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I own a 2008 M3 as my toy car. It’s no daily and I don’t need to worry about seating space or gas mileage. I’m only fortunate enough to have one toy and I love the M3, but I also lust for a Cayman S and all its potential for moding. I haven’t modified my M3 with coilovers, supercharger kit, and tune because I believe I want to trade in/sell my M when what I owe/value permits me to do so. I just hope when the time comes, I won’t miss the sound of that high revving V8. Are there any previous E90/92/93 M3 owners in this forum that made the switch to the Cayman S? If there are I’d like to hear your thoughts on the switch.
 

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I made that exact swap last year. 2008 E90 M3 for a 2009 Cayman S.

If you are looking for toy car, I would say go for it no doubt. I am REALLY enjoying my CS, also purely as a toy at this point. I have had it for a year soon and I have only put about 6000 miles on it and three track events. As a toy I enjoy the CS better, as a daily driver I am a little torn. The M3 has the bigger size, back seat, trunk and so on going for it in the comfort department. The Cayman has gas milage going for it also in a street driving capacity I enjoy the powerplant of the CS better, more power is available at reasonable speeds and RPM. As you know, in the M3 you had to get the revs up there to get to the true power band and if you redline in second gear in the M3 your are breaking the speed limit in most states.

I used the M3 as a daily driver and I only did a couple of Auto X with it (never put it on the track), so the comparison is a little hard at this point, since I am not using them the same way. I am not going to say I haven't looked back and missed some features of the M3, but who wouldn't with such an awesome car.

I would 100% go with the 09 or newer DFI model of the CS. I was offered GREAT deals on several new 2008s, but driving both there was truly no contest mostly in the engine and power department, but also personally I like the newer interior and exterior styling much better.
 

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I haven't owned the M3, but it came down to either it or the newer Cayman S when I recently decided I wanted to change it up from my S2K. I decided on the CS and will be ordering one soon. What won me over is the exterior/interior styling, brand marquee, and IMO it's a true sports car vs. the M3. Like you, the extra space, etc. in the M3 isn't a concern for me since I've got an SUV when needed
 
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