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      02-10-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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Cars that flew under the radar...

I have compiled a list of cars that flew under the radar. These cars offer something special believe it or not even if it isn't fit/finish/finess and all that other BS. These cars are cheap and offer something people should take a second look at. You may disagree but guess what, I don't care.

NOTE: Keep the fit and finish, BMW comparison, oh but it's fwd bla bla bla bitching out of this thread. Constructive posts only!

In no particular order:


2003-2004 Mazdaspeed Protege'

Engine : 4 cylinder, turbocharged, DOHC, front engine FWD
Displacement : 1,991 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual

Top speed : 130 mph(estimated)
0-60 mph : 6.9 sec.
0- mile : 15.4 sec @ 91.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 135 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.89 g

Curb Weight : 2844 lbs
Overall length : 174.6 in.
Wheelbase : 102.8 in.
Overall Width : 67.1 in.
Height : 55.3 in.

The Mazdaspeed Protege is actually one of the best handling FWD cars ever made with a presence rivaling that of the Integra Type R. They say these two FWD feel as close to RWD as any FWD car can get with almost perfect weight distribution and excellent track manners. The only downfall of this car is its powerplant which is essentially a Mazda Protege with a Garret Turbo and the same internals + low boost. The motors potential is great but only with upgraded internals, however this car is a track gem.



1997-2001 Integra Type R


Engine : 4 cylinder, DOHC, front engine FWD
Displacement : 1,797 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual

Horsepower : 195 hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque : 130 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm
Redline : 8400 rpm

Top speed : 143 mph
0-60 mph : 6.1 sec.
0- mile : 14.5 sec @ 96.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 115 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.89 g

Curb Weight : 2639 lbs
Overall length : 173.0 in.
Wheelbase : 101.2 in.
Overall Width : 66.7 in.
Height : 51.9 in.

The Integra Type R was believed to be the best handling FWD car ever, intuitive and communicative and with an 8,400 RPM redline. The car was very limited and often stolen, I believe one of the most frequently stolen cars ever. These cars still fetch good coin even now regardless of the HP wars. No car has been built like it since it went away in 2001.



2003-2005 Dodge SRT-4

Engine : 4 cylinder, turbocharged, DOHC, front engine FWD
Displacement : 2,429 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual

Horsepower : 230 hp @ 5300 rpm
Torque : 250 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm
Redline : 6750 rpm

Top speed : 153 mph
0-60 mph : 5.6 sec.
0- mile : 14.2 sec @ 102.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 120 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.85 g

Curb Weight : 2970 lbs
Overall length : 175.7 in.
Wheelbase : 105.0 in.
Overall Width : 67.4 in.
Height : 56.5 in.

Though one of the most frequently hated cars ever built, only the ignorant will deny what it had to offer. The 2.4L Turbocharged powerplant was potent in stock form putting roughly 225-230hp to the WHEELS in stock form and with minor modifications could see gobs more. The transmission was stout as well as the engine and both could handle upwards of 500whp on stock internals/without trans build. The cars were far from a straight line performer, it was know to wake up tremendously with minor tweaks and coilovers and has been seen taking on cars with twice the horsepower at the track. The car to this day is arguably the best buy with a NO BS price of between $18,750-19,999 brand new, til this day no new car has matched its performance offerings for even close to the price with its Viper seats, stock Quaife LSD and potent components.



There are many more but I will leave it up to you guys to contribute.
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      02-10-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
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The Integra Type R was believed to be the best handling FWD car ever, intuitive and communicative and with an 8,400 RPM redline. The car was very limited and often stolen, I believe one of the most frequently stolen cars ever. These cars still fetch good coin even now regardless of the HP wars. No car has been built like it since it went away in 2001.



The ITR, unequivocally one of the best FWD cars ever built. JDM front clip FTW
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      02-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
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The ITR, unequivocally one of the best FWD cars ever built.
I bet you someone will come in and say rice.
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      02-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
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I agree about the mazda speed as not to many people new about it around here. I had one friend who got one and that was a pretty cool car after a few mods.
The Type R is always cool, Had another friend who had one of those too.
And the srt4.... lol. Thats probably one of the most common cars around here besides a civic.
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      02-10-2009, 09:31 PM   #5
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S60R definitely fits the criteria.
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      02-10-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vAnt826 View Post
S60R definitely fits the criteria.
Too bad the S60R is a car that had about a $47,000 sticker new.
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      02-10-2009, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxForgedxx View Post

1997-2001 Integra Type R


Engine : 4 cylinder, DOHC, front engine FWD
Displacement : 1,797 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual

Horsepower : 195 hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque : 130 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm
Redline : 8400 rpm

Top speed : 143 mph
0-60 mph : 6.1 sec.
0- mile : 14.5 sec @ 96.0 mph
60-0 braking distance : 115 ft
200 ft skidpad : 0.89 g

Curb Weight : 2639 lbs
Overall length : 173.0 in.
Wheelbase : 101.2 in.
Overall Width : 66.7 in.
Height : 51.9 in.

The Integra Type R was believed to be the best handling FWD car ever, intuitive and communicative and with an 8,400 RPM redline. The car was very limited and often stolen, I believe one of the most frequently stolen cars ever. These cars still fetch good coin even now regardless of the HP wars. No car has been built like it since it went away in 2001.

Yep, had myself a 1998 Integra Type-R and it was stolen three times before I opted to sell it.
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      02-10-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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Nice compilation. That must've taken time.
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      02-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #9
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Cool

Good post Forged!

I'd like to add:

Mazda Speed 3


0-60 mph sprint in 5.4 seconds (on par with a stock 335i)
.91 range skidpad
LSD standard
263 hp (196 kW) and 280 ftlbf (380 Nm) on a Mazda turbocharged DISI (direct injection spark ignition) engine.

All for under $23,000 when it debuted.
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      02-10-2009, 11:50 PM   #10
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This is a great freaking thread. I feel compelled to respond.

I come from Japanese performance cars background, so I can't say any of those cars were under the radar, and definitley not the ITR. IMO, its still the most badass FWD car ever built, John Heinricy mag ringer Slowbalt SS times notwithstanding.

I love the ITR, and would love to have one in my garage someday.

I also don't think the SRT-4 flew under the radar. Every kid with $20k that wanted to street race and kill himself as fast as possible lined up to buy these things. I don't see it as a great car by any stretch, and don't believe it deserves to even share a post with an ITR.

The Mazdaspeed Protege is typical Mazda fare: Good car, fragile engine. There weren't many tuning options for those, the turbo was small, and a stock internalled block couldn't handle more than 10psi without going south. I still think the MSP is a good car and a competent handler, but it would get dusted by an ITR in any real contest of speed.

That said, that Mazdaspeed Protege definitely didn't get the attention it deserved, so it belongs on this list.

Here's mine:

2000 Celica GT-S


While no ITR, this car was a stock GSR killer in every right. To me, it was the last of the pure FWDs. This car weighed under 2500 pounds lightly optioned, which is unheard of these days in a non-Lotus Elise. It had the 2ZZGE engine that was co-designed with Yamaha. The problem with this car is that people didn't know how to drive them. The VVTL-i actuation was really high because it was so aggressive, so you had to run it past redline to a breath from the rev limiter to get it to stay on boil. Doing this, the car could run high 14 second quarter mile passes stock (watched my friend do it). It also had a really nice chassis and was a competent handler. 180HP is not much, but when you consider the weight, its not bad, since it has a slightly better power:weight than a 328i.

1993 Honda Prelude VTEC

While paltry power today, this 190 HP was incredible power out of a 2.2 liter in the day. The fact that its engine was fully closed deck is also nice.


1991 Galant VR-4


While not a great handler, this car is the spiritual predecessor to the Lancer Evolution and one of the places where the venerable 4G63 shone brightest in its early days. Easy to mod and with AWD besides, these cars were total dragstrip sleepers.
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      02-10-2009, 11:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vAnt826
S60R definitely fits the criteria.
S60r has one of the WORST steering radius's of any car ive ever driven. Very smooth car, expensive though, rough gearbox and not very fast in stock form.


I like the crossfire srt-6 coupes. Supercharged mercedes V-6 with alot of tuning capabilities. I'm slightly too tall to drive that car and it only comes in auto...
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      02-11-2009, 12:12 AM   #12
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the only memorable thing about the MSP is that it came with a kickin stereo.
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      02-11-2009, 01:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxForgedxx View Post
Too bad the S60R is a car that had about a $47,000 sticker new.




I got mine nearly loaded a few months after they came out for $40k on the nose.

That was a fantastic car, and very under rated, IMHO. Low 14s/high 13s @ 100mph is nothing to sneeze at, much faster than the equivalent 3 series car, and low 13s @ 103-106 with nothing more than a flash. A Volvo that could out accelerate an E46 M3, whilst having a superlative interior (best out of any car I've owned, far and away), a suspension system way ahead of it's time (almost identical to what BMW implemented in the E92 M3), good handling, and AMAZING performance in the snow.

I picked it over the B5 S4, and I don't think that was a mistake.

A few vids:


Tif on the car:


Not a slow car with a flash only:
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      02-11-2009, 02:00 AM   #14
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One of the quickest bang-for-the-buck cars (around the track) appears to be the new Cobalt SS. 8:22 around the 'ring (same as an e46 M3!)



If I was looking for a car in this price range... I might...MIGHT consider it.
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      02-11-2009, 03:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noize View Post


1991 Galant VR-4


While not a great handler, this car is the spiritual predecessor to the Lancer Evolution and one of the places where the venerable 4G63 shone brightest in its early days. Easy to mod and with AWD besides, these cars were total dragstrip sleepers.
Good add. Those were sleepers for sure.
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      02-11-2009, 07:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noize View Post
This is a great freaking thread. I feel compelled to respond.

I come from Japanese performance cars background, so I can't say any of those cars were under the radar, and definitley not the ITR.....
I agree 100% with your post. So much so, I don't have anything to add. I think we're twins separated at birth or something like that.
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      02-11-2009, 07:43 AM   #17
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'05-'06 Pontiac GTOs.

MSRP was $32k, but they could be had easily for $28k (sometimes much less if you're good at dealing)
400Hp
0-60 4.8 Seconds
1/4 mile 13.2@107mph (magazines, owners got them in the 12s bone stock)

The Good:
Understated styling, basic but quality interior, great seats, simple and reliable even when tuned. Uncommon (less than 45k units total for all three production years)

Downsides:
Awful trunk, understated styling, factory shifter simply had to be replaced. Parts could be hard to get if you crash it. Lack of tech goodies (Bluetooth, GPS, MP3, ect)


One of the best GT cars on the road today for the money. I'd much rather take a long trip in the GTO than my 135i. The LS2 is just idling along at 85MPH, and it doesn't seem to wear on you as badly as something turning higher RPMs for hours and hours. The seats weren't quite as good for outright performance driving (not as snug) , but they were great on road trips.
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      02-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec 1 View Post
Yep, had myself a 1998 Integra Type-R and it was stolen three times before I opted to sell it.
its kinda sad when u think about the whole type R thingy. They brought one over and it was so well recieved, i just feel that they should have brought over more Type R car but then again they obviously didn't due to watever reasons, such a shame...
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      02-11-2009, 09:37 AM   #19
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this is a good thread - im actually looking at a second car.

didnt know that you could get an integra type R in ths US - I'd love to have one!
Is this real?? http://providence.craigslist.org/cto/1029695882.html


I almost completely forgot about the SRT4 and protege - i wonder how good a bargain they are in the used car market?

I would love to add the Porsche 944 turbo - i'm not sure if that falls under 'flew under the radar' though.

I had an 86 that I bought cheap, put a new turbo and stuff in it and it was the most fun car i've ever had (i dare say more fun than the 335i). The handling was great, the noise, the driving position was PERFECT, the looks and it was cheap
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      02-11-2009, 12:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holson View Post
this is a good thread - im actually looking at a second car.

didnt know that you could get an integra type R in ths US - I'd love to have one!
Is this real?? http://providence.craigslist.org/cto/1029695882.html


I almost completely forgot about the SRT4 and protege - i wonder how good a bargain they are in the used car market?

I would love to add the Porsche 944 turbo - i'm not sure if that falls under 'flew under the radar' though.

I had an 86 that I bought cheap, put a new turbo and stuff in it and it was the most fun car i've ever had (i dare say more fun than the 335i). The handling was great, the noise, the driving position was PERFECT, the looks and it was cheap
At the moment you can pick up an SRT-4 for under $10,000 bucks with decent mileage. 2003's are dirt cheap but do not come with an LSD but it can be added cheap. These cars do not crumble in higher mileage either, the engines and drivetrain components stay strong I know guys with over 125,000 miles on them still going strong at 400+ WHP.

The Celica GT-S is a VERY good autocross car, handling is sublime especially with the right tweaks. Though I don't agree with ALL of these I think we have the right frame of mind going into this thread.

I will add another:

1991 Nissan SE-R:

Engine : 4-cylinder, DOHC, front engine FWD
Displacement : 1,975 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual, 4-spd automatic

Horsepower : 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque : 133 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
0-60 mph : 7.6 sec.

Curb Weight : 2469-2520 lbs
Overall length : 170.3 in.
Wheelbase : 95.7 in.
Overall Width : 65.7 in.
Height : 53.0 in.



Very solid on the track with small tweaks and the car loved boost. I believe the SR20DE engine came with it, though hard to find it is extremely reliable and cheap.

I think people need to start paying more attention to not having the latest and greatest and focusing on building and driving more, more track activity and less bolt on courage.
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      02-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #21
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For those who don't have security issues we have...

1994-1997 Mazda Miata MX-5:

Engine : 4-cylinder, DOHC, front-engine RWD
Displacement : 1,893 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual, 4-spd automatic

Horsepower : 128/133 hp @ 6500 rpm('94-'95/'96-'97)
Torque : 110/114 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm('94-'95/'96-'97)
0-60 mph : 8.0 sec.

Curb Weight : 2293-2407 lbs
Overall length : 155.4 in.
Wheelbase : 89.2 in.
Overall Width : 65.9 in.
Height : 48.2 in.



I believe this is one of the most raced cars ever built. Though a bit fem, do not stray from it's beastly potential. Turbo builds on this car are cheap and if you want to you could even throw in a 5.0 302ci forged from a Fox Body Mustang, these are called "Monster Miatas". Here is Sport Compact Cars project Miata (Turbo).
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      02-11-2009, 01:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxForgedxx View Post
For those who don't have security issues we have...

1994-1997 Mazda Miata MX-5:

Engine : 4-cylinder, DOHC, front-engine RWD
Displacement : 1,893 cc
Valve : 16 valves, 4 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 5-spd manual, 4-spd automatic

Horsepower : 128/133 hp @ 6500 rpm('94-'95/'96-'97)
Torque : 110/114 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm('94-'95/'96-'97)
0-60 mph : 8.0 sec.

Curb Weight : 2293-2407 lbs
Overall length : 155.4 in.
Wheelbase : 89.2 in.
Overall Width : 65.9 in.
Height : 48.2 in.


I believe this is one of the most raced cars ever built. Though a bit fem, do not stray from it's beastly potential. Turbo builds on this car are cheap and if you want to you could even throw in a 5.0 302ci forged from a Fox Body Mustang, these are called "Monster Miatas". Here is Sport Compact Cars project Miata (Turbo).
A lot of people track these cars.... awesome handling.
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