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      06-30-2011, 03:39 AM   #1
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Best Sports car under 20k

My best friend is looking into finding a sports/sporty car for less then 20k. He just completely one of the classes at the Skip Barber racing school. Now he is hooked on track racing. He also wants it to be his daily. As of right now he is looking at 06ish RX8s for around 10-12000. Do you guys have any recommendations? Next year he will be stationed at Germany and wants to go do the Nurmburgring.
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      06-30-2011, 03:48 AM   #2
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E36 M3

Z3 M Coupe
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      06-30-2011, 04:46 AM   #3
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He actually just started looking at a e46. found one with higher miles but for about 17000
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      06-30-2011, 05:48 AM   #4
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AP1 S2000, E36 M3 and high mileage E46 M3s?
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      06-30-2011, 07:12 AM   #5
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Never this was a fail. My friend is a cheap ass. I see he wants the cheapest he can get under 20. Thats why he pointed out the 8 cause it was so damn cheap....what a lame
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      06-30-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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He's not going to get a better bang for the buck than a C5 Corvette. Maintenance is really cheap (stop rotors are like $45!). It'll be faster than any of the other cars he's looking at and IF he wants to mod it at all, there's a ton of aftermarket parts readily available.
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      06-30-2011, 08:05 AM   #7
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What about a miata? It's not the best daily driver, sexiest car, or terribly fast, but it is a great driving car, especially on technical tracks and autocross courses.

I am sure they can be had cheaply, and maintenance would be reasonable.
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      06-30-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Be wary of the E36/E46/Z3 rear subframe mount issues if he's going to track. If he gets one of those cars, he needs to check that area and get the reinforcements welded in if they're not there already.

E46 M3 would be the best bet if he can find a good one that's been taken care of, but that might extend his budget. If he's buying over there, the Euro E36 M3 is tons of fun as well though, it's got a real ///M engine in it at least, unlike here.
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      06-30-2011, 09:55 AM   #9
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You can get some good prices on Evo's right now. I use mine all the time track or daily
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      06-30-2011, 09:58 AM   #10
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Miata would be the best choice, at least if the emphasis is on tracking it.
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      06-30-2011, 10:01 AM   #11
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AP1 S2000. Not even a question. Its the best combo of good looks, excellent reliability, very nimble and its a convertible (you can find a used hard top if the convertible top presents a problem at the track). You will be hard press to find a more fun car without getting an exotic.
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      06-30-2011, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Miata would be the best choice, at least if the emphasis is on tracking it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by secretsquirrel View Post
AP1 S2000. Not even a question.
Note that he said the guy wants to daily the car as well - two seat roadsters are pretty impractical as daily drivers for most people.

Personally, if I were spending $20k to go to the track, I'd get a 1983-1985.5 (pre-oval dash) Porsche 944 for a couple of grand, spend another $10k on a reliable daily driver, and save the remaining $8k for track expenses.

A track novice 1) doesn't need tons of power, and 2) shouldn't be risking his ride to work at the track on weekends.
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      06-30-2011, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epbrown View Post
Note that he said the guy wants to daily the car as well - two seat roadsters are pretty impractical as daily drivers for most people.

Personally, if I were spending $20k to go to the track, I'd get a 1983-1985.5 (pre-oval dash) Porsche 944 for a couple of grand, spend another $10k on a reliable daily driver, and save the remaining $8k for track expenses.

A track novice 1) doesn't need tons of power, and 2) shouldn't be risking his ride to work at the track on weekends.

Agreed, but I daily drive my M Coupe, and had a Miata as a dd before that. The 944 or a 968 would be a good choice. I only dislike the previously mentioned S2k because they're so easy to get off of the power curve when tracking. They're great if you're the only car out there, but suffer in traffic.
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      06-30-2011, 12:33 PM   #14
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I say S2000 no doubt, it appears that you are lookin more to track this car than worry about daily driving it (dd is definitely not this car's fortay, you will see this after driving it). That is a pure sports car, is amazingly reliable, cheap to maintain and can easily be had for 15K.

Edit - noticed he is looking at Rx8's, tell him to watch out because that is arguably one of the most unreliable cars anywhere plus how many people in Germany can work on rotaries?, these engines are shot at like 60k lol and need rebuilding.

Last edited by Q4P; 06-30-2011 at 12:36 PM. Reason: added more info
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      06-30-2011, 02:06 PM   #15
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if you want fun... S2000 nothing else compare to it in that price range. make sure you get the Ap2
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      06-30-2011, 02:16 PM   #16
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      06-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #17
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Ok well lets add this. He is in the army and he's and infantryman also. The car will have to be able to also fit his rucksack and body armor and assualt bag as he lives offpost. He was thinking about the s2000. But has never been in one or near one to see how much trunk space he has.
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      06-30-2011, 11:33 PM   #18
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If your friend is cheap then he needs to stay away from BMW and even the RX-8 simply for maintenance reasons.

Miata's are freaking retarded small, and super slow without any serious mods.

S2000 is a great car, but also really tiny.

I think a C5 is the way to go.. or maybe even a WRX or early evo. There's WRX's all over the place for reasonable amounts of money.
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      07-01-2011, 01:25 AM   #19
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what's a good sports car under 20k, new or used it doesn't matter. just don't say civic si. im looking for little more high performance than that. and something that's not too old.
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      07-01-2011, 09:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderson12 View Post
what's a good sports car under 20k, new or used it doesn't matter. just don't say civic si. im looking for little more high performance than that. and something that's not too old.
Given the additional requirements added by your friend, I'd say a Porsche 968 - great track car, it has rear seats that can be used in a pinch, excellent cargo space in the hatch area, decent mileage.

Something newer but not as focused for track work would be a Z3 coupe, either a S52-based M or the later 3.0 should be easy to find for under $20k.
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      07-01-2011, 10:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderson12 View Post
what's a good sports car under 20k, new or used it doesn't matter. just don't say civic si. im looking for little more high performance than that. and something that's not too old.
07 WRX
06 R32

Last edited by CAPSGOD; 07-01-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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      07-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #22
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corvette c5 or f-body (camaro/trans am) with cams and bolt ons for straight line speed, wrx/sti or evo for all weather driving (snow, rain, sun, whatever), or s2000 for track and going to the beach but it sucks as a daily driver. there's no car that will be great at everything for that price range. it's a compromise no matter what u pick
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