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FR-S / BRZ vs.... Area to discuss the FR-S/BRZ against its competitors [NO STREET RACING]


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Old 05-05-2017, 03:04 AM   #1
Kamber
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Anyone here come from an E9X M3?

Looking for some opinions on any FRS/BRZ owners on these boards that came from an E92 or E90 M3; nothing in particular, any insight is welcome.

I'm debating on making the switch to a BRZ. Obviously these are two very different cars, but I feel as though the main attraction for me personally would be that it's just a lot more realistic to be able to wring it out/enjoy on a regular basis without finding myself wayyyy outside the speed limit while doing so.

My E90 M3 is my DD right now, and the wife drives a 4Runner so we have that for when space/cargo capacity is needed. I definitely appreciate how spacious the M3 is when we have the occasion passenger/friend riding along, but we don't have any kids yet and don't plan on doing so for another 4-6 years or so, so all that I really use the extra room for most of the time is groceries or my gym bag.

I love the car, I just feel as though a BRZ may be more fun in terms of pure DD duties. I do zero track events whatsoever, and don't plan to due to an exhaustive work schedule and desire to spend time with the missus on the weekends, so the M3 is somewhat of a caged beast.

I intend to go try to test drive one sometime soon; wish I had a trusted friend who owned a 6MT BRZ or FRS that I could car-swap with for a week to get a real feel for how fun the twins are to drive on a daily basis.

All discussion is welcome; feel free!
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:14 AM   #2
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if you do make the change you'll really enjoy watching the value of your sold M3 rise while the BRZ value drops, owning a FRS and driving countless E9X's i can tell you id never make the switch and it is one of my biggest regrets buying a new frs over a M3 or 911 thinking it'd be smart saving money on maintenance.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:57 AM   #3
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Very different cars, but for a daily driver that won't see track time I think the M3's comfort/power outweigh the FR-S's rawness/"slow car fast" mentality.

Everyone has different ideas on what they want though. Test drive a used FR-S so you can explore the upper RPM's and see how you like it.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:05 AM   #4
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I think you would miss the v8 torque. What about a Camaro SS 1LE?
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
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When I purchased my first BRZ I sold an E92 M3. Lets just say I missed one of those cars so much I just got a new one.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by funwheeldrive View Post
I think you would miss the v8 torque. What about a Camaro SS 1LE?
people always suggest this car and it makes me wonder if anyone has ever driven a camaro before, the numbers sound good but they are quite possibly the worst cars in the world to be inside.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by evomike View Post
people always suggest this car and it makes me wonder if anyone has ever driven a camaro before, the numbers sound good but they are quite possibly the worst cars in the world to be inside.
Some people don't care about having visibility I guess. I personally wouldn't want one for that reason.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:43 AM   #8
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I can't offer the exact scenario you are looking for but I had my FRS as a DD for about 2 years. At the time I was also an instructor for track days and got to take out a couple of students in their M3s.


As such I got to take both cars out on track back to back. My conclusion was this:


For street: M3 >> FRS
For track: FRS >> M3


I was blown away that I had way more fun hustling the FRS...but the M3 is a different class of car. The M3 is faster sure, but it is less playful and did not fall to place right away as a driving cockpit. I recall the gates on the 6 speed were pretty wide and with pedal placement or poor seating position I did not heel-toe smoothly right away. In the FRS it was natural from the 1st time.


That being said, I also recall thinking if I had to drive one home, it would be the M3. You hear a lot of people say limits are too high, speeds too dangerous...etc. I call BS. Give me torque, comfort and stability for the street. Give me the high revving, twitchy little fire cracker for the track. In day to day mundane duties the sweet song of the V8 is so much more pleasurable over the FA20, the e9X is more comfortable, practical and fun. If the maintenance cost, awful fuel consumption and potential reliability issues with the motor are not a concern, the M3 is a better DD. As it should be.

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Old 05-05-2017, 01:16 PM   #9
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I'd be happy to swap my 86 for a M3 for a week
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:33 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback gents. Looks like I probably won't be making the switch if my feelings are at all similar to that of the responses pending a test drive.

The new Camaros, while arguably the fastest and best bang for your buck out there currently in terms of performance, just don't appeal to me in terms of aesthetics and cockpit visibility. I understand that pretty much anything I go to is going to have inferior visibility to my M3 sedan's excellent (imo) visibility, but I have no desire to switch to another large/heavy car only to sacrifice usable back seats and visibility in the process. It would definitely run circles around an E9X M3, but it's not for me.

Honestly, I don't even want to get rid of the M3. Before owning one, I was deciding between an E9X and a BRZ, and I guess the fascination to explore the "slow-car-fast" phenomenon just hasn't ever been satisfied yet. Its probably because the only twin I've ever driven was a friend's automatic FRS, and for less than 10 minutes at that. My M3 is my first ever sports car, prior to that the only thing I drove was my 4Runner, so I feel as though I owe it to myself to see what all the hype is about in regard to light, purpose built "fun" cars like the twins, miata, etc. Incase I find them more to my liking.

Maintenance is indeed a bitch on the M3, but I do everything myself so it helps keep the costs down. I have mine quite well sorted for a vehicle approaching 100k miles... rod bearings, throttle actuators, and idle control valve have all been replaced already, which are the rather notorious iterms on that platform.

I agree that the OEM 6MT on the E9X is very blah. I've since swapped to an AutoSolutions SSK, Redline MTL, UCP clutch pedal, F10 M5 shift knob, and plan on putting on aftermarket drill-on gas and brake pedals. You are correct in that the OEM pedal placement/design are not very conducive to heel/toe. I feel like I very much enjoy my MT now, whereas before it was very apparant how sloppy it felt was in OEM configuration.

I suppose I'll have to see for myself on a test drive how livable the BRZ is day to day and if it's "slow-car-fast" drive style is more attractive than that of the M3. I'd imagine what I would miss the most is the sweet full Akrapovic Evolution + V8 exhaust note.

Last edited by Kamber; 05-05-2017 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:49 PM   #11
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Definitely drive one with a manual transmission and drive it hard. These cars don't seem impressive when you're chugging along. Preferably a BRZ with the PP. My FRS feels fine for daily driver, I never considered it uncomfortable. I've owned mostly 90s cars in the past and there really aren't that many modern cars that have the feel of the 86. Maybe I will want something more refined when I'm 60, but not right now.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:06 PM   #12
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My only resource for driving one would be a Subaru or Toyota dealer; I have no idea as to how apprehensive the ones around me are about allowing test drives on 6MT cars, but we shall see! (:
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:16 AM   #13
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Do your best to keep your E90 M3. I foresee that they will rise in value just like the E30 and as of recent, the E36 generation. I'm trying to tell my buddy to keep his E92 Competition for as long as possible.

That being said, the M3 is so much car, super stable at speed (and quick to get there). The MT I wasn't the biggest fan of, and maintenance won't ever be as cheap as the twins, especially if you have to do routine oil analysis to check your rod bearings.

I also second that you will miss your Akrapovic exhaust too. Can't beat that NA V8 man!
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:55 AM   #14
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Stopped by 2 dealerships on the way home from work today; one subaru, one toyota. Subaru dealership said they generally only allow test drives once a dollar figure is agreed upon the buyer is at least somewhat serious about making a purchase. I informed them that I am not in the business of being serious about buying a car that I have not had the chance to test drive, and that while I understand why they have that policy, it is not something I could get behind. They countered with offering a short, mild test drive down the street and back or coming back later when they had a used 6MT available; I opted for the latter as a "short, mild" test drive wasn't going to do anything for me. The toyota dealership was eager to let me take a spin, but they only had an automatic one available. Will have to check back with them some other week.
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