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Old 02-29-2008, 11:21 AM   #1
dpspeed
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Default Better Track/Street Car E36 M3 or WRX?

I think I know the answer to this question since I am on a subie website, but...

I have a Miata now...its not getting any faster (or bigger). I am an instructor and I give way to many passing signals. I have instructed in a WRX and an E30...but not an M3. I don't go 10/10s everywhere on track, but would like a car capable of doing 125+ on straightaways such as VIR...

Either car will be VERY close to stock. Probably shocks w/ stock springs, swaybars, performance alignment, intake, exhaust, chip, brake pads, RA1s on extra set of wheels...nothing too wild.

How will the two cars fair that close to stock?

Which will be better on consumables?

WRX would be more initially, its newer, awd, turbo / the M3-cheaper (never thought I'd say that) and is a very nice car overall...

I also ski patrol on the weekends up in the NC mountains, which makes the WRX AWD a nice plus...on the flip side, Motorsport Connection (BMW race shop) is in town and can be a good place to have work done to the car.

Which one would be more fun?

Which one would be faster given the same driver?

Dave
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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In this case I'd say the BMW would be more fun overall, but if you're going skiing on the weekends the WRX would be a lot more useful (then again I did 2 seasons of skiing while driving 91 mustang 5.0 :P ).

You can pick up a WRX used for under 10k. It's hard to find E36 M3's for under 10k.

Overall, I do think the M3 will be more fun as a track slut, it's a much better platform to start with, but the WRX will be (probably) more reliable, more usable in daily settings, and pretty close to the fun of the beemer.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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keep the miata, buy a wrx. apply to become a nasioc moderator

the wrx will be more reliable and cheaper to repair but the m3 will probably be more fun on the track. i chose my car because of its versatility. why not a used sti?
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
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M3 is a better car off the lot.. but the cost to maintain/modify is very high.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
dpspeed
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Thanks for the quick responses...

It looks like you guys are saying that the M3 will be more like my Miata in the way it handles...

AWD would be nice, but the wife and I usually just take her Ford Escape 4WD up to the mountains and eventually I want a F150 to pull a track car, 4WD for the little bit of snow we encounter, etc.

Which makes me think that I want to keep the Miata and get a truck, but I just want a faster car and I think I can keep a WRX or M3 close to stock power and it will be plenty fast vs. keeping the miata and adding a turbo....

I am heavily leaning toward the E36 M3 right now just for the overall package. I also see myself eventually lightening the car (retaining interior carpet) and adding a 4 point rollbar, seats, harness...

I guess I am at the point that I don't want to spend any more money on the Miata...its only going to be so fast...I would be better getting a new platform and adding some speed there.

Does the WRX need a lot of safety, cooling, brake ducting, etc to make it a reliable track car? The M3 wouldn't need much beyond brakes, some weak bushing replacements, shocks and track wheels/tires...

Thanks

Dave
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:49 PM   #6
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I would go E36 m3 no questions asked. Have you thought about turboing your Miata or something all that line? A car that handles like a Spec Miata, but with the power of an m3 would be killer.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpspeed View Post
Does the WRX need a lot of safety, cooling, brake ducting, etc to make it a reliable track car? The M3 wouldn't need much beyond brakes, some weak bushing replacements, shocks and track wheels/tires...
i doubt the wrx would need much in terms of safety. many people track their wrx's with the stock rotors/calipers. upgrade the rears with the h6 upgrade which will cost you around $200-250, and then upgrade pads/lines/fluid.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:10 PM   #8
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M3 by a wide margin.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:38 PM   #9
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The wrx is a really nice car but since its seeing track use id probly say the M3
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
dpspeed
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Thanks for the help guys...it sounds like an M3 is what I will be getting. I was looking desperately for a nice...uh...I mean decent E30 with less than 150k...almost impossible for $3k-$4k...

Anyway, I have always like the E36 M3 and I should probably buy one before they all get scarce.

Thanks

Dave
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:43 PM   #11
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Keep the Miata. Add some flares so you can fit some 15x8 and 225/45-15. Add a FM Turbo kit.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dpspeed View Post
Thanks for the help guys...it sounds like an M3 is what I will be getting. I was looking desperately for a nice...uh...I mean decent E30 with less than 150k...almost impossible for $3k-$4k...

Anyway, I have always like the E36 M3 and I should probably buy one before they all get scarce.

Thanks

Dave
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #12
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The E36 M3 is actually a pretty reliable car.
http://www.corner-carvers.com/forums...ead.php?t=7915

Specifically post #6:
http://www.corner-carvers.com/forums...33&postcount=6

Just some data. I keep hoping my wife buys one

john
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Old 02-29-2008, 05:05 PM   #13
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It's going to cost you $ right off the bat to make a stock WRX handle as well as a stock E36 M3.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #14
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E36 maintenance costs are very reasonable if you do the work yourself. M3 would be MUCH more fun on the track.

Gary
Sheehan Motor Racing
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:13 AM   #15
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My E36 isn't an M3 and my Impreza's not a WRX. I'd say I'd rather the M3 for an light track day car. I'd go with the WRX only if you need the added practicality of AWD. You can get a 4-door M3 to cover the utility of space. And you can find an E36 in good shape for pretty cheap, much more so than a WRX I suspect.
-N
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:48 PM   #16
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I'd say buy a truck and turbo the Miata. If not, get the E36 M3
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:26 PM   #17
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M3 is good right off the bat and I like over 3L displacement for track

Both good cars, not gonna be dissappointed
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Old 03-04-2008, 05:36 PM   #18
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throw a nice rotary into the miata and you won't be giving too many passing signs
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:21 PM   #19
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The M3.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #20
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Going to have to go with M3 here. My moderately modified 2.0 could overtake a lightly modified M3. However, the WRX brakes are not suitable for track use. You have to get a BBK, an H6 and 17s. An LBK that fits under 16s is not enough. A stage 2 2.0 will do 125-130 though.

A boosted miata is a good idea too. Very comparable to the WRX but 900 lbs lighter and cheaper parts.

p
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:26 PM   #21
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honestly, the cheapest route is a used truck and goes balls to the wall with a FM kit. next step would be a se7en of some sort. i know one for sale right now for 20k. u can check to see if the Escape has the tow capacity for a se7en and trailer.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:58 AM   #22
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Honestly, I'd say e36's are amazing cars for the money, easy to setup and drive. They are also not as expensive as people would think. I've driven a buddies m3 on track and loved it!
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:09 AM   #23
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I would recomend the E30 M3... My friend has one...




WRX is a great DD but on a track nothing is a more pure driving experience than an E30 M3. It might not have the power, but god is that car whippable around the corners.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:50 AM   #24
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Old non-M E36 with an LS1 swap would be pretty awesome.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...play.php?f=208

There are people doing some cool stuff over there, and at least one company has developed a kit that takes care of most of the tough fabrication.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:21 AM   #25
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i get m3 envy lately seeing the e36s around campus, even though i know my sti's faster.
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