more horsepower. They say that they will begin testing all of their performance oriented cars with this method which should make for some interesting discussions.
  • jmarounjmaroun Member Posts: 151

    According to M is more expensive?

    2007 Porsche Cayman 2dr Rear-wheel Drive Coupe Base+Sports Package:
    $52,875 e=false

    2006 BMW M 2dr Roadster Base
    Target Price: $52,995 e=false

    just my 2 cents,

    San Diego, CA
  • m3guym3guy Member Posts: 6
    you are absolutely right! :)

    but in the original article they were comparing the Porsche Cayman S and the BMW M Coupe.

    just comparing the msrp pricing.....

    BMW M coupe is $49,300
    where as the
    Porsche Cayman S is $58,900

    the regular cayman was $49,400

    also you can't really compare the regular cayman and M coupe... because they're really two different animals. The M coupe will smoke the cayman

    cayman S is more similar to the M coupe
  • blsjrblsjr Member Posts: 1
    When you talk about performance sport coupes there is only one thing to judge, who wins on the track. If you justifying, defending, or explaining why the BMW is more fun to lose in, then you must already own one. Sorry for you, if you want the best you have to pay the price, or be content with coming in second where it counts. Being more involved is code word for fighting for control and rubbing off speed when it matters. Buy the Porsche Cayman S and enjoy, it's the most precise road course machine which out performs anything out there in class. So please don't try to push the winner to second by explaining how it's more fun to fight a car than drive a machine.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I have tremendous respect for BMW in the mid to high end sport coupe and sedan segment (check out my positive posts in those forums). The previous model M5 was, and still is, IMO the pinnacle of what a sports sedan should shoot for. The new V10 model took a big step forward with the engine, but a couple back with i-Drive, larger size and less driver/sports oriented cockpit. Still, the M5 is the king of its category. The M3 is up there as tops in its sports coupe category as well, as long as you don't call a 911 a coupe.

    But, IMO, BMW is way off track when it comes to "sports cars". Too heavy, below average handling, borrowed engines.... The Z3/Z4 were inferior to a $32k Honda S2000 the day they were introduced. I'd rather be driving an M5 on a winding country road that a "Z". At least I'd have the pinnacle of 5 passenger handling rather than the lower end of two passenger handling.

    I never considered (or drove) the M Coupe when sports car shopping last year. My previous test drive experiences with the Z4 were just too dissapointing to overcome.

    If I'm not mistaken, the new 2007 Acura MDX was tested at around 0.85g's by Edmunds. The same they got for the M Coupe. "Sporty" was how they described it. Not exactly what I'd want my best effort as a sports car tagged as.
  • perunestperunest Member Posts: 42
    Two recent professional driver comparison tests show the M Roadster and M Coupe to be quicker on a track than the Cayman S.
    I love Porsches and I test drove three 911's, two Boxster S, and a Cayman S, before buying my M Roadster. I love the M Coupe, but I need to be able to get the top down in the summer, so I opted for the Roadster. The Porsches that have been so successful on the track are 911s. The Cayman has no racing history. In fact, the Porsche 911s that have been most successful are the "cup" cars, which are not intended for the street. Let's look at how the street versions compare.
    The November 6 Autoweek compared the M Coupe to the Boxster S. It gave the $70,505 Cayman S a narrow all around victory over the $57,595 M Coupe. The Cayman S had every performance option, including sports chrono, active suspension management, and 19 inch carerra wheels. On the track at Willow Springs the reviewers were unanimous in voting for the BMW. Here are some quotes from several of the test drivers.
    "On the short, tight streets of Willow the difference between the two was huge".
    "The M Coupe was much, much better. Suddenly the power difference showed itself as I entered the first turn, down to the apex,and easing on the gas, the thing just ran".
    "The M Coupe felt way better on the racetrack"
    A second comparison can be seen in videos from the British TV show "Top Gear". While adding humor and arguing with each other, the staff consists of professional drivers. They ultimately take each car to the same track and have the same professional test driver get his best time. I've attached two links because the Cayman S was tested alone and the M Roadster was tested against the Boxster S. Track times are posted for each car. There are times for many supercars, some of which are beaten by the M Roadster. The Cayman S time was posted before the M Roadster had been tested. When you view the second video you will see that the M Roadster beats both the Boxster S and the Cayman S.
    Both Autoweek and Top Gear agree that the Porsches are easier to drive. The BMW is more difficult to handle, Interestingly, difficult handling was one of the hallmarks of air cooled 911s that made 911 owners sneer at other Porsche drivers with lesser skills.
    Don't get me wrong. I love the Porsche too. I just needed to respond to the "quicker on the track" comment you made.
    Here are the links:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    I don't think there is a winner or loser here.

    In my opinion:
    The Porsche has a more luxurious/upscale cabin. It has higher quality materials, has higher cache/prestige, and sexier looks. The biggest difference though is how it drives. The Cayman S is quick, responsive, and very capable, but compared to the BMW, I think that, to repeat the words of an earlier post, it is a little on the "clinical" side of the fun meter.

    The BMW, on the other hand, has great seats and a terrific small/fat steering wheel, but the cockpit feels claustrophobic compared to the airy-feeling Porsche, and the plastic trim pieces are downright cheap. I like the way the M Coupe looks, but it's clumsy next to the Cayman. Most importantly, the BMW is a rip-snorting good time behind the wheel. The 3.2 I-6 is a hand-built race engine and it feels/sounds like it. Compared to the BMW, the Porsche drives kind of like a very, very good Honda - smooth, refined, effortless.

    The Cayman is a surgeons scalpel and the BMW is a KA-BAR. Personally, I love them both equally (for different reasons), but if I were buying today, my wallet and driving style would lead me towards the BMW.
  • perunestperunest Member Posts: 42
    Borrowed engines in the BMW? What does that signify? The M54 engine has won more prestigious awards than any other 6 cylinder. Just because it was used in the M3 for a few years doesn't make it inferior. It still produces the most horsepower per liter. The Porsche uses the same boxer engine in the Boxster, Boxster s, Cayman, Cayman S, Carerra, and Carrera S. They just vary the displacement from 2.7 liters to 3.6 liters. Note that the 3.2 liter BMW in line six makes 330 hp in the M Roadster and M Coupe. The Cayman only manages 295 HP from a larger 3.4 liter engine. Even the Carerra only makes 325 HP with a 3.6 liter displacement. The Carerra S get to 345 HP by using a 3.8 liter engine. I'd say BMW technology gets an edge here.
  • dieseltaylordieseltaylor Member Posts: 3
    I bought the Cayman because it is a classier car. BMW's are common in my neck of the woods and I have my doubts on how good one will look in 10 years time - not as good as my Cayman for sure.

    I sat in a number of BMWs and this time round the Z4 felt claustrophobic, though the new Audi TT is improved. Same argument of longevity and exclusivity. If I ever drove hell for leather maybe I would be interested. Put me on a motorway cruising 70-80-90's and I am getting 27 mpg. Nice
  • jesawyerjesawyer Member Posts: 1
    But, IMO, BMW is way off track when it comes to "sports cars". Too heavy, below average handling, borrowed engines.... The Z3/Z4 were inferior to a $32k Honda S2000 the day they were introduced.
    The Z4 3.0 outperforms the S2000 in pretty much every performance category. You might say, "But does that actually make it faster around a track?" The answer is yes. A stock Z4 3.0 SMG lapped the Nordschleife in 8 minutes, 32 seconds. The S2000 turned in a time of 8 minutes, 39 seconds. Those are Sportauto times, by the way. The Z4 is significantly more expensive, but it also comes with a more practical truck and (in my opinion) a better interior.

    For comparison, the Cayman S turned in a time of 8 minutes, 25 seconds. In summary, for the price gap between the S2000 and the Z4 3.0, you get a car that performs better in every regard and has more luxury features. This makes sense. More money = more car. For the price gap between the Z4 M Coupe and the Cayman S, you get a car that performs worse and may or may not have a better interior, depending on your preference.

    So what's that again about BMW not knowing how to make sports cars?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    I believe Habitat1 said they were inferior "the day they were introduced."

    When the Z4 was introduced, the top-of-the-line 3.0L model only had 215 HP (N52 series engine). It was heavier, slower, and less responsive than the S2000.

    The 3.0si, which you refer to above, has the newer 255 HP N54 motor. With 40 more HP, it's certainly quicker than the old 3.0L model (and infinitesimally quicker than the S2000), but with it's 300 lb weight disadvantage, it still doesn't quite match the Honda in handling dynamics. On the other hand, it is smoother riding and more comfortable on a day-by-day basis.

    BMW has always been the master of the "ride/handling tradeoff" and the Z4 is no exception. Compared to the S2000, I think the BMW is the better all-around sports car (it should be with a $10,000 price premium). But judged strictly as a sports car, I'd say the Honda, with it's 8000 RPM redline and lighter weight, is still more responsive and thrilling to drive - even if it is 1 MPH slower around The Ring.
  • beemerheadbeemerhead Member Posts: 4
    I bought a Z4 3.0 sport in 2004 after test driving a 350Z and a Honda. The japanese were both good but finish was lacking and frankly driving at 8000rpm all the time (S2000) would get annoying in a Honda. I now own a 2006 M Roadster and have over 20k miles on it. A friend of mine bought a new Boxster S. I can't believe that Porsche charges you to put their own logo on the hood! The Z4 is meant to be a sporty daily driver for most people and it does very well balancing comfort, ease and sporty handling. The M is a track car that you can take on the road, coupe or roadster. The Porsche is sports car that makes driving well easy but they're cramped and everything is "extra" driving the price way up, enough to buy another car for bad weather. It depends on what you want in a car. An M is a good daily driver for people who really like to drive, but a Z4 is easier. Porsche has more snob appeal and like Mercedes they charge you for every ounce of it. It also bugs me that every Porsche looks pretty much like every other Porsche. There is only one Porsche and that is the 911 and everything else is just working up to it. I was attracted to the BMW because of European styling, most performance per dollar, classy fit and the classic long hood roadster look. I also like the M because it is a driver's car and if you want to raise the pucker factor, turn off the DSC and turn on the Sport mode and see how good you really are. The Cayman/Boxster is a great car and so is the M...or the Honda and others. It just depends on what you want, what you can afford and how you like to drive.
This discussion has been closed.