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Z06 convert
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1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What sport cars I had in the past: 3 Supra TT's, 3000GT (sucked), NSX, C5 Z06

What I have now: 2007 Z51 equipped C6, 2000 Pathfinder daily junker with 115k miles.

What my problems are with these cars: The Vette looks good on paper and does everything well, but I'm not in love with it. It doesn't make my heart race or make me want to drive every chance I get. It's a lukewarm relationship we have. The most fun cars I've owned were my NSX and C5 Z06. Yes, the C5Z was a lot more fun to drive. What's wrong with the C6? Certainly not the power. Not the handling capability either. It can take turns at dizzying speeds without so much as a wimper. It's the feel that's lacking. You feel isolated from the road, almost like in your average luxury car. Mushy and numb feel. The Pathfinder is being fixed as we speak. It's becoming high maintenance in its old age, and I still have payments left (bought it used).

Cars I've test driven in the past, but am not considering: RX8, 350Z, RX7 R2 (TONS of fun, but rotary reliability is concerning), Evo, WRX

Cars that I'm considering:

Slightly used 05/06 Lotus Elise (mid 30's) + slightly used TSX (high teen's, low 20's) or Accord (low-mid teen's)

Pluses: The Elise is an absolute blast to drive. Nothing I have driven compares. It is more fun than should be legal. For a connected to the road feeling, it is just unmatched (except by something like an Atom). You can really have fun in that car at any speed. Unfortunately, my test drive was very short and I need more time in one to really get a fair feel for it. The Accord makes a decent daily driver and is cheap and reliable. Slightly more expensive is the TSX, but it's much more comfortable and just a real nice commuter overall. I would go so far as to say the TSX is a more livable daily driver than the M3.

Minuses: Double the car payments, double the insurance. I must admit that I am starting to tire of spending so much money on cars. Safety/size concerns with Elise, although it would be a good weather/fun car.

Slightly used 2005 BMW M3 ZCP (high 30's, low 40's)

Pluses: One car, one payment, one insurance bill, one worry. Multi-purpose. I test drove one and it did not "move" me right away, but that might be due to pushy salesman, holding back when driving, etc. Steering felt good, how do you guys feel about the responsive, feedback, weight, etc? Seats were a bit hard, but livable and holds you well laterally. Overall, a good swiss army knife car.

Minuses: I'm an absolute car nut. I stood up in the crib and yelled "go go car car" when I could barely talk. I had my C&D subscription when I was 8. I've owned sports cars since I learned to drive. That said, the M3 feels anonymous to me. Maybe I'm an attention whore, but it feels like it would blend in. People wouldn't notice it. It would feel a little anonymous. The driving position is high and not like other sports cars I've owned. The shifter was very long, how are these cars with a short shifter? Concerns about expensive maintenance, especially after the warranty is done. The Chevys have been cheap to maintain, parts are practically free and nothing ever broke. The Japanese children I had were very reliable, as one would expect.

So, I'm totally conflicted. A 3rd option would even be to do the two car thing, but with a C5 Z06 instead of an Elise. I really loved that car.

The M3 is appealing because I can save money and have one car that does it all. It looks good and drives well, and I imagine it's more fun in the twisties than the C6 because of its superior road feel and communication. But will it fulfill my idiotic sports car needs?

I can use all the opinions/advice I can get right now.
 

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Passion Driven
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1,689 Posts
LOL You're posting a LOT on here lately. Loving every thread though, bro! Besides the honesty and thorough information, I also simply agree with you all the more.

Not that I've driven those cars, however, as I found out in your other thread, you're also someone who wants a "Drivers" car.

And the advice from me would be the same as in that thread; to just go out and test drive some of the suggested cars.

Your description of the Vette is exactly what I want to avoid- that disconnected feeling. It can do everything great but at the end of the day you're not on a slalom, 1/4 mile track, or passing through Leguna Seca on the way to work (We're talking about Sports cars as everyday drivers)...so it's the little things like the chassis feel (flex & weight), the feel of the steering wheel as you turn (heavy, precise, responsive), the confidence (overal connection between you and the road via the car), the brakes, the shifting (smooth yet thick engagement? MMMmm. Nothing too notchy or too simple either!)...

And that's what counts more to me, especially when it comes to weight and handling. There's a lot you can do to almost any car to upgrade the power, but you can only do so much to take a ton of weight off a car, or change its weight distribution thereof, change it to AWD, RWD, etc.

With all of that being said; I think you should keep a split between Practical and Sports car (Own 2 Cars). Yes, you can get a practical sports car, but having a second car comes in handy a lot! Plus, if you want a great feel, it's going to mean less weight, and less weight means smaller car (Coupe/2Seater/Etc.)

My vote is the Elise/Accord combination. The accord you simply won't have to look after, and the Elise is pretty reliable itself (at least from what we know by Toyota engine reputation and such). The Elise has that "Turn-head" factor you like (and I admit, I like it too...sometimes) but more importantly it's definitely a drivers car. Almost...too much...for most. But that's where we all differ.

I'm frustrated probably as much as, if not more than you. Besides the fact that every car has it's achilles heal (be it weight, reliability, styling, etc.) there's also a whole mess I can't even touch due to how expensive some are.

With that said; that's why I still bought the FD. The only issue was reliability, which I thought I could overcome/solve. That and, well, sometimes the lack of torque down low sucked. However, I loved the way it looked inside and out, LOVED the steering, the braking, the shifting...oooh man. And the balance! Everything was just all connected.

Being in the same shoes as you, on a smaller budget, I'm either going Miata-Turbo or LS1-FD. Although I'm wondering: How did you like the T-56 transmission in the C5Z? Clunky? Sloppy? I have a feeling it doesn't feel as "nice" as any Honda/Mazda gearbox I've used (and loved) and call me crazy but it might be reason enough (among others though) for me to avoid the long wait and search and expense for an LS1-FD.
 

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Z06 convert
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1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I can't say I'm not tempted to get a low mile FD. It's what I want in a sports car, and would save me a lot of money. I'm just afraid of it dying on me and essentially having a roller.

On the T-56 transmission: I have no problem with it. It's the OEM shifter that's garbage. I have a Callaway shifter in my C6 and it's brilliant. That is one thing about my C6 right now that is just perfect.
 

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66 Posts
Sounds to me like you just want the car to feel more like a piece of junk. The exact opposite of what the Corvette is trying to achieve.. which is a car that can do it all, but still be something the average person would like to drive everyday

Just remove some interior, put a more aggressive suspension on it, put a louder exhaust and put a roll cage in it, and voila.. you have the race car feel on the street.

I can't say I blame you.. I love real aggressive feeling cars.. It's the holding on the road, the loud exhaust, the smell of gas and lopey cams that turn me on.

But for you, it might be something different.. either way with a few mods you will likely achieve what it is your looking for that makes you dream about driving your car while you are doing something else, or anxious to go wherever it is your going because you want to drive your car.

Later,
Josh
 

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2JZ Mk2
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1,183 Posts
Why not modify the Vette to make it "edgier"? It sounds like it has the basics of what you like, but just needs a little fine tuning.
 

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Z06 convert
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1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Some people would consider my ideal sports car to have certain junky qualities I'm sure.

Junky to me would be a rough, nasty ride with no finesse to the handling, while still having an uncommunicative steering rack, obnoxious droning exhaust note, clunky transmission, and scary behavior at the limit.

The ultimate sports car works well on the road, despite road imperfections, with a firmness that is never jarring, perfectly communicative and weighted steering, low driving position with clear outward vision, tight/positive shifter, good throttle response, and an exhaust note to die for.

Yeah, for that you really are into Ferrari/Porsche territory...
 

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Z06 convert
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1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The quote function is fucked up.

SilverMk2: I have considered this and done a lot of research. Info is conflicting. I'm afraid of turning the C6 into something that is painful to drive around here on our shitty roads. Not that an Elise is much better, but I think I could justify having a nice DD and an Elise. The Vette was not cheap (I bought it new), almost too expensive to be just a weekend car.

I've heard everything from change to an aggressive alignment, to sway bar bushings, to shocks, to sway bars. Everything has its ups and downs. There's not much that can be done about the steering rack. I'm really not as interested in modding and experimenting like I used to. It can cost a lot and results can be mixed.
 

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Supra 4 Life
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238 Posts
How bout a LS1 FD like mentioned ? They can be found in the 20's already done for you. Although a Elise sounds real nice. I havent had the chance to drive a E46 M3. But they look awesome. I love my E36 M3 to death (Good exhaust note (for me that is) , awesome handling , and I think it looks good). I know the E46 M3 would not disappoint me. I have seen the light for BMW's after driving my M3 for about half a year now. Although a LS1 FD and Elise sound VERYYYY tempting.
 

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Who's the Master?!
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4,073 Posts
S2000? AE86, possibly with an F20c? LSx FD? Caterham? Cobra replica?
 

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The steering rack is supposed to be revised on the 08's, I'm interested in checking that out myself. Your assessment of the feel of the C6 is dead on, it is numb and tends to isolate the driver from the road. The 08's should start showing up in a couple months, I'm itching to test drive one and see if it feels any better. A more aggressive alignment is a good place to start though, especially for the price.

...
I've heard everything from change to an aggressive alignment, to sway bar bushings, to shocks, to sway bars. Everything has its ups and downs. There's not much that can be done about the steering rack.
 

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Dreamer
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1,628 Posts
I think LSx FD would be your perfect choice. If you loved C5Z, I think you'll love the FD even more. :)
 

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V,B
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655 Posts
ls1 fd has just TOO much torque down low. I had hell of a time getting used to the powerband being so low in the rpm.
since the car is very light and I feel nothing but brute power when I step on the throttle, it's hard to call it a driver's car.
I thought more power was always a good thing, but that crazy NA throttle response and low-end power makes it barely streetable. however, at higher speeds (3rd gear or so), it feels the same as well-tuned turbocharged car.
I still believe 500hp turbo car is way more streetable than 500hp NA car though.


http://media.putfile.com/stock-LS1-RX7-dyno
check out the stock head, stock cam ls1 fd with full exhaust from headers to cat back. 375 torque at the wheels. that's 2x of stock rotary(190rwtq) and 3x of stock s2000!! (130rwtq) and all 3 cars weighs the same at 2800 lbs.
375 doesn't sound like much, but at 1500rpm, it's too much.
 

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Funny

Actually very funny as i find myself in the same boat as you.I just bought a 05 cadillac cts-v and i find myself looking at picking up a rb26 skyline.The chevy delivers everything just too smoothand too boring.The rush/trill of the other cars is gone.What's more fun to drive a 400 horsepower turbo civic or a stock vette??????One comment that was made in the threat was add more power.Afr heads,cam,headers and a good tune will make the car just scream and act totally different.I went for a ride in a all motor 600 horsepower vette,man what a fun ride that was.In the end it all depends what you want.Do you want more power to make the car faster or are you just tired of it already and want a change?Only you will know.
 

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I think LSx FD would be your perfect choice. If you loved C5Z, I think you'll love the FD even more. :)
HAHA I was about to say that also. I love mine and drive it every chance I get. at only 360rwhp Im runing neck to neck with ported blower with every bolt on and the biggest pulley's you can get 03/04 Cobra's. thats on a stock 347 ls1 soon to come boost 402 looking to make 700rwhp.

The only down side is that the cars are old you with the old cars you get those stupud rattles that you have to track down. Other then that the car is amazing
 

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Being a BMW owner, I'm a bit of a fan, so take me with a grain of salt.

Of all of the cars on your list, I think the more you drove the M3 with the Comp package, the more you would love it. I'm the type of person who get's bored with cars VERY quickly, but have had my BMW for over two years and still love it. It handles incredibly with amazing feedback. I haven't owned a ton of super nice cars, but decent ones. My last car was a G35 coupe....I've had an MR-2, a 300 zx, an Integra GS-R, and some others. The beemer is by far the most fun to drive of any I owned. With that said, I don't even have a fast one. I have the 330Ci with the performance package. I can only imagine combining everything I love about my car with actual power! Crap, now I'm looking at M3s on e-bay.

As for attention, yeah there are a lot of M3s out there, but not a lot of ZCPs and I think you'll get the attention you desire.

You must get a lot in a yellow C6, no?
 

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Being a BMW owner, I'm a bit of a fan, so take me with a grain of salt.

Of all of the cars on your list, I think the more you drove the M3 with the Comp package, the more you would love it. I'm the type of person who get's bored with cars VERY quickly, but have had my BMW for over two years and still love it. It handles incredibly with amazing feedback. I haven't owned a ton of super nice cars, but decent ones. My last car was a G35 coupe....I've had an MR-2, a 300 zx, an Integra GS-R, and some others. The beemer is by far the most fun to drive of any I owned. With that said, I don't even have a fast one. I have the 330Ci with the performance package. I can only imagine combining everything I love about my car with actual power! Crap, now I'm looking at M3s on e-bay.

As for attention, yeah there are a lot of M3s out there, but not a lot of ZCPs and I think you'll get the attention you desire.

You must get a lot in a yellow C6, no?

i agree, im new to the bimmer scene(being that i just bought a 95 e36 m3) but even with its age i love it. i can't imagine how much of a monster you could turn that m3 into with the proper upgrades. and if you are seriously looking to get the m3, it wouldn't hurt to shoot over to bimmerforums.com, i found that when i was looking for my m3, doing some research over there helped alot, good luck
 

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Z06 convert
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1,378 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
The steering rack is supposed to be revised on the 08's, I'm interested in checking that out myself. Your assessment of the feel of the C6 is dead on, it is numb and tends to isolate the driver from the road. The 08's should start showing up in a couple months, I'm itching to test drive one and see if it feels any better. A more aggressive alignment is a good place to start though, especially for the price.
Edmunds tested one and said there was not a noticeable difference in the steering. :(

If it had made a big difference, I would have just considered swapping one in... GM parts are pretty cheap.
 

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2014 E63 S
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2,517 Posts
Stretch it up to a C6 Z06. You can probably find a used 2006 for high 50's with some luck. You'll be like me and start to make excuses just to take the car out. Many former porsche and ferrari guys have switched over the C6 Z06 because of the fun factor and performance. Its still easy enough to daily drive as well.
 
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