Even my buddy who drives an 04 M3 and is a school instructor at Summit says my STi would hand his M3 it's *ss on that track. Our lap times even demonstrate this, with the STi usually clipping the M3 by around a half second a lap, regardless of who is driving which car. The only performance area an M3 outclasses an STi in is top end acceleration, as his manages to reach around 138 at the end of the front straight, and mine gets to about 134. I've driven both, on the road and at the tracks. An STi feels more nimble in the twisties, and the M3 power delivery at high speed is noticeably stronger.Originally posted by ilivas
An M3 is WAY more fun to drive than an STi. It handles better, accelerates faster, it pulls harder, looks better, etc.
With equal drivers, it would depend on the track which would win. With longer straights, the M3. With more twisties, the STi.
Now if you take looks into account, the M3 wins hands down. It is one sexy vehicle. Fun to drive? That depends on your perspective. If I were offered an even trade of my STi for the most recent version of the M3, I would do it, then sell the M3, buy an STi, and use the extra cash to make the STi even more dominant!!! After all, for practicality, which would you drive in the winter/snow?
All kidding aside, they are both great cars, with the M3 winning the bling-bling and prestige categories, and the STi winning the "Rocky Balboa" category, in that it isn't expected to be able to hang in the lofty heights that it does. It comes down to personal taste, travel requirements, and bank balance size.