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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I could post this at the Mr2 or Miata board, but obviously I'd receive a biased review, and thought I'd pose my situation to you guys.

I love fast cars that can handle (Rx7, albeit LS1 or 13b equipped, NSX-T, Elise, etc) but right now I can't afford the LS1-FD idea, so I'm forced to just go with a car that can handle...

Since I'm trying to keep the cost of the car, the cost to track/autox, and maintain/fill-up all on a lower budget, the likely candidates are a Miata or Mr2.

Both are reliable, both can net 25-32mpg in NA form. Both have a small wheelbase. Both do great at the local track.

There are pro's and con's to each. I've owned 3 Mr2's now. They're reliable, but not. I know crap happens to old cars, and I should expect some fixing with an 88-91 car, but there were some stupid things from the factory like paint and interior part issues that everyone laughs at Mazda's "1993" year model Rx7 for, that somehow can't be said too loud about the Mr2, since all Toyota's are undoubtably "Reliable"

Take that as you will, I find the general consensus to be that the Mazda in this debate actually has the upper hand in terms of reliability, let alone the engine is tons easier to work on because it's not Mid-Engined.

So I see it as this:

Miata Advantage (even if NB):

Lighter Weight (2200-2500 vs. 2700 Mr2)
A bit more Reliable
Better Options (LSD is in more expensive Mr2's, non-power steering is rare in both cars I think.. but in more Miata's, better chasis?)
Better/Different looking inside/out (My Opinion)
NOT MR (Which causes more snap oversteer and is hard to harness or utilize on small tracks)


Mr2 Advantage:

IS M-R (Which has it's downsides, but is advantageous on the track)
No Gay Reputation (Could care less though...)
Exotic-ish looking (Different, again)
Already have one (With racing rubber and suspension mods to boot)
Non-Convertable (In terms of stolen items, although hardtop is available for Miata)
Thoughts?
 

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i have an mr2 w/ a gen3 swap. i love the car, handles awesome, looks good, and runs 12s w/ about 600 in performance parts. i'm looking at making a track whore and the miata is up there on the list. they are both very capable,. so it just comes down to which one you like more.
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #3
Yea, one good thing about the Mr2 is that I can easily do the GenII/GenIII swap in the future. How good/bad is the gas mileage on yours? I suppose daily driving I could see 25? And track sessions/AutoX times see like 18-21?
 

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Wobbiest: Three Laws Safe
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if the car is being used for track whatver - go read your advantages again and your question is answered. go drive an mr2 and miata back to back. The MR is a fun car.


But its not a Miata - sorry its light years better of a chassis.

And the manual rack isnt tooooo rare, but its very easy to convert power to manual. hell heres a step by step if you want - http://www.flyinmiata.com/tech/depower.php?x=1

lets put it this way Dan - i have had my Elise fund ready and waiting, but everytime I drive a Miata I fall back in love with it. There is no better bang for your buck IMO. Hence, its going to be a hard decision for me. :)
 

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Miata. Lots of parts, cheap. Good track car. Common with other racers. Not too much down side.
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #6
Wob- Could you elaborate on the Chasis difference?

I read somewhere about Mazda's attention to the detail in the Miata, giving it a unique unibody frame, and is the wheelbase even smaller on the Miata?

I've driven an NA with 16k miles on it, a Supercharged NA, and an NB with Azeni tires, as well as getting a ride in the NB on the track.

I loved it. I'm pretty dead set on going back to Mazda... :)
 

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AfriCAN AmeriCANT
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Mr. Wob said:
if the car is being used for track whatver - go read your advantages again and your question is answered. go drive an mr2 and miata back to back. The MR is a fun car.


But its not a Miata - sorry its light years better of a chassis.

And the manual rack isnt tooooo rare, but its very easy to convert power to manual. hell heres a step by step if you want - http://www.flyinmiata.com/tech/depower.php?x=1

lets put it this way Dan - i have had my Elise fund ready and waiting, but everytime I drive a Miata I fall back in love with it. There is no better bang for your buck IMO. Hence, its going to be a hard decision for me. :)

both of you, especially wob. see sig :)
 

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AKA Muddy
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737 Posts
I have autoxed NA and NB Miatas, both naturally aspirated and turboed, and a second gen NA MR2. The MR2 was well prepped and has won many trophies at the National Championship, Tours, and Pros. It was a great car and cheap to make competitive at a National level. Knowing this and having experienced driving this car for a season, I almost bought one. Instead, I bought a Miata.

A 99 Miata can be had for just a couple grand more than an abused NA MR2 and will be newer and more reliable. Also, it is still very competitive in C stock, despite the NC Miata and Soltice/Sky.

NBs never came from the factory with a manual rack, but you can certainly add one if you feel it is necessary. That would bump you out of C stock, though. I believe that would be legal for CSP, where the NB Miata could still be competitive.

If a Miata is not fast enough for you in a straight line, it is easy to add a turbo kit, either DIY or store-bought. That is a lot easier than an engine swap in a MR2. Adding boost will put you in SM2, where the Miata is not competitive, unless there are no z06s to kick your butt. :lol:

I love the MR2 and would still consider owning one myself, but the Miata is a lot more fun. :D




 

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autoXr said:
If a Miata is not fast enough for you in a straight line, it is easy to add a turbo kit, either DIY or store-bought. That is a lot easier than an engine swap in a MR2. Adding boost will put you in SM2, where the Miata is not competitive, unless there are no z06s to kick your butt. :lol:


That why you need to get an NA - you know, a real Miata :)


PhoeniXDownVII said:
Wob- Could you elaborate on the Chasis difference?

I read somewhere about Mazda's attention to the detail in the Miata, giving it a unique unibody frame, and is the wheelbase even smaller on the Miata?

I've driven an NA with 16k miles on it, a Supercharged NA, and an NB with Azeni tires, as well as getting a ride in the NB on the track.

I loved it. I'm pretty dead set on going back to Mazda..

First of all, the let me say I am including a lot when I say chassis, but I'll start with the things I like:
First, the strut setup of the MR2 I think is archaic. the double wishbone setup of the Miata allows for more adjustablity, less camber issues at speed and a better ride.
Next - better weight balance - 50/50 Miata vs. 42/58 MR2
...the PPF ( Power Plant Frame) a unique frame that connects the engine/trans and rear together so the unit acts as one. I have driven Miata with different trans and rears that wouldnt allow the frame and yes you can tell a difference.
http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/users/paloma/Miata/Images/ppf.jpg - bad pic but whole
http://www.motorsports-exchange.com/images/Blue Thunder Build/DSCN0821.JPG - a rear with the PPF still attached.

What else, well, I feel like the tuners that exist for the Miata are much more serious - In discussions with other MR2 guys and comparing parts/part availablity, testing of parts and proving their ability - I have found better support with the Miata community and shops, better quality - not in necessarily in parts or fabrication but quality of fitment, quality of what it is designed to do etc, better testing process and in the case of my favorite shop Flyin Miata a better backing of their parts. Honeslty, I dont think I have ever dealt with a better shop for any car ever.

The chassis is forgiving for beginners - its easy as hell to control the car in all types of messes, but the chassis allows for the monster engines and handles them well to keep us quick of the feet and hands happy.

There is a lot of engine options, lots of turbo and SC options, less ricers too :)

Obviously I am a Miata fan, but being objective as possible, I think the 90-93 Miata (before the bigger brakes, bigger engine, more stiffening etc) is still a better platform then the Mark II through its whole run.
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #10
AutoXr, well I do AutoX and would track from time to time, but not competitively. Only against my own time, and my friends who have fun in their Type-R's. So I need not worry about the effects of certain mods that I'd like to do :)

With that said, it seems I could get an NB, but if they are more towards my price range of $6-7k, they obviously will take funds away from suspension/mods I'd put in a cheaper 94 model. If CDS01's car doens't work out since he's far and it may be sold, I've found some interesting runner-ups, much more local. Autoxr/Wob...what do you think? :

http://allentown.craigslist.org/car/150228148.html <-NB in white

http://albany.craigslist.org/car/152781692.html <- NA in white, but 93, nice hardtop!

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/car/142215365.html <--Philly(wob) Torsen Equipped Red 94 with 89k miles.

White NA <--This one isn't modified or priced like I'd want it, but it's in my hometown, talk about close! And it's white, which I love. Right in montgomery. Low miles (41k) Maybe could talk him down if he keeps all the mods I don't want..

Red one Well-Modified (NA) <--Not bad...

Beautiful stock kit'd silver NB


Which is a top pick? That white one that's 3 miles from my house (lol) has the least miles, but odd mods. I LOVE NA's in White, Black, and Red's okay. Love NB's in White, Black, or Silver, red being okay as well. Just don't favor the Montego Blue (Again..lol) or baby blue colors. That rare burgendy is kinda cool Check it out
 

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PhoeniXDownVII said:
http://allentown.craigslist.org/car/150228148.html <-NB in white - eh, NB

http://albany.craigslist.org/car/152781692.html <- NA in white, but 93, nice hardtop! - sell the hardtop for 800 bucks off the car price - 93 is a good year of the gen 1's, but i still would rather have the bigger brakes and engine - but you can deal with that after

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/car/142215365.html <--Philly(wob) Torsen Equipped Red 94 with 89k miles. now your talking - looks like a good eaxmple at a very good price, again if I had the space and things checked out that would be Wob - looks clean, nice miles good rear, A package is very light, but I am curious why there is tan carpet though, could have just been a little mod or ....? Timing belt done, water pump done, R package chin spoiler - honestly another very good car if its as described. One of those cars you need to jump on because you get a real Miata guy in there thats GONE

White NA <--This one isn't modified or priced like I'd want it, but it's in my hometown, talk about close! And it's white, which I love. Right in montgomery. Low miles (41k) Maybe could talk him down if he keeps all the mods I don't want.. price isnt bad for a 97, but too much goofy shit on that car for my taste.

Red one Well-Modified (NA) <--Not bad... ok, imnot big on buying cars you KNOW had the shit beat out of them though - but if it was clean its not a bad price per se

Beautiful stock kit'd silver NB eh


Which is a top pick? That white one that's 3 miles from my house (lol) has the least miles, but odd mods. I LOVE NA's in White, Black, and Red's okay. Love NB's in White, Black, or Silver, red being okay as well. Just don't favor the Montego Blue (Again..lol) or baby blue colors. That rare burgendy is kinda cool Check it out


Really - sucks you didnt get cds01's car, save yourself the $$.

see in red my comments ^^
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
K wob, no NB's. I don't feel comfortable spending that much on just the car alone anyways. Maybe if one was cheaper...

The Red one on Miata.net that you don't advise due to the fact you KNOW it's been driven hard, matter-of-factly is someone who I've seen at the AutoX where I go. Friend of mine knows the owners, said good stuff. Going to try and get their number ASAP.

Going to call up the Philly Red Torsen one you like the most today, as well as the White one in town just for kicks, highly doubt i'd buy it.

Just found this, going to call him up too, i'd take black over red but the mods and options on the two reds are nice, we'll see if this black one is LSD equipped: http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.j...isp=y&engine=&doors=&fuel=&lang=en&cardist=74
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #13
Wob- The one in Philly is sold. I doubt I'll do anything with the white one, and both NB's are too expensive...

I guess it's down to the Red one that my friend knows the owners, and possibly that black one on autotrader once I get a call back about it...
 

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told you that would go fast. im floored no one on here bought cds01's because of the price alone.
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #15
Black one is sold too, so now we're down to the Red one with the Mazdaspeed seat and suspension work...which I think will work out should it be available.

Are you online or what, you're not answering my IM's.... :rant2:
 

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Wobbiest: Three Laws Safe
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thats at the house skillz - I am at work.
 

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Nautical Blue MR2T
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I own a Turbo MR2 right now. Although honestly I think it would be badass to own a turbo Miata. Obviously for all the wrong reasons... but light cars have always attarcted me, and light fast cars (in a strait line) are that much better. I am actually quite disappointed with the weight of the MR2 given its size and class, its kinda stuck between GT cars and small sports cars (too heavy for the miatas, fieros, etc, but too slow for the Supras and M3s and Zs, etc).

*edit*

With that said, if I were building a track car, Id definately go with the Miata. For a fun street car, they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is all subjective from there.
 

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AKA Muddy
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Mr. Wob said:
That why you need to get an NA - you know, a real Miata :)
What is that supposed to mean? :) I don't care what you do to a miata, it won't be able to compete against a z06, because you cant fit 335/30/18s on it! :lol:

Good luck on your NA search, phoenix. After some chassis bracing and replacing the rear bumpstops, it will handle at least as well as a stock NB. :D
 

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Passion Driven
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Discussion Starter #19
Is there a general rule or trick to finding out if an NA Miata has LSD? Just uncase I check one out and the owner has no clue? Is there something in the VIN# that designates it or anything else?

Also, is every NB LSD equipped?

Thanks

Oh and by the way- Every car on my list above is sold except the white one in town, probably going to check that one out today just for kicks, although I'm not spending $7k on an NA :p
 

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I have never driven a Miata and their auto-x ability is proven, but one thing to note about the MR2... MKII n/a are NOT NOT 2700lbs when lightly modded. That is a little high.

Also I'm still kind of thinking about an n/a MKII for a daily, if you are willing to go down to $3000 instead of $3500 let me know.
 
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