The fellows at Car and Driver put together a fun but interesting comparison between the beautiful 2009 BMW M3 and the gorgeous 09 Porsche 911 Carrera. Here is an excerpt from the article:
"We put our bony butts in two examples of the future of push-button, high-performance driving. Summoning the Force to safely pick a champion, we headed for the coiled back roads of California and the corkscrewing ribbon of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The new BMW M3 is well-known to us and to you, now that you're digesting our fourth—fourth! When will your letters pleading for more ever end?—comparison test of the M3 in 15 months. Like a solid Hollywood franchise, BMW's ranking joy toy and its 414-hp V-8 fusillade have us churning out endless popcorn sequels. The M3's lineup includes a sedan and a convertible, plus a coupe. Our coupe, base price $59,625, has silver-blue paint over rust-colored leather, with $13,895 in options. Almost all the boxes were checked, including the Premium, Technology, and Cold-Weather packs, plus the new $2900 "M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic," a $10 way of saying paddle-shifted seven-speed with programmable shift maps.
To make the 911 and M3 prices better match up, we begged Porsche for a stripper Carrera (the Carrera S has 40 more horses and starts $10,600 higher). Porsche complied—perhaps for the last time—lending us one with a $750 XM radio and $140 floor mats and painted, fittingly, in New York–taxi yellow. You talkin' to me? "