Not to thread jack, but I too have an F80 M3, but it's a Competiton model in individual Laguna Seca blue, in addition to an E46 M3 convertible, and also a TM3 Stealh. They are definitely different cars for different purposes. The Stealth outperforms my F80 Comp except in handling and braking. I would never take the Stealth to a track but the F80 was born on the Nurburgring and was designed as a trackable street car. The cooling system is excellent and the rated 444whp is a worst case scenario. In cooler weather it can put down 475whp. It does not heat soak either. I've driven it on the Nurburgring and it's more capable than my skillset, bone stock. With the DCT it is smooth like an automatic yet can power shift faster than any human. It is still about 90% as fun as driving a stick except you can't mess up. Sorry, I'm no Mario Andreti and can't afford to mishift and blow my engine haha.
The E46 M3 is my weekend top down car. It's very fun to drive for short bursts. I say short bursts bc the stiff suspension and direct feedback of the engine and steering just wears you out. It's been fully restored with some added modern features like BT streaming integration into the factory system, JL sub, and stage 1 BSW speakers to make it more enjoyable. But it's far from sounding anywhere as good as the Tesla's system. I prefer to only drive it with it's top down, or else I'd just drive my F80. It's an SMG car but it's still just as fun. The SMG is plenty fast but can be a little clunky, which makes it feel more like a human shifting than the DCT. Either way, I love the scream of the S54 when ripping it towards it's 8k redline. It's the last inline 6 race derived engine BMW built and is now a modern classic. I can't part with it despite only driving it maybe 2k miles a year, if that. Don't even get me started on the maintenance required...even the oil is called "Liquid gold" at $15 a liter (6.5L needed) bc it's race oil developed specifically for BMW's M engines from 2001-2010 (S54, S62, S65, S85).
The Stealth is a more comfortable everyday car and fwy cruiser. We use it for almost everything. It has replaced my F80 as the long trip family car. To the OPs point, the F80 requires you to be focused if you want to drive it fast. And by fast, I mean very fast bc it was built for the Autobahn. So yes, by the end of a long journey, I am definitely mentally tired. I made the same 240 mile trip in both cars and despite being hung over tired, the AP did a lot of the mentally taxing hwy cruising and traffic jam driving. This alone was one of the biggest selling points for us in getting the Stealth as a 3rd car. If I had to commute to work (which I don't), then most likely I would have sold one of the M3s and gotten another Model 3 for myself.
The F80 now only is driven for pleasure bc it's so visceral. I have replaced the exhaust with one from the CS and it sounds superb without being obnoxious. If I need to run an errand, most likely it is in the Stealth. It's just the opposite of driving my BMWs. Mostly uninvolved and relaxing. No exhaust rumble or overly stiff suspension either. Just a buttery smooth car. If I want to go for a fun drive, well, it just depends on if I want FI grumbling torquey power or normally aspirated screaming redline pulls.
My girls think my F80 is slow now bc they know what 0-60 in 2.9 feels like. They actually hate it bc of the head slap it causes and dizziness that ensues afterwards when I for it without warning them. This was never an issue in the F80 haha.
The other good part about the Tesla is the sound system is more enjoyable bc it's not fighting the exhaust and engine sounds. Never having to visit a gas station to fill up even when I drive it all out like a madman is an awesome feeling, and it doesn't cost me $60 either haha. And there's virtually no maintenance except for tires and maybe brakes in like 100k miles? Man, lots of practical wins here.
Overall, the F80 is the peak of BMW engineering for ICE (until the G80 M3 comes out, but that car could be hideous based on leaked photos). I'm keeping mine forever since it's still super fun to drive, looks aggressive and classy at the same time, and has a ton of sentimental value (we drove it all over Europe during our Euro delivery). But the future is EVs and we are enjoying that future very much in the Model 3.
Nice comments and write up. I'd be really interested to see what your reaction is to a properly modded model 3 Performance. Aftermarket rotors, track pads, coilovers, re71 or cup Sport 2, the whole nine yards. I've gone part of the way there with the coilovers and I'm running a slightly staggered setup. Will shortly have Pilot Sport 4S 265 / 30 fronts and 275 / 30 Rears. Have the MPP coilover set pretty stiff for the street, but the ride is still pretty comfortable and the transient response is really impressive. If you ever in Florida look me up I'd be happy to let you take the car for a spin. One of the most amazing things about the car is that you can hot rod it and still get 75 - 90 mpge. Can't get too close to that with an internal combustion engine Sports sedan unless you put a sail on it and throw it off a cliff! Hah!