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      06-12-2019, 06:12 PM   #1
JM98
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FBO 135i to 2009 Cayman S

Anyone make the change from a 1-series to a Cayman? I am getting to a point where I'm bored with my car. Its a 2009 135i Auto, FBO on E40 Tune w/88k Miles and is mechanically sound. I typically drive less than 5k miles a year so its more of a weekend car.

Its dumb fast in a straight line, but it just doesn't feel exciting nor very special anymore. The N54 doesn't particularly sound great, even with an exhaust. I know that there will be a massive power difference between the two, but do the other driving aspects of the Porsche make up for it? I am looking at 2009 S's with low (50kish) miles. Any opinions?
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      06-12-2019, 07:13 PM   #2
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Nothing you can possibly get will feel remotely exciting, period.

I got a new Corvette Grand Sport, and frankly if I’m not tearing up the race track it’s not THAT special. Sure 460 HP on a 3,400 frame goes like stink in a straight line, and the magnetic shocks and Cup 2 tires coupled with low center of gravity thanks to old school push-rod V8 means it’ll out grip and out corner everything on the road short of uber exotics.

But driving it outside of the track environment, it’s BORING as all hell.

Now, DON’T GET ME WRONG. The Corvette is an insane amount of car. But like ALL high performance vehicles made in the last 10 years or so, you can’t remotely come close to where the limit of adhesion is, at least, not safely, anywhere outside of a track environment. And while I do get giddy as f**k driving the Grand Sport on track, as the grip, handling, and every measurables on this car is off the charts good, and seriously wood inducing, the second you drive it home from the track event you’re like “seriously? REALLY? This is all I can safely do?!”

Unlike the MZ4 Coupe I have in the garage too. It’s not nearly as fast as the Vette, but it is fun as heck ALL THE TIME. It’s ultimate level of grip comes fast and exploring the limits doesn’t mean a trip to the track. Any twisties and you can easily get up to 80-90% of the car’s handling limits, you can absolutely have a sh*t loads of fun, and while going to the track IS still more fun, the upper limits of what the chassis can and will do is well within the speed limits posted at most of the mountain roads nearby. And every corner you take at speed is instantly rewarded with a huge shot of adrenaline because of how much more closer you can come to the limit of adhesion, and how much the aural, visual, and tactile feedback tells you that you are Driving, not just driving.

That and if you listen carefully, you can almost hear the car taunting you (in a good way) as you drive. “Is that ALL you got? C’mon. We’ve got so much more to explore and so many roads untravelled. Let’s take the LONG way round shall we?”

But I digress. On the “street?” You can get a Ferrari 488 or even a Lamborghini SVJ and if you’re just going to point A from point B? There’s nothing exciting there except for the noise it makes and the whiplash you cause in 13 year old boys and 35 year old men driving a rice rocket. It’s boring as f**k, unless you’re turned on by the attention from 35 year old douches in a 5 year old WRX.

I guarantee you you will be bored with the Cayman S within 6 months.
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      06-12-2019, 07:26 PM   #3
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Love the realistic take on anything being remotely exciting. Maybe i'm jaded from riding sportbikes for 10+ years, but I understand what you mean that any sport car is just not that fun off the track. I guess maybe I'm looking for something with more pedigree, great sound, and fun on twisty roads. How do you like the Z4?
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      06-12-2019, 08:48 PM   #4
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I agree with you about missing the excitement and how sportbikes ruined it. Spent over a decade on all types of bikes.

At this point of my life I am content on the driving experience.



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Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Love the realistic take on anything being remotely exciting. Maybe i'm jaded from riding sportbikes for 10+ years, but I understand what you mean that any sport car is just not that fun off the track. I guess maybe I'm looking for something with more pedigree, great sound, and fun on twisty roads. How do you like the Z4?
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      06-12-2019, 09:18 PM   #5
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If you want excitement ride your motorcycles harder don't buy some boring ass car that handles well.
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      06-13-2019, 12:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Love the realistic take on anything being remotely exciting. Maybe i'm jaded from riding sportbikes for 10+ years, but I understand what you mean that any sport car is just not that fun off the track. I guess maybe I'm looking for something with more pedigree, great sound, and fun on twisty roads. How do you like the Z4?
Not many new cars gives you that “fun” feeling because they’re just so much more capable now than cars were 10+ years ago. I miss cars that’s engaging, fun, communicative, and most of all, you can wring the crap out of it and won’t get put in jail. Sure, they’re capable of land in jail speeds, but you’d have to WORK to land in jail.

The other day a buddy and I were coming home from burgers and Q’s, when I decided to tip in the throttle a little more aggressively than usual to pass a left lane hogging Prius in the Corvette. I think I was maybe into the last 1/3rd of pedal travel in 4th gear for what seemed like half a second when my buddy looked over and said “dude you’d better chill. We’re in triple digit territory.” Sure enough, the HUD indicated 125. I had no idea, because at 125 the car felt like 75. In the MZ4 Coupe? You’d know it’s 125. It may just take a little longer to get there, but every hair on the back of your arm is telling you you’re on radar hit from spending the night in jail.

The modern car has such high limits and high amount of insulation you feel virtually nothing as you approach speed and G forces that are next level compared to cars made up to the mid 2000s. I had an E30 318is, and while it makes about 130hp on a good day, it was an incredibly fun daily as I wind out the motor and toss it around each and every corner like you and the car are one. The MZ4 Coupe is like that, but dialed up to 3,000. It’s more power, more grip, but also more visual, auditory, and tactile feedback everywhere. And since you practically sit on top of the rear axle, you feel every little wiggle of the back end, and since it’s got one of the last great Servotronic hydraulic assisted steering on an insanely short steering ratio, you feel every pebble of DUST on the road. I kid you not.

In the last 30 years since I’ve owned my first car, I’ve never owned ANY car past 5 years. The longest tenured were Munich E46 323Ci, my E30 318is, and my MZ4 coming up on 13 years now. When I bought the Corvette, the Missus asked what am I going to do with the MZ4 Coupe, since they’re both impractical 2 seat sports cars. I gave her a confused, crosses eye look and explained that they’re nothing alike, and they can pry the keys to the MZ4 Coupe out of my cold dead hands.

IF you’ve never driven an MZ4 Coupe, go find one and drive it. They don’t make them like this anymore, and in fact the only other BMW offering even remotely similar to the MZ4 Coupe was the MZ3 Coupe. Stiff chassis, short wheel base, power enough to get in trouble, but not enough to get in TROUBLE. Both chassis were true gems and testament to what engineers would build if no f**ks were given to management and bean counters. They are the last of the Driver’s car BMW built, with a capital “D”.

I can count on 2 hands cars that deserve to be called “Drivers” that’s made after the turn of the millennia. It’s almost like someone flipped a switch in around 2007-8 timeframe and said, no we’re not going to make cars that Drives. Market research has shown that people are sheeps and as long as it looks great on paper they’ll keep lapping it up.

Now, I’m not here to say that you CAN’T possibly have fun with a Cayman S or a Corvette. Far from it. I once drove a newer Cayman S with PDK at Laguna Seca, and it’s not often I get cargasms, but I had one then. The Cayman S absolutely SHINES at the track, and all the praises heaped upon it are fully deserved. But on that same day, I hop back in my MZ4 Coupe, and sure, it’s probably not as fast around Laguna Seca as that new Cayman S, but if you were to ask me if I’d consider a straight up trade? I’d tell you you’re out of your mind.
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      06-13-2019, 05:31 AM   #7
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The Hack has such great posts. He's spot on with is assessment IMO. Cars have become rolling infotainment pods with a MMI for cell phone geeks. Even BMW doesn't give a shit how they actually feel to drive. The marked difference came with the birth of the F30. Any car is boring with an automatic IMO. Manually shifting the transmission with two limbs keeps you engaged in all situations; hell, FORCES you to be engaged, where as an automatic can let you slip into playing with the stupid iDrive.

I live out in the woods in the mountains near the Shenandoah National Park. We have some great roads out here and I luckily get to drive them every day. I have a plain old E90 325i with a sport package (and E30 325i before that) and a Z4 Coupe. I've had the E90 for 13 years now and the Z4 for 4 and a half. The 3rd BMW is my wife's 22 year old Z3 we've had since new. I still look forward to driving everyone of them. The Z3 is actually my favorite in some ways. Yep, slow as dogfish, but I dropped a Bilstein/H&R spring kit in it 10 years ago and it handles with such visceral appeal it just takes you back to the days when cars were mechanical and you had to interface with them to the point that your attention has to stay on the act of driving. The Hack is right, the Z4 Coupe does the same thing; and I'd bet the M version even more so.

When I was shopping for a sports coupe, I immediately went for a Cayman. Great looking car, and a Porsche. I test drove a low-mile 2008 non-S, with the S wheel package, and to be honest, I did see what all the fuss was about (driving on the street at least), I passed on it. On the way home, I remembered the Z4 Coupe. Has the same engine as my E90. Would fit repair profile, meaning I have all the tools to fix it. I test drove just one, the one I bought. The Z4 Coupe, even in non-M form just drives like it is alive.

I suggest getting a retrograde car, like an E46 M3 maybe, or a Z4M Coupe/Roadster, perhaps a E37 Z3 Coupe. Find the best example you can and clean it up back to almost new spec, and have a fun weekend car.
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      06-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
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I've owned two Z4M Roadsters prior to my current M4, and pretty much agree with Hack that the Z4M platform is outstanding. I love my M4 to death don't get me wrong, but knowing what I know now I likely would have stayed with the Z4M. My biggest problems with my last Z4M were it was 11 years old, had 83k miles on it, and the cars are notorious for both VANOS and rod bearing issues. I looked into the cost of replacing both, as well as the cost to repair the car if either broke, and it just didn't make sense to me from a financial stand point to keep the car in comparison to getting something newer w/warranty etc.

With that being said, if BMW created the Z4M again (built them today without changing a thing), I'd be first in line to buy one. Roadster or Coupe form, I think they're one of the most unsung and underappreciated vehicles of all time.

Ahh, I do miss her though....

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      06-13-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Ahh, I do miss her though....

Beautiful car. Just BEAUTIFUL.

I'll add this. In ALL my years of hanging out on BMW forums, and 13 years of owning the MZ4 Coupe, plus my original 2003 Z4 3.0i that got traded in for the MZ4 Coupe, I've NEVER come across someone that willingly sold the MZ4 variant because it's "boring." Sure, there are quite a few that sold because family obligation (I mean, *I* had that conversation when my daughter was born soon after I bought the MZ4. Again, cold, dead, fingers.). Few sold for practicality purposes (garage, condo, apartment, small trunk...etc). Many were tempted by newer, more powerful models.

But no one ever sold the MZ4 because it's boring. NO ONE.

It's not a great car. It remotely passes as a "good" car. It has none of the modern driver's aid, but it has all the modern amenities (bluetooth, automatic climate, power seats*, heated seats*, HIDs etc) and a design that looks as good today as it did the day it rolled off the assembly line. In fact some would probably argue that it looks better TODAY than it did back in the early 2000s when Bangle and Flame Surfacing were two of the most hated phrases in automotive industry.

But forget all that. Few cars put a smile on my face every time I fire it up. This was one of them.
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      06-13-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Anyone make the change from a 1-series to a Cayman? I am getting to a point where I'm bored with my car. Its a 2009 135i Auto, FBO on E40 Tune w/88k Miles and is mechanically sound. I typically drive less than 5k miles a year so its more of a weekend car.

Its dumb fast in a straight line, but it just doesn't feel exciting nor very special anymore. The N54 doesn't particularly sound great, even with an exhaust. I know that there will be a massive power difference between the two, but do the other driving aspects of the Porsche make up for it? I am looking at 2009 S's with low (50kish) miles. Any opinions?
It really comes down to what you think is fun. Some people are acceleration people, others are chassis people. Certainly, plenty of people like both. However, in this situation, I think you will need to make a choice between the two. You've been spoiled by the likely easy acceleration that doesn't require you to wring the car out within an inch of its life. The Cayman is a reasonably fast car, but it isn't that fast and the delivery will be completely different than your car. My prediction is that you'll think the Cayman is slow---possibly too slow.

I drove a 987 Boxster (non-S) soon after they came out. I had an 06 VW GTI at the time. Wow, I still remember that car to this day. It was faster than my GTI, but what really struck me is how awesome the car felt at all speeds. You don't need to go fast to really enjoy the detailing that you feel through the steering and brake pedal. And that flat-6 sounds fantastic.

Now though, would I feel the same? I moved on to cars much faster than my GTI or a regular 987 Boxster. They aren't nearly as precise, but I don't know if the speed I am accustomed to has ruined me to slower cars with a better balanced driving experience.
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      06-13-2019, 01:22 PM   #11
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I can have a good amount of fun driving just about anytime I’m not stuck in traffic or busy roads. In my Corvette or 135 all I need to do is down shift a gear or two and it turns a leisurely slow ride into a fun two hands on wheel ride especially when the road gets twisty. I don’t need to be doing 100+ to have fun driving but I certainly get my share of that also.
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      06-13-2019, 01:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Its a 2009 135i Auto, FBO on E40 Tune w/88k Miles and is mechanically sound.
I believe this is your ultimate problem. Not whether you keep the 1 series or go with a 987.
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      06-13-2019, 01:32 PM   #13
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Whatever direction you decide to go, be sure to test drive the car(s) in the appropriate setting. Turo, Shift, friend of friends etc can give you longer experience to really understand the car.

A 987 Cayman is a ground-up sports car - its going to handle better, offer a lower driving position and better shift feel. That being said I did find the stock Cayman S to be more clinical feeling than expected. If it is truly a weekend car there are cars with more character and panache to be explored.
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      06-13-2019, 01:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Beautiful car. Just BEAUTIFUL.

I'll add this. In ALL my years of hanging out on BMW forums, and 13 years of owning the MZ4 Coupe, plus my original 2003 Z4 3.0i that got traded in for the MZ4 Coupe, I've NEVER come across someone that willingly sold the MZ4 variant because it's "boring." Sure, there are quite a few that sold because family obligation (I mean, *I* had that conversation when my daughter was born soon after I bought the MZ4. Again, cold, dead, fingers.). Few sold for practicality purposes (garage, condo, apartment, small trunk...etc). Many were tempted by newer, more powerful models.

But no one ever sold the MZ4 because it's boring. NO ONE.

It's not a great car. It remotely passes as a "good" car. It has none of the modern driver's aid, but it has all the modern amenities (bluetooth, automatic climate, power seats*, heated seats*, HIDs etc) and a design that looks as good today as it did the day it rolled off the assembly line. In fact some would probably argue that it looks better TODAY than it did back in the early 2000s when Bangle and Flame Surfacing were two of the most hated phrases in automotive industry.

But forget all that. Few cars put a smile on my face every time I fire it up. This was one of them.
I can't agree more, the car was never "boring" a single time I drove it. Even for a little 2 mile trip back and forth from the grocery store was a joy to drive. Ahhh, you and this thread Hack.....the pain.
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      06-13-2019, 05:36 PM   #15
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WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree The HACK! And I’ve used the same cold dead fingers phrase whenever selling it gets brought up by someone:



The F80 pictured is the 2nd one I’ve had and I LOVE it but, if something came up and I had to sell one of those two... it’d be bye bye F80.

——-

OP, I think the M2 is a pretty exciting car to drive (and not just the 19 competition). I also think Boxsters/Caymans are cool (I have a ‘97). There is nothing like having the engine behind you and that very much adds to the driving excitement factor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
Nothing you can possibly get will feel remotely exciting, period.

I got a new Corvette Grand Sport, and frankly if I’m not tearing up the race track it’s not THAT special. Sure 460 HP on a 3,400 frame goes like stink in a straight line, and the magnetic shocks and Cup 2 tires coupled with low center of gravity thanks to old school push-rod V8 means it’ll out grip and out corner everything on the road short of uber exotics.

But driving it outside of the track environment, it’s BORING as all hell.

Now, DON’T GET ME WRONG. The Corvette is an insane amount of car. But like ALL high performance vehicles made in the last 10 years or so, you can’t remotely come close to where the limit of adhesion is, at least, not safely, anywhere outside of a track environment. And while I do get giddy as f**k driving the Grand Sport on track, as the grip, handling, and every measurables on this car is off the charts good, and seriously wood inducing, the second you drive it home from the track event you’re like “seriously? REALLY? This is all I can safely do?!”

Unlike the MZ4 Coupe I have in the garage too. It’s not nearly as fast as the Vette, but it is fun as heck ALL THE TIME. It’s ultimate level of grip comes fast and exploring the limits doesn’t mean a trip to the track. Any twisties and you can easily get up to 80-90% of the car’s handling limits, you can absolutely have a sh*t loads of fun, and while going to the track IS still more fun, the upper limits of what the chassis can and will do is well within the speed limits posted at most of the mountain roads nearby. And every corner you take at speed is instantly rewarded with a huge shot of adrenaline because of how much more closer you can come to the limit of adhesion, and how much the aural, visual, and tactile feedback tells you that you are Driving, not just driving.

That and if you listen carefully, you can almost hear the car taunting you (in a good way) as you drive. “Is that ALL you got? C’mon. We’ve got so much more to explore and so many roads untravelled. Let’s take the LONG way round shall we?”

But I digress. On the “street?” You can get a Ferrari 488 or even a Lamborghini SVJ and if you’re just going to point A from point B? There’s nothing exciting there except for the noise it makes and the whiplash you cause in 13 year old boys and 35 year old men driving a rice rocket. It’s boring as f**k, unless you’re turned on by the attention from 35 year old douches in a 5 year old WRX.

I guarantee you you will be bored with the Cayman S within 6 months.
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      06-13-2019, 06:09 PM   #16
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I appreciate all the great feedback. I will be taking some time this weekend to research Z4's as well - I never thought to cross shop those. I have taken a look at the 2 series but its just too similar to what I have now. As far as fun factor I did own a 2008 Mini Cooper S that was a blast around town, so I may think about revisiting those as well.
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      06-13-2019, 06:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
I believe this is your ultimate problem. Not whether you keep the 1 series or go with a 987.
Agreed, although the Xhp flash certainly helps.
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      06-13-2019, 07:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
I appreciate all the great feedback. I will be taking some time this weekend to research Z4's as well - I never thought to cross shop those. I have taken a look at the 2 series but its just too similar to what I have now. As far as fun factor I did own a 2008 Mini Cooper S that was a blast around town, so I may think about revisiting those as well.
I own a BMW, a MINI F56S with a JB4 tune, and a Ferrari 360 Spider.

I daily the MINI and still think it is the most fun out of those three, by far.

Take that as you wish.
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      Yesterday, 06:38 AM   #19
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I think I can offer some relevant experience to the OP

I went from a 2007 z4 coupe 3.0si to a 2014 cayman S
and from a 2016 Cayman S to a 2018 M240i


if you've never had a porsche before, then yes I would say the move is worth it.

they offer a visceral, precise, connected driving experience that is next level as compared to a bmw
amazing handling, sound, NA throttle response

the only thing you might miss from your 135i is low end torque, but the instant throttle response and sound from an NA engine will more than compensate I suspect...do it!
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      Yesterday, 06:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
Anyone make the change from a 1-series to a Cayman? I am getting to a point where I'm bored with my car. Its a 2009 135i Auto, FBO on E40 Tune w/88k Miles and is mechanically sound. I typically drive less than 5k miles a year so its more of a weekend car.

Its dumb fast in a straight line, but it just doesn't feel exciting nor very special anymore. The N54 doesn't particularly sound great, even with an exhaust. I know that there will be a massive power difference between the two, but do the other driving aspects of the Porsche make up for it? I am looking at 2009 S's with low (50kish) miles. Any opinions?
I think you have what happens to most of us, performance dysmorphia. At first the car seems exciting, fast and thrilling, but as you get used to it, it becomes your new baseline and now you’re looking for more.

As for the Porsche Cayman, I’d say you definitely need to drive it. They handle wonderfully and the fit and finish is there. But you really have to wring them out to get the glorious sounds and speed where a 135i is much more instantaneous. We got a 718 and it drives a bit more similarly to the 135i since there’s boost and you feel the torque much earlier. However there is a bit more turbo lag as compared to the 135i especially since it’s a flat four. I really test drove several Cayman S and a couple GTS but felt the 718 was so much better for me.

As for the Corvette mentioned above. I love mine but it’s truly more of a GT car. It’s very fast, grips wonderfully and does everything well. You should also look at them especially since dealers are trying to get rid of existing stock before the C8 comes out. I would say even a base stingray is wonderful as well.
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