CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
5/13/22 4:43 p.m.

I've been looking at replacing my 2011 GTI with a RWD sports car for the last couple years. I'd like something that I can drive 10k-15k miles and take to a handful of track days each year. My budget is $30k-$40k. 

 

I seriously looked at 987.2/981 Caymans for a while but I just can't get myself to buy one. The prices shot up right around the time I started looking. I can't see tracking an expensive car with expensive consumables. Also, I know it's rare but when they break it's really expensive. I know two people that wound up having to get a new motor in the last year. Anything I can afford is going to be out of warranty. I think I'll wait until I have a separate track car. 

 

Thanks to you enablers I recently got interested in the new GR86. It seems to check a lot of the boxes: Relatively cheap. Warranty. RWD. Manual. Good looks. Good handling. 53/47 weight distribution. Light weight. Great aftermarket. Cheap consumables. They are running very similar times to my modified 2011 GTI on 100TW tires with a couple simple camber mods in the front and 260TW tires. 

 

My local Toyota dealer got a used 22 GR86 Base MT in this week so I took my wife and son over to take a look at it. I've sat in a GR86 but I'd never driven one before. Here are my thoughts:
In person it's a good looking car. The red isn't quite as dark as it looks in pictures.
The material on the base seats felt cheaper than the seats in my base 2011 GTI. The premium trim seats have nicer materials though. 

The seats fit my son and I pretty well though(6'2" 160lbs/5'10", 240lbs).

It has more driver's leg room and you sit closer to the dash than the GTI. 

It has better visibility than I expected.

The steering wheel was nice.
The rear seat is a joke. Seriously. Why bother? There is literally zero leg room. I'd think about a seat delete.
This car only had 800 miles so it wasn't broken in yet. The shift warning was still set to 4k rpm so I tried to be nice and didn't try to wind it all the way out.

The clutch engagement point is really close to the floor. 
The engine doesn't quite have the turbo torque punch that my GTI does but it was still fun. The torque is pretty flat where my GTI has a huge bump in the 3500-5500 rpm range and then falls off quite a bit.
I was still able to get the all season tires to chirp shifting 1-2 and 2-3 at ~4k. :grinning:
It was a little stiffer than my GTI over bumps but not bad.
The steering feels more direct than my GTI.

It had more body roll than I was expecting. My GTI has stiff aftermarket sway bars so it doesn't roll much but the steering isn't as direct feeling.

 

Opti
Opti Dork
5/13/22 5:20 p.m.

I recommend checking out the 6th gen camaro 1LEs. Available on the 4, 6s, and 8s. I believe a member on here bought a 6 cylinder 1le for tracking. Its said that GM will even warranty them for track work. A couple of guys on the 1le groups have had the V8s let go on the track and the reports are GM had no problem warrantying them.

tremm
tremm Reader
5/13/22 6:13 p.m.

Have there been any happy 1st gen stories here on grm? I know there are a few threads, but I get them confused, and I think at least 2-3 have had serious engine problems. Though tbf, some of those were bought that way. But it's not like lol Subaru engine problems is a new concept.

It's nice to hear the positive reviews of the second gen, but I don't think there will be any real answer talk until 7-10 years of confidence building.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/13/22 10:42 p.m.

Yes, Buy the GR86, put wheels and tires on it and leave everything else alone.. track it, enjoy it.

Mazdeuce and I are good buddies with the guy from Toyota PE who wheeled their bone stock GR86 to a phenomenal finishing position at OLOA this year.

Toyota is working with dealers to understand how tracking cars isn't an immediate disqualification for warranty repairs.

seriously. GR86 and done.

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/13/22 10:59 p.m.
tremm said:

Have there been any happy 1st gen stories here on grm? I know there are a few threads, but I get them confused, and I think at least 2-3 have had serious engine problems. Though tbf, some of those were bought that way.

My successful first gen experience

tl;dr- I bought a 2013 FR-S brand new, and still have it. No recall work performed, no engine failure, no oil cooler, but also no boost or engine mods. I just keep driving it, changing the oil, autocrossing it, and some track days...so far, so good! wink

parker
parker HalfDork
5/13/22 11:00 p.m.
tremm said:

Have there been any happy 1st gen stories here on grm? I know there are a few threads, but I get them confused, and I think at least 2-3 have had serious engine problems. Though tbf, some of those were bought that way. But it's not like lol Subaru engine problems is a new concept.

It's nice to hear the positive reviews of the second gen, but I don't think there will be any real answer talk until 7-10 years of confidence building.

115,000 miles on my '15 FR-S and zero issues.  That's with a few track days and autocrosses.  It's completely stock.   It doesn't even have an aftermarket oil cooler  GASP!!!  and I tracked it in 100F Texas heat.  Of course adding forced induction or a "tune" might not have the same results.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/13/22 11:01 p.m.
maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
5/14/22 7:59 a.m.

Only since it hasn't been said yet - ND Miata is another great option. You trade lighter weight for less space. You might be comfortable at 5'10", but your son at 6'2" will probably not. I'm 6'0 and had to buy a seat lowering kit. And since you're used to the interior space of the VW, the 86 is probably going to feel a lot more comfortable. But otherwise it checks your boxes for price, consumables, performance, etc. Regarding warranty, I would feel slightly better buying the Subaru version since you would have Subaru techs working on the boxer engine, but in this era we don't have many options for cars so don't let that hold you back.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/14/22 10:15 a.m.

^ I'm with him. The new Answer is still the Answer. Part of the Miata recipe is that they're very simple cars that you can generally abuse for 200k+ miles and they'll just keep asking for more. 

theberrynator
theberrynator New Reader
5/15/22 12:05 p.m.

In reply to ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) :

Bought an abused NC1 last year for $4k w/ 170k miles on it. It's holding up well all things considered. Biggest issue at the moment is the downstream O2 sensor is faulted due to an electrical issue I'm pretty sure is internal to the ECU. Want to do a 2.5 swap, but need a new daily first....

Almost certainly going to start looking for a new GR86/BRZ this fall. Had a leased Civic Si through my previous job, and I'm really missing the comforts of a new car and a fixed roof.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/15/22 12:21 p.m.

I like most of the stuff I've seen in the new GR86, but when it came right down to it, I really did not want that Subaru engine. Hence one more vote for ND (RF if you can fit).

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/15/22 9:28 p.m.

I'm probably going to sound like a broken record on this one, but the big problem with the Answer in my eyes is the lack of a roof. I realize it works well for many, but in my locale, the motor sports options for a Miata are limited unless it has an aftermarket roll bar, and at my 6'2" height, passing a broomstick test isn't guaranteed, and it rains a lot here, and it seems some roll bars impact putting up the top. And folding hardtops are still a convertible according to the rules. So if I go with the Miata, I've got a floppier, heavier-than-it-needs-to-be car that might not be legal for local events, unless I modify it with aftermarket seat and roll bar, plus there's still the weather to contend with...frown...yeah, I'll take the unloved Subaru motor with a real light/stiff coupe chassis and a bit more interior room any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, thanks! wink

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
5/15/22 10:14 p.m.
tremm said:

Have there been any happy 1st gen stories here on grm? I know there are a few threads, but I get them confused, and I think at least 2-3 have had serious engine problems. Though tbf, some of those were bought that way. But it's not like lol Subaru engine problems is a new concept.

It's nice to hear the positive reviews of the second gen, but I don't think there will be any real answer talk until 7-10 years of confidence building.

Yeah, I'm also curious how the 2nd gens will hold up.. I've helped a few friends replace the 1st gen engines after they went pop.   The engine is enough for me to say that I can't see myself ever owning one.  Not only aren't they reliable, I thought it was quite unpleasant to drive; very tractor-like without the fun torque of a v8. 

I'm glad modern Subarus exist, they made my Rx-8 look reliable :)   But, to be fair, I am a Mazda fanboy, so I'm biased...

CAinCA
CAinCA HalfDork
5/16/22 12:39 p.m.

Wellllllll, it turns out the GR86/BRZ aren't The Answer for me right now. On paper it really makes a lot sense but way down in my heart I really wanted a Cayman. I decided to take one more look on Saturday and a really clean low mile 987.2 base popped up for a reasonable price. I took a test drive and made a deal. Unless something unfortunate happens I'll pick it up next Saturday.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
5/17/22 6:42 p.m.

Almost a year into owning my '14 BRZ and loving it (60k miles).  If I hadn't bought it I would probably be looking at 2nd gen's.  I'd even consider the SCCA Spec class.

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