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M3P - Who switched from a (true) sports car?

drew4392

Member
Feb 5, 2020
37
6
Los Angeles
Who switched to a M3P from a proper sports car (i.e. BMW M3/M4, Merc C63, Caddy V, Audi RS, Vette, higher trim Stang/Camaro, etc)?

If so, which one?

I knew there was going to be a drop in handling/chassis performance, but it's a bit more than I was hoping for. The track numbers and certain reviews made it seem like the disparity was smaller than I'm experiencing, but I think the sheer power and instantaneous torque helps the numbers themselves. Numbers/times aside, there are a number of chassis characteristics that are sorely lacking. The damping is probably the biggest gripe.

However, I (sort of) knew what I was getting myself into, and the car is still enjoyable.

This is by no means a dumping ground of a thread, just curious what others think who came from a proper sports car.
 

SK360

Member
Aug 20, 2019
474
755
Pittsburgh, PA
I switched from a 620rwhp supercharged C7 Corvette with Z51 package and magnetic ride.

I have not gotten a chance to Autocross the Tesla yet (season starts 4/5... I hope) but I am assuming I gave up some lateral grip in exchange for absolute domination coming out of a turn and in a straight line. For as hard as I push it on the street I'm def not as comfortable butting up against the limits as I am in the Corvette but the other aspects make it more enjoyable... just IMO.
 

BuckSteed

Member
Feb 17, 2020
26
71
Edmond OK
I switched from a stage 2 Audi S5 DSG coupe to an M3P. I have not had the car long enough to make a truly informed reply but thus far it has exceeded my expectations. Acceleration is simply brutally fast compared to the S5 (or my previous Corvette, Mustang or BMW M3), but I find the handling to be better balanced as well. I know the S5 is notorious for terminal understeer but my S5 has the active rear diff with the ability to overdrive the outside rear wheel and with sport pilots its glued to the ground. I have not had time to take the M3P to the track yet but on my back woods haunts I can edge out my S5 speeds. When you add in the instant power, one footed driving and fantastic infotainment system and safety features I don't miss my Audi at all. The overall quality of the interior is higher on the Audi but the Tesla is no slouch. I am still probing the limits of the chassis so far I am really surprised at how good this car is. For the 99% of the time I am commuting or traveling I enjoy it a great deal more.
 

drew4392

Member
Feb 5, 2020
37
6
Los Angeles
Not to point out the obvious, but the Model 3P isn't a sportscar - it's a (4100 lb.) sports sedan.

Yep, 100%. I wanted to make sure I prefaced the message with that.

There are some hefty sports sedans and sports cars in the same weight range, but with better poignancy and composure.

Interesting, because I was going to suggest my previous S4s exhibited better chassis dynamics than the M3P. @BuckSteed seems to disagree, which I appreciate. The car I came from is a F80 M3, and the car before that was a modded B8.5 S4 (stage 2, suspension, etc). Perhaps if my S4 was stock, I could recall the apples-to-apples comparison more clearly.

And of course, this is a sporty sedan, and not a sports car. Tons of fun. Creature comforts and tech make up for lack of raw handling prowess.
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
591
853
Sacramento
2003 Mustang Cobra. My Cobra has an upgraded supercharger, a few suspension mods, and bigger rims/tires. What surprises me most about my P3D is how ‘floaty’ it gets when pushed. I’m considering shocks and springs, but not anytime soon. Might give it a year-ish. It doesn’t lean too bad in turns so I might skip sway bars.
 
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Zcd1

Member
Sep 2, 2018
740
877
Walloon Lake, MI / LaQuinta, CA
The car I came from is a F80 M3, and the car before that was a modded B8.5 S4 (stage 2, suspension, etc). Perhaps if my S4 was stock, I could recall the apples-to-apples comparison more clearly.

And of course, this is a sporty sedan, and not a sports car. Tons of fun. Creature comforts and tech make up for lack of raw handling prowess.

I also owned a modified (lowered, tuned) B8 S4 and really loved that car, but I enjoy my Model 3P even more. Both handle well, with a slight edge in overall suspension refinement to the S4, but the Model 3 is even more instantaneously responsive and agile.
 
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drew4392

Member
Feb 5, 2020
37
6
Los Angeles
2003 Mustang Cobra. My Cobra has an upgraded supercharger, a few suspension mods, and bigger rims/tires. What surprises me most about my P3D is how ‘floaty’ it gets when pushed. I’m considering shocks and springs, but not anytime soon. Might give it a year-ish. It doesn’t lean too bad in turns so I might skip sway bars.

Yes, this. Quite floaty. I don't recall similar, as-heavy sport sedans being this floaty (S4, Stinger, 340 x drive, etc)

In those longer, higher speed turns, with any undulation, my confidence definitely takes a hit in the P3D
 

Ritz

Member
Mar 16, 2020
159
137
Virginia
I have owned a number of sport sedans (heavily modified Audi A4 and A6's), a Porsche here and there, as well as a few Mustang GT's. My current ride is a recent vintage Charger Scatpack with 485 naturally aspirated horsepower. The last one approximates the weight of a 3P. I'll miss the creature comforts and extra space of the Charger. I'll REALLY miss the soundtrack. :) The 3P just blows it away in terms of raw performance. I don't track my cars, but I do drive them in a "spirited" fashion. I'll be selling the Charger soon and don't plan to look back. I figure I'm also going to save $50-60/week in fuel for my daily commute.

I've been doing all my 3P driving in other peoples' vehicles. I'm picking mine up in about a week and a half. :)

Best,

p.s. For what it's worth, if I hadn't gotten the 3P, my 2nd choice was a lightly used Audi RS7. It just wasn't worth an extra 30k to me to get to a quarter mile a half second faster and I find the idea of not having to do tune ups and oil changes any longer very appealing. :)
 
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Zcd1

Member
Sep 2, 2018
740
877
Walloon Lake, MI / LaQuinta, CA
p.s. For what it's worth, if I hadn't gotten the 3P, my 2nd choice was a lightly used Audi RS7. It just wasn't worth an extra 30k to me to get to a quarter mile a half second faster and I find the idea of not having to do tune ups and oil changes any longer very appealing. :)

A friend of mine just bought a lightly used (CPO) RS7. Sweet car. Pricey, even used, and terrible gas mileage, but you're used to that, right?

We had a friendly coupla runs - Model 3P had a slight edge, whether from a stop or from a roll. The flip side is that the RS7 is more "relaxed" when cruising. The flip/flip side is that the Mode 3 is more alert and fun. In the end, both sweet cars. Despite the difference in $$$, I prefer my car overall. Really.
 
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tij664

Member
May 8, 2017
389
533
Turlock, CA
2003 Mustang Cobra. My Cobra has an upgraded supercharger, a few suspension mods, and bigger rims/tires. What surprises me most about my P3D is how ‘floaty’ it gets when pushed. I’m considering shocks and springs, but not anytime soon. Might give it a year-ish. It doesn’t lean too bad in turns so I might skip sway bars.
Nice! Almost identical to my old car.

I had a 2004 Mustang Cobra with a Kenne Bell supercharger, full stainless exhaust, a couple of suspension mods, an upgraded clutch, and 315/35R17 drag radials in the back. When I didn’t have the drag tires I ran staggered Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3’s. It made 676 RWHP but it had massive traction problems even with the drag radials. From a roll, my 3 feels similar to punching it on my Mustang in 2nd gear, albeit a little less noise, drama, and wheel spin. From a stop, there’s no comparison: the 3 launches SUPER hard. It feels like a friend’s supercharged Fox body on slicks although when his car launched that hard, driveline stuff would usually break.

The handling seems to be on par with my Mustang except my 3 feels like it can be pushed a bit more to the limit with the 20” Michelin PS4s.

My M3P is almost unreal: you can drive it like grandma around town and it’s super quiet and comfy (as comfy as 35 series tires can be anyway) or it can just pin you back in the seat with no drama and leave you with a grin wider than your face.
 

camkelly

Member
Dec 30, 2019
5
3
Philly
Coming from a stage 2 700whp RS7.

Acceleration 30-50mph is similar, raced against the stage 2 RS7 and it was pretty much even up to 50mph. RS7 handled like garbage due to the air ride, M3P springs are much better but it is still floaty in high speed cornering / compression situations.

Overall very happy with the car, similar performance with no maintenance cost.
 

Ritz

Member
Mar 16, 2020
159
137
Virginia
Coming from a stage 2 700whp RS7.

Acceleration 30-50mph is similar, raced against the stage 2 RS7 and it was pretty much even up to 50mph. RS7 handled like garbage due to the air ride, M3P springs are much better but it is still floaty in high speed cornering / compression situations.

Overall very happy with the car, similar performance with no maintenance cost.

I'll be curious to see what effect, if any, the 3P's availability has on cars like the RS7's resale value. Probably hard to quantify, but I know how I ultimately voted. :)

Best,
 

jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,557
Northern CA
I have a Model 3 Performance and still have my Acura NSX. These cars are so different. The NSX is a 6 speed manual with a lot less power and you need to rev pretty high for the Vtec to kick in. It also has a cassette deck. Tesla has the instant acceleration and so much cool tech. If I was driving a twisty road, I would choose to drive the NSX.....
 

Mash

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 10, 2019
984
714
Prague
I had for a long time track prepped Evo X with 640whp on E100 fuel. It had AST 3way track spec coilovers with sway bars, track arms, mounts and obnoxious fuel system with multistage surge tanks. It was standing on Toyo R 285 wheels. Certainly it was much lighter, much more planted and at full power was plain faster. It also was making so much drama that it was scary doesn't matter how long anyone used it.

I believe on the track it was faster than M3 by a lot. But it was not dual purpose. Despite whole interior intact, a/c and bunch of attempts to keep it quiet - it was too unbearable for the street.

I used BMW M2 for a few months - that was a lot of fun. I'm trying to mimic M2 suspension on M3 now with kw. I still like it a lot.

I used for a year AMG C43 - it was ok, but M3 beats it from every perspective except quality of interior.

Had C63S for a short road trip, but I hate hot rods. I also had M4 for large road trip - not impressed. C7 for another trip - that is not a DD car at all and handling not there for track or for street. Rented bunch of boring German 3/5/7, C/E/S, A-RS3/4/5/7.

I drove Boxster S and it was slow, but fun road hugger. Latest Miata is better holiday car, but both not DD and not made for long trips either. Weekend cars where Miata wins.

Used 911 Turbo for a few weeks. Too much drama, superb Autobahn driving, but it felt as it has no agility at all. Not DD and not even fun car. Just good sport GT.

M3 can be a perfect DD+Track combo. I wish it was lighter - closer to M2. But stock suspension is shitty compromise (I'm biased towards sport german suspensions). Brakes and tires are joke for any track (1.5 warming laps to destroy both). But it has a core that is fun and works. Not just power.
 
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Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,344
1,644
Seattle, WA
Came from a modified E46 & Miata - both with super aggressive suspension upgrades. In terms of dynamics, both outdo my P3D-. I can't speak for the P3D+, but the P3D- definitely feels "floaty" on the bone-stock suspension & MXM4 plastic tires. BUT, it is still surprisingly capable, even if not the most confidence-inspiring.

I have coilovers + arms + sway bars + wheels + tires that I'll install soon that should completely remedy any handling gripes. As far as I can tell, I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with the platform. Just your typical one-size-fits-all OEM attempt.
 
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Jenremoved

Member
Aug 27, 2019
82
109
Berkeley, CA
From my perspective, the M3P is pretty different than most of its sports sedan competitors. It’s understated and quiet and certainly faster on the street compared to almost anything near its price. It’s also one of the safest cars in the world. Yes, the suspension and chassis are not as dialed in as some of the more aggressive sports cars or modified cars, but in daily driving it makes up for that with its sheer velocity. Oh, and it can drive itself on the freeway and the interface is simple and elegant like a piece of contemporary non-automobile technology.

I can’t imagine being happier in an AMG or M car.
 

holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,316
1,325
eu
Who switched to a M3P from a proper sports car (i.e. BMW M3/M4, Merc C63, Caddy V, Audi RS, Vette, higher trim Stang/Camaro, etc)?

If so, which one?

I knew there was going to be a drop in handling/chassis performance, but it's a bit more than I was hoping for. The track numbers and certain reviews made it seem like the disparity was smaller than I'm experiencing, but I think the sheer power and instantaneous torque helps the numbers themselves. Numbers/times aside, there are a number of chassis characteristics that are sorely lacking. The damping is probably the biggest gripe.

However, I (sort of) knew what I was getting myself into, and the car is still enjoyable.

This is by no means a dumping ground of a thread, just curious what others think who came from a proper sports car.

Firstly I'd argue that none of those, save possibly Vette, are actually proper sports cars. All being hugely overgrown super-sports sedan with a far bigger focus on acceleration than dynamics

I'd argue that my 2 liter front-wheel-drive Renault is sportier in design and intent than they are


Anyway, the Tesla is obviously tremendously fast. My critiques are with the lack of interactivity and lack of rhythm. There's no power band that the driver has to keep on boil. No noise to set the gear change tempo. No heel-toe to dance with. No steering feel to judge the grip. etc. It's too point and shoot. Yes it's faster at covering ground but on twisty roads it's only half as engaging.

On the flip side, all these things make it a superior city / commuter car
 

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