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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/27/24 9:09 p.m.

I'm sorry, I know I'm at it again but at the end of the day this is my preferred sounding board for daft automotive ideas.

I've been thinking a lot lately, which is generally an expensive and not very productive pastime for me. Anyway, let me set the scene:

  1. I really don't need another project, in fact I need to finish a project or three before getting another one. Pretty much any CRX/EF/EG Honda I've seen around here so far carries a whiff of project-ness, and with most of them I expect them to be exploded all over my shop about a day after I dragged them home. Which is emphatically not what I need.
  2. My year-round daily putter around beater SAAB is also reveling in its projectness and is getting to the point where it just needs to go, and I can't just park the 100-Series Lexus at the airport for extended amounts of time, because it's the only other year-round vehicle my wife can drive. After all, the Lexus was the replacement for my wife's Range Rover and not for me.
  3. I have plans for the Elise, and it's likely to be down for an extended amount of time for refurbishment. It more or less needs a full suspension overhaul given the mileage plus some extra work and upgrades, so I have to send out parts for refurbishment, wait for other parts to be made etc etc. Short summary - even if all project vehicle time goes into the Lotus, it'll probably be mid-year or likely later before it's back on the road. Plus, I currently don't trust the loose nut behind the wheel when it comes to tracking it. To me the work is prime YouTube fodder, and while I could send it out for a lot of the work it doesn't accelerate parts production, so it'll just sit in another location.
  4. I also don't trust the same loose nut (is there a Boeing theme here?) with tracking the 997, and I'd really prefer something a little more ... disposable and cheap to track, at least for now.
  5. What I need right now is something I can leave at the airport with not too much worry, but also check fluids, slap the wheels with sticky tires on, take it to the track and only have to worry about making sure that said loose nut has a suitable cotter pin fitted. In short, what my BRZ was supposed to be - and no, I'm not getting another one.

So I started looking at newer Civic SIs and even found one in that Nuclear Kermit Green that adorned the last GRM project car. I also noticed that if for once I'm not cheaping out and stretch a bit further, I can find earlier model Type Rs at Carmax for what looks like a pretty reasonable amount more and in a range I can handle financially without much of an issue.

Which got me thinking - I know the 2016+? Civic SI is a pretty good car, has an LSD, boost and likely enough power to be fun without being overwhelmingly quick, but also not a mobile chicane.

Buuuuuut.

I made the mistake once before where I "settled" for the cheaper version of the vehicle when I bought an R32 Skyline GTS-T instead of a GT-R (that was back in the UK where these things were actually affordable in case anybody gets the wrong idea), and it didn't exactly make me happy. Plus, I suspect that the Type R is going to hold it's value better than the SI.

I also couldn't help but notice that there really isn't that much in this category available over here - a Veloster N might qualify, I'm not too fond of the Elantra N's looks, so we're either looking at GTIs or Focus ST/RS and maybe anolder MazdaSpeed 3 but those are old enough to have the onset of fun corrosion around here already.

Given my well documented skills when it comes to creating "thar she blows" type scenarios in cars that are considered 100% bomb proof, I have some faith in Honda to actually deliver on that promise.

So, for those who ideally have driven both the Type R and the SI versions of the 10th gen Civic, is the Type R worth the extra money to overcome looking like I'm an extra in a certain movie and waiting for Hector to deliver a Spoon engine?

GTwannaB
GTwannaB Dork
1/27/24 9:26 p.m.

If Elantra N is not working in the looks department how about a Veloster N? In the low 20s. I would get that over a used Civic Si for a few extra dollars.  

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/27/24 9:30 p.m.

In reply to GTwannaB :

Veloster N is on the list if I can find a good way to identify if it's got the Performance Pack (or whatever Hyundai called it). My main concern with it is the size - it might be a little too small for what I need based on the very-much-not-an-N rental Veloster I had a few times.

The ideal target size of the car is "not too big", but big enough so I can throw in another set of wheels and tires plus the other assort track cr*p I need, a week's worth of clothes and drive it cross country for a trackday at Laguna Seca.

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
1/27/24 10:18 p.m.

If you can overcome the looks the type r is absolutely worth the money over the si. That said they have some transmission durability and (iirc) engine heat management issues on track so if you want 100% bombproof that might not be the choice. But as a street car absolutely the type r as long as you can stand to be seen driving it.

That said...what variety of 997? If it's not a special model I have a hard time imagining the track operating costs are really significantly more and even if you're not comfortable pushing it as hard because you want to care about it the overall experience will probably be at least as good.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/27/24 10:28 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

It's a 997.2 Carrera 2S PDK, which is a pretty rare combo. It's not necessarily the operating costs that are the issue, more that I know how much I paid for it and it's about 2x my comfort zone for stuff that might make a hole in the scenery. Probably wouldn't make my wife overly happy either as it's the only one of our sports cars she can drive.

I know about the heat management issues on the Type R, hadn't seen anything about transmission durability. Probably something I should look into.

lnlds
lnlds Reader
1/28/24 2:52 a.m.

Have you seen the facelifted 2024 Elantra N?

 

Also on paper the 330i seems like an often overlooked choice if you could get over the lack of manual. I'm not very well versed in bmw but the aftermarket seems to be pretty developed and powertrain seems robust. According to dinan these cars put 240hp to the wheels stock. Spec wise not too far off from a late sti with the conservative styling of a base 3-series.

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
1/28/24 10:15 a.m.

So what's the mission here?  Fun DD that's also an airport car?  All that PLUS being a track car?  Don't you have multiple cars that are much better at being track cars?  Like a Lotus and a 997?  Would you be better off getting another vehicle like the 100?  That way you have a good DD, winter ride and something else your wife could drive?  You do have a 911 cab, Lotus and a 997 to tickle the sports car itch...

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/28/24 10:34 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

3.5 season DD-ish that I'd not be super worried to leave at the airport for a couple of weeks, and I can take to the track if the main track car is living the jackstand life again. Which seems to happen a tad too often recently. IOW, the way I wanted to use the BRZ before it lunched the motor and then developed other ailments every time I took it to the track. Not a time attack car that I can drive to do my shopping, more a shopping cart that can do time attack if I ever get that far.

The 997 isn't going on the hot side of the track (see above) and while the Elise is supposed to be the actual autocross/track car, it needs more work every time I start digging so I don't expect it to be ready for track use until (much) later in the year if not until next year.

One 100 series has been enough for my wallet so far, although again I probably didn't buy the best example.

In reply to lnlds :

I'm looking at used only, not new. Also, no interest in BMWs - my experience with them in the past other than a 2006 BINI wasn't that great, and while I really like their motorcycles I don't really gel with their cars.

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
1/28/24 10:38 a.m.

Honestly I wouldn't try to dual use this car.  Get a street car, use it and keep it on the street.  When you try and take something like that on the track things go sideways.  I wouldn't be so afraid to take the 997 on track.  It's, by far, the most durable track car you have.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/28/24 11:09 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Re the 997 - I think it would do great at the track, but I basically have a mental block tracking the most expensive vehicle I've ever owned and am likely to ever own (unless I really thrown caution in the wind and get a 930 or an NSX at some point). It's not that I don't realise that the 997 is probably better suited to what I need from a track car than even the Elise, it's that my level of discomfort of tracking a car increases exponentially once we get past a vehicle value of $20k. Which is already an improvement given that it used to be more like $5k. And yes, I looked into how much track insurance for the 997 would set me back.

Anyway, that's where the idea of a Veloster N/CTR came from, because my understanding is that I wouldn't have to do much in the way of track mods other than a brake service and getting some good tires.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UberDork
1/28/24 12:09 p.m.

I only hear good things about how the type r drives. I have refrained from driving one so far. Currently can't afford one. I make do with my 8th Gen Civic Si.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/28/24 9:25 p.m.

In reply to clutchsmoke :

Yeah, me too. Same for the Veloster N, but the Civic is supposed to retain a (small) edge.

Probably should look for a test drive somewhere if I can, although that might prove expensive.

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
1/28/24 9:34 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

3.5 season DD-ish that I'd not be super worried to leave at the airport for a couple of weeks,

I personally cant imagine leaving a CTR at the airport for more than an hour before it gets stolen. Maybe I am wrong, but I would not even test that theory.  

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/28/24 10:21 p.m.

What about a GTI? Seems like they're an excellent daily but can take track work with a few minor mods.

The challenge is that the more cars you own, the more likely that something is going to need a repair or maintenance done. Trust me, I live that life smiley I know what it's like to have a project car be way more involved than I had hoped/expected (see Hazel for details). Does it make sense to sit out a year while you get the Elise set up for track work? Fix or sell the Saab, and if you need a car for the airport, grab an all-season DD to replace it. I'm just thinking if the Elise is going to be your main car, any other car you pick up could be a distraction from that.

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
1/28/24 10:51 p.m.
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to docwyte :

it's that my level of discomfort of tracking a car increases exponentially once we get past a vehicle value of $20k.

I can understand that but I'm pretty sure all of these other cars you're discussing except maybe the si are also well over $20k.

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
1/29/24 9:52 a.m.

Agree with dps214.  A CTR, even the last generation is still what, over $30k?  Plus as pointed out, leaving it in an airport lot risks coming back to another car in your spot as the CTR got stolen. 

I like the GTi idea, the Mk7/7.5's are extremely solid cars.  the '18-19's have a 6 year warranty, so maintenance should've been taken care of the entire time...

calteg
calteg SuperDork
1/29/24 9:59 a.m.

As someone that bought an Elise with the intent of tracking it, I'd advise against it unless yours is already a rebuilt title and you bought it very very cheaply.

If you're nervous about wadding up a 997, even a minor off into gravel can chew up the clamshell on the Elise enough to total it, no ARMCO impact needed

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
1/29/24 10:23 a.m.

I love the Velsoter N, but let me remind you, that drivers door sucks.  A Mk7.5 GTI does seem like a pretty decent way to meet this need.

pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/29/24 2:05 p.m.

My buddy has owned several Interga Type-r's, three NSX's and most recently a 2019 Civic Type R. 

He recently bought a 2023 Elantra N.  It is hard to argue with it from a performance/ cost stand point.  He was shopping for a new Type-R or a low mileage previous gen, but given the prices / dealer mark up decided to pull the trigger on the elantra.

It's like 90% of the Type R Civic for 12k less.  Plus it has a great warranty.

I still give him a hard time though dubbing it the "Temu Type R" . 

He signed up for his 1st autocross in two weeks curious to see his thoughts afterwards.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/29/24 8:52 p.m.
calteg said:

As someone that bought an Elise with the intent of tracking it, I'd advise against it unless yours is already a rebuilt title and you bought it very very cheaply.

If you're nervous about wadding up a 997, even a minor off into gravel can chew up the clamshell on the Elise enough to total it, no ARMCO impact needed

It's a clean title one and it wasn't very cheap, although it was more or less the cheapest I could find with a clean title due to the high mileage. I unfortunately do know how sensitive the clam is to damage - mine has some very minor damage that's hidden under the front splitter. Not sure if that was due to my landscaping attempt at a local autocross or not.

I'll see how I like the Elise after I'm done with the work on it - I might find that it turns out to be too precious to track, and I'll basically will have to send it on if that's the case because the whole point of having it was having it as a track car.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/29/24 8:54 p.m.
dps214 said:
BoxheadTim said:

In reply to docwyte :

it's that my level of discomfort of tracking a car increases exponentially once we get past a vehicle value of $20k.

I can understand that but I'm pretty sure all of these other cars you're discussing except maybe the si are also well over $20k.

They are, but they're much closer to $20k than the 997 is.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/29/24 8:55 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

I love the Velsoter N, but let me remind you, that drivers door sucks.  A Mk7.5 GTI does seem like a pretty decent way to meet this need.

I've had a Veloster as a rental a few times so I'm aware of the rather large door. I think I could live with it, but if this year turns out to be a year with a lot more travel, then it would probably turn into a pain in the backside much more than I'd like.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/29/24 9:03 p.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

What about a GTI? Seems like they're an excellent daily but can take track work with a few minor mods.

I had been looking at older GTIs (mainly Mk5s) when it became clear that the EF/EG idea wasn't going to fly. Never thought about checking how much Mk7s go for and I was actually surprised how affordable they were.

The challenge is that the more cars you own, the more likely that something is going to need a repair or maintenance done. Trust me, I live that life smiley I know what it's like to have a project car be way more involved than I had hoped/expected (see Hazel for details). Does it make sense to sit out a year while you get the Elise set up for track work? Fix or sell the Saab, and if you need a car for the airport, grab an all-season DD to replace it. I'm just thinking if the Elise is going to be your main car, any other car you pick up could be a distraction from that.

The problem with sitting out the year while trying to fix up the Elise is that due to other circumstances (like me falling off my motorcycle, and various issues with the BRZ I tried to track before the Elise), I'd be essentially looking at year 3.5 of sitting things out. Between that and the pandemic, I've been at the track about four times since 2019 and thus I declared this year the year of "E36 M3 or get off the pot" as my measly track driving skills aren't exactly getting any better with more non-use.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/29/24 9:07 p.m.

Thanks for all the other comments on Mk7 GTIs. After a bit more research it looks like that might be a really good choice for what I have in mind and I could even get the DSG one so the missus could drive it as well. Looks like my ideal spec would be somthing like a base-ish model with cloth upholstery and the Performance Pack. Guess I should start keeping an eye out for one.

It's kinda funny how much I tend to overlook VW products despite a family connection to early VW (grandpa on my biological father's side had a bit of a hand in getting the original factory going).

I had actually kinda assumed that Civics getting stolen often was a thing of the past, but I guess I was wrong about that.

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
1/29/24 9:53 p.m.

have you looked at the value of Elise (is plural of Elise, Elise Eli, Elises) I was eye'ing one on Cars and Bids and I fully expect that it will close at $50k while that isn't a 997.2 its more than a 997.1S these days.  

 

It sounds like you're looking for a cost effective daily that can do some light track work if needed. 

ATS-V? 

335/340 with ZHP (I think later models call it the handling and cooling pack)

VW GTI / GLI get the DSG so your wife can drive it

 

if you're deciding between the SI and the previous gen Type R i would choose the SI.  The previous gen Type R looks too much like a boy racer and i would prefer something a bit more subdued for an every day car.  a 16/17 Golf R would also fit the bill and could probably be had for similar money.  

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