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MoonieGT

Looking for suggestions: DD w/ back seat that can do 1-2 track events a year

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BRZ4Science - I actually owned a BRZ for a bit as a daily.  I never tracked it because I had the miata at the time and the wife said "the miata is the track car, that's why we have it."  Of all the cars I've owned, the BRZ is the one I wanted to track the most.  Such a well balanced car.  I agree about the header for the track, it's not needed there.  I would get a header to make the DD more enjoyable.  The worst part about the torque dip was that it is right where you'd like to be for most street driving.  It looks like the FT86 catted header fills in that dip quite nicely, even without a tune.  I'm pretty sure the BRZ would work out for me.  I know the back seat is tiny, but I pretty much never have my kids in my car.  I just have to be able to do it if something comes up and the wife says go get the kids!

 

That's a good idea about going out to an autocross.  I would like to get to check out the Type R.  I never mentioned my budget, but up to the mid 30's or so would likely be the top of what I want to spend.  If I fell in love with the Type R, I think I could make that work.

 

I've done some searching on 911s.  I think I could find one that I could afford, but I bet it would take some time to find the right car.  I did see a gorgeous 1985 911, red with whale tail, on craigslist at some place called Dallas Motorsports (not familiar with them).  I'm not sure how much it costs to keep one of those running, but it's a beautiful car...  My wife rolled her eyes a bit and said "what could possibly go wrong?"  My response "I don't know, but let's find out!" 

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Guest lobster

I have a '17 BRZ w/ PP that's my DD and occasional track car, and it's been wonderful. I can easily fit my wife and almost 10 yo son in the car, but wouldn't want to put anyone behind me. In fact, my son suggested we take in on a road trip just yesterday, though I suspect he'd regret it after a couple of hours.

 

Mine has RCE yellow springs, crash bolts, and a performance-oriented alignment from Texas Track Works, and I have to say it's easily one of the best handling cars I've ever driven regardless of price. I have a set of Apex ARC-8 17x9 wheels w/ Dunlop Direzza ZII 245/40-17's, and they're great on the track. I was surprised, however, to find that the car is more fun on the OEM wheels and tires on the street.

 

If you're interested in going this route, mine will be available in the next 1-3 months, as soon as my next ride arrives. It has just under 12K miles and is in excellent condition. FWIW, I used to have a 6MT E90 M3, and loved it as well. More comfort and luxury, less tossable, much higher running costs. It was a great family car, but not my favorite track car.

 

5b6762b36967e_brz.jpg

You’re selling it?

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You’re selling it?

 

 

I love it dearly, and had planned on giving it to my son for his 16th birthday, but keeping it doesn't make much financial sense.  I'm heavily leaning towards selling, but will make a decision once my new car arrives.   W/ 0-60 in the low 3's, 116 mpg-e, near self-driving capabilities, free "fuel", and a pretty promising track mode, I suspect I'll be OK having the M3 Performance as my only ride.

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 FWIW, I used to have a 6MT E90 M3, and loved it as well.   More comfort and luxury, less tossable, much higher running costs.   It was a great family car, but not my favorite track car.

 

 

I am kinda surprised how nice this car is to daily. I recently had my takata airbag replaced and my loaner was a new base model 3 series. It really felt like a hunk of shit compared to my old M3. The E90 seats are sooo comfy.

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Here's one out of left field for you...   Infiniti G series?  depending on budget, you can pick up a G37 6MT for under $25k, and it's got a REAL back seat.  It shares the same platform as the 370Z, so suspension and most engine stuff is interchangeable with the Z.  so you have a sporty car in khakis.   put some decent springs and shocks on it (I'd personally avoid 'coilovers' on a DD, but good lowering springs and shocks are fine), and go hoon it a few times a year.

 

I took my G35 to the track several years ago and had fun, although was battling some ABS/traction control issues.   for a single weekend at the track, I'd leave it alone, but if I were going to do more, there are aftermarket "stability contol adjuster modules" that can hack the system so it's less intrusive.   That said, I've run into the same stupid issues on Vettes and Mustangs where you can't use full throttle or brake hard unless the steering wheel is straight.

 

The fix for most of those cars is to disconnect or disable the steering wheel angle sensor and the yaw sensor so the car doesn't know it's going sideways.    BUT that only works on some models as a few of them go into limp mode when sensors quit talking.  

 

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy in my G35 on the street, and it's a 300hp bigfatpigthathendleswellenough on the track..  A Subaru Legacy GT would be a similar direction..  you get many of the STi parts without the ricer attitude.

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How much money do you want to spend? That is  going to determine quite a lot.

 

You have Mustang track pack, Camaro 1LE (can be had on I4t, V6, or V8), Stinger GT, Hyundai Veloster turbo N (due out later this year), BMW 2-Series of some kind, Caddy ATS-V, just to name a few.

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Here's one out of left field for you...   Infiniti G series?  depending on budget, you can pick up a G37 6MT for under $25k, and it's got a REAL back seat.  It shares the same platform as the 370Z, so suspension and most engine stuff is interchangeable with the Z.  so you have a sporty car in khakis.   put some decent springs and shocks on it (I'd personally avoid 'coilovers' on a DD, but good lowering springs and shocks are fine), and go hoon it a few times a year.

 

I took my G35 to the track several years ago and had fun, although was battling some ABS/traction control issues.   for a single weekend at the track, I'd leave it alone, but if I were going to do more, there are aftermarket "stability contol adjuster modules" that can hack the system so it's less intrusive.   That said, I've run into the same stupid issues on Vettes and Mustangs where you can't use full throttle or brake hard unless the steering wheel is straight.

 

The fix for most of those cars is to disconnect or disable the steering wheel angle sensor and the yaw sensor so the car doesn't know it's going sideways.    BUT that only works on some models as a few of them go into limp mode when sensors quit talking.  

 

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy in my G35 on the street, and it's a 300hp bigfatpigthathendleswellenough on the track..  A Subaru Legacy GT would be a similar direction..  you get many of the STi parts without the ricer attitude.

 

My brother has the Q50S hybrid.  That car MOVES!  Has tons of tech, is comfy. 

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My brother has the Q50S hybrid. That car MOVES! Has tons of tech, is comfy.

Yes the newer ones have lots of bells and whistles to break! My older G35 still has a tape deck / CD player. 193 K and Counting with zero mechanical problems and nothing I would consider outside routine maintenance. Still on the original clutch, and I flog it daily!

 

I don't know about any of the newer Q Series stuff, but you can get the G35 and G37 with 6-speed manual. I'm going to take a guess and say all of the newer stuff is auto or semi-auto only, but that is just a guess.

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Yes the newer ones have lots of bells and whistles to break! My older G35 still has a tape deck / CD player. 193 K and Counting with zero mechanical problems and nothing I would consider outside routine maintenance. Still on the original clutch, and I flog it daily!

 

I don't know about any of the newer Q Series stuff, but you can get the G35 and G37 with 6-speed manual. I'm going to take a guess and say all of the newer stuff is auto or semi-auto only, but that is just a guess.

 

The only thing my brother doesn't really like on the newer one is the steering.  It's electric and apparently not directly connected to the rack.  Has some kind of explosive bolts that directly connect it in the event a failure in the electric steering system happens.  He isn't sure how the steering would perform on track.

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My budget is up to mid 30's probably, but I'm not trying to spend it all.  I'm hesitant to go up much past that because I don't have a great history of keeping cars for a long time.  If I convinced myself that I could/would really keep a 997 911, I would think about going up to high 30's... but I don't see that happening.  

 

There are a lot of cars that are great on the street but turn into hot messes at the track.  I don't believe a Q50S would like to be tracked...  A used G coupe could be fun as far as power level goes (and back seat is better than BRZ), but I thought there was very little support for track performance mods for the 350/370/G cars?  I watched Dave's 350Z build over the years.  He looked to be a master of track prepping that car, but so much custom work went into it.  I don't have that ability or time to pour into a car.  I'm looking for something that needs brake fluid, tires, pads.

 

My front runners for now would be the BRZ, Type R, Veloster N.  I like that the BRZ isn't a turbo car, those are becoming few and far between...  Sounds like the Type R needs some cooling mods to be track happy.  Veloster N is the first year of a new car, which makes me nervous but at least the Veloster is using the i30 N power train, so it should be somewhat proven...

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For twice a year, you'd really only need an oil cooler setup on a G35. Maybe a new upper control arm for a little more camber, and a front swaybar. If you get the stock brembos and viscous diff, you'd be set. 

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Raises hand for WRX...the new ones are surprisingly comfy, peppy, have 4 doors, big trunk. Brand new can be had for way under 30K, and the manual is fun to drive in town. More power is a tune away, and on rs4's with camber plates and requisite pads/fluid it's plenty fun for the occasional track day.

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I test drove an '18 WRX Limited last Friday that had the STI short throw.  My complaints on the WRX:

 

1) the shifter feel has improved compared to the '15 WRX I drove a few years ago, but it's still sloppy compared to the BRZ and STI.

2) the seating position is like a mini van.  You sit up so high in that car that it lessens the "sporty" feel of the car.  I really wish you sat lower in that car...

3) I doubt they track very well without upgrades to cooling system (at least oil cooler and mayber better radiator) and brakes (probably new calipers and pads).  If I'm wrong, and the WRX only needs better pads... please let me know.

 

Otherwise, the car felt pretty good in stock form for a fun street cruiser.  I just have serious doubts that a stock WRX would be a good track performer.

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I bought a ‘17 WRX w/ the goal of consolidating my C5Z track car and Civic Si DD into one car. There was a lot to like about it, but it was a big letdown on the track, except in wet conditions, where it was awesome. The turbo bearings failed after the first track day, the seats had insufficient support, and the brakes didn’t hold up well. On the street, it was great, except for it falling flat on its face before boost kicked in. I traded it for the BRZ after 7 months, and am very happy with the change.

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WRX is ~3300lbs and ~300hp.   It should be fine on "modern" stock brakes and just installing a good race pad.  Throw some Hawk DTCs on there (or any other favorite brand), bleed the brakes, and go have fun.

Remember the goal here is couple times a year track toy, not weekend track rat.

 

for something like that, I'd expect to throw a set of pads on, maybe new rotors, and deal with the limitations of the car for the weekend while still having fun.

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You confirmed what I thought. WRX is a fun street car. I thought I've heard that the STI is a bit of a fragile track car as well...

Yes, that's quite true as well.   I have a friend with a 2015 or 16 STi, and he's on his 4th engine build now.  first two rebuilds done by Subaru warranty for broken ring lands.  3rd time, they said no more.  I think he'd done 1-2 track days with it and the rest were autocross with basic bolt on tune stuff (downpipe, ECU, etc).

 

Thus, I personally avoid modern turbo cars like the plague. :)

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WRX is ~3300lbs and ~300hp.   It should be fine on "modern" stock brakes and just installing a good race pad.  Throw some Hawk DTCs on there (or any other favorite brand), bleed the brakes, and go have fun.

Remember the goal here is couple times a year track toy, not weekend track rat.

 

for something like that, I'd expect to throw a set of pads on, maybe new rotors, and deal with the limitations of the car for the weekend while still having fun.

 

Everything is a compromise, great daily around town cruiser and vicious track weapon = GT4. But adding price constraints and back seats to the mix? And consumables cost? There's no unicorn giving out a free lunch that I've seen. 

 

My wife tracks her 2017 WRX 4-5 times a year with little fuss. Basically the drill is like you stated. Swap pads all around, bleed fluid if needed, set tire pressure, add gas, repeat. One exhaust manifold gasket failed, and Subaru replaced under warranty with no protest from dealer, even with her track stickers on the back windshield, and the fact that it is wearing sticky rubber with 18K miles on it. Hopefully that is the extent of the needed warranty work! ;)

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Yes, that's quite true as well.   I have a friend with a 2015 or 16 STi, and he's on his 4th engine build now.  first two rebuilds done by Subaru warranty for broken ring lands.  3rd time, they said no more.  I think he'd done 1-2 track days with it and the rest were autocross with basic bolt on tune stuff (downpipe, ECU, etc).

 

Thus, I personally avoid modern turbo cars like the plague. :)

This has been an issue with Subarus in the past as well. I remember when I had a WRX wagon back in 2009ish time frame, the new STIs had cast pistons IIRC and ran lean from the factory to meet emissions. Cracked ringlands were a common occurance on the 07 STIs from what I remember.  

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And that engine hasn't changed since then... Come on Subaru, update that engine!

 

The new STi and WRX are due in the next year or two and the next gen BRZ should be right behind them. There's a pretty good chance that they'll be using different flavors of Subaru's new 2.4L motor that debuted in the new SUV.

 

I got my BRZ after a seal let go in my 2010 WRX and I burned through 3qts of oil in a day resulting in rod knock and engine failure.

 

Within 3 months of my purchase, 3 of my autox friends who also were driving WRX's traded them in for BRZ's. The twins are just way more fun to autox or track. I've had my BRZ for 4 years and it still feels like a new car to me (despite me beating the hell out of it with over 100 autox events and nearly 40 trackdays).

 

The twins are plenty of car for MSR-C and MSR-H, the long straights at ECR and COTA are a little much for them (the ECR redesign should really make that a much better track for the twins). I bet if you end up in an 86 you'll find yourself at the track/autox more often than you would with any other vehicle.

 

Eric Jensen brought his son's 2013 STi to the track while he was getting a cage installed in his 86, he was so disappointed with the experience that he almost left at lunch. Now, I think he was over reacting a little bit but his cautious optimism from the morning (where he was interested to track a car with a bit more power than his at the time mostly stock twin) fading so quickly and turning into outright disdain makes me worried that I may have ruined myself for other cars. If I weren't in a twin, I'd have to spend more than twice as much to get into anything close to as fun.

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30K V6 Camaro 1LE track package.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=491053788&zip=78640&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D78640%26keywordPhrases%3D1LE%26startYear%3D1981%26incremental%3Dall%26endYear%3D2019%26modelCodeList%3DCAM%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26driveGroup%3DRWD%26transmissionCodes%3DMAN%26sortBy%3Drelevance%26engineCodes%3D6CLDR%26firstRecord%3D0%26searchRadius%3D200&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&endYear=2019&modelCodeList=CAM&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=200&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=CAM

 

and a yellow one

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=489959310&zip=78640&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D78640%26keywordPhrases%3D1LE%26startYear%3D1981%26incremental%3Dall%26endYear%3D2019%26modelCodeList%3DCAM%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26driveGroup%3DRWD%26transmissionCodes%3DMAN%26sortBy%3Drelevance%26engineCodes%3D6CLDR%26firstRecord%3D0%26searchRadius%3D200&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&endYear=2019&modelCodeList=CAM&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=200&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=CAM

 

if you want more power

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=491222164&zip=78640&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D78640%26startYear%3D1981%26sortBy%3Drelevance%26incremental%3Dall%26engineCodes%3D8CLDR%26firstRecord%3D0%26endYear%3D2019%26modelCodeList%3DCAM%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26searchRadius%3D200%26driveGroup%3DRWD%26transmissionCodes%3DMAN&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&endYear=2019&modelCodeList=CAM&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=200&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=CAM

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Since you mentioned hot hatches....my first track car was a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3. Took me from Green through to Yellow, never overheated even in June @ TWS (on stock cooling + Stage 1 tune), Great sleeper car, massive fun, huge versatility. 

 

Instead of the RS, have you considered an ST? Much, much, cheaper (I've just traded in the MS3 for a ST).

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