Thought I may as well ask here and get a slightly biased but experienced point of view.
I currently run a 2006 E60 M5 and a 204 bhp caterham 7 superlight. Here you go:
The M5 is annoying me a bit. Long story but the transmission really is annoying and the running costs are pretty big. I work offshore so it's not that I can't afford it, it's just that it annoys me spending vast amounts of fuel on short journeys. ie a tank of 80 notes sometimes lasts less than 200 miles! It's also a bit big for a single guy so I think I am at the stage where I can sell it and just be able to say been there done that.
I test drove an S3 a few months ago and was really surprised how much I enjoyed it. Really dull sounding engine but good fun to throw around a bit. Felt so much chuckable and fun at normal speeds, rather than the 100mph+ I need to get to thrash the M5. Also need a bit more boot flexibility so a hatch is in my mind.
So thinking about an S3 and I think I have three options considering I should be able to sell the M5 for about 28 to 30k
1. Buy brand new so I can get all the options I want. tech pack, comfort pack, lighting, heated seats, tinted glass, sunroof, all that jazz for around 30K (know a man who can get me around 10% off) (may consider swapping tech pack for the sport seats and then ebaying to get RNS-E but need to research a bit more)
2. Buy 18 month old facelifted car and hope I can find one with as many toys as I can.
3. Buy pre-facelift low miles (aprox 20k) and save the rest of the cash for the next car
With option 1 and 2 I would prob just revo stage 1 and maybe lower. Option 3 I would maybe go mad and go full stage 2 and coilovers etc
All opinions welcome, including those which tell me I am mad to be trading in an M5 for a hot hatch! (still not 100% I want to either)