1 2 3
nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/8/17 4:02 p.m.

My EV lease will be up next year and after three years of driving an appliance I'm inclined to go back to a high-performance daily driver. What my heart wants is something that's a speed and handling all-star, like something that SCCA would classify as SS or AS.

On paper, speed and grip and lap times for those cars are really impressive. But do the high performance numbers those cars achieve really translate to fun on the street? For example, would a Vette or Porsche really be a more engaging daily commuter than a Focus/Fiesta ST or BRZ/FRS? Or do today's fast cars only really come alive when you get them near the limit?

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Dork
2/8/17 4:08 p.m.

I believe Keith may have an answer to your question.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
2/8/17 4:08 p.m.

Given the choice I would take a properly setup ND miata every single day over my ACR Viper on a road trip or even around town I would take the Miata 95% of the time. I would take a 911S over a Turbo as well due to being able to push it harder on the street and not go to jail.

On the street say 8lb/hp is starting to get un-fun for me, you simply cannot use it legally. Sub say 6.0 lb/hp is straight up not fun at all, then it actually becomes fun again around 3.5-4.0 lb/hp as it is basically uncontrollable and more of a laugh.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
2/8/17 4:26 p.m.

I've driven a Corvette and a number of late model Porsches and //M Cars on the race track, but I have never tried to commute in one. On the other hand, I have daily-driven a number of Miatas and E30s over the years. What I'd really like next is not a 'slow car fast' but a true high-performance car that still fun and engaging when driven at street speeds. What cars best fit that bill?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
2/8/17 4:37 p.m.

In most cases, and this is only my opinion, one step down from the ultra hot rod version is a better thing for living day to day, at least from a suspension standpoint. They tend to be too low, too harsh, and just less fun after a long days work.

That depends, too, on how ultra the hot rod is. I drove a 2004 Sentra SpecV with the Brembos, and other than the hard over bolstered seats, it was quite acceptable. Same story with my SRT4. I would enjoy it a lot more if I put the stock Neon seats back in and sold the Viper seats to a fanboi.

I just realized seats mean a lot to me. The Volvo R suspension is too low, too harsh, too expensive and too "stupid adjustable shocks that are never right" but the thing I like the least is the horrible German orange leather interior.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
2/8/17 4:47 p.m.

I wonder whether figuring some attributes which are more important for this role than others...

"Ready thrust" seems like one. On the street, something that feels eager and isn't always off cam or off boost is fun.

"Responsive and communicative"; not that a bunch of grip isn't good, but what's fun at sane speeds is something that feels lively and intuitive.

I'm still figuring this out myself. The WRX was neat, but the thrust was rarely useful outside of onramps. I did basically like the feel of it, but it didn't feel as good as the E30, which didn't feel as good as the 2002 (but now we've worked back to stuff you might not want to live with every day...) I think in your shoes I might be curious about a new Mustang. Or maybe not. I'm okay with the Mini as an appliance, and retreating to old cars for genuine grins.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
2/8/17 4:51 p.m.
nderwater wrote: What I'd really like next is not a 'slow car fast' but a true high-performance car that still fun and engaging when driven at street speeds.

Put all-season tires on it?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltimaDork
2/8/17 4:59 p.m.

this is one of those subjective things that everyone has a different opinion on. For me, it needs to be driveable in the day to day as well. So that means flat torque curves and lots of usable power in the rev range you spend most of your time in. An interior that is comfortable, but useful and not painful to contort into and out of.

So I'm buy a 41 year old truck and giving the wife my nice car. Don't ask how that works out. In my mind it made more sense than it does in word form.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
2/8/17 5:00 p.m.

I daily drive an E90 335i and rarely if ever rev above 3000rpm or use more than 50% throttle.

If you can handle the stress that comes with the fun, get a motorcycle. Get a motorcycle with less than 50 horsepower. Get a scooter and ride it like it owes you money.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/8/17 5:03 p.m.
Cactus wrote: I daily drive an E90 335i and rarely if ever rev above 3000rpm or use more than 50% throttle. If you can handle the stress that comes with the fun, get a motorcycle. Get a motorcycle with less than 50 horsepower. Get a scooter and ride it like it owes you money.

Same could be said for my FR-S. And I ride a 200cc Honda like it's the Isle of Mann TT every chance I get.

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing Dork
2/8/17 5:04 p.m.

Seriously, a ND RF that's been given the FM treatment ASAP would dot your i's and cross your t's PDQ.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
2/8/17 5:08 p.m.
Appleseed wrote:
Cactus wrote: I daily drive an E90 335i and rarely if ever rev above 3000rpm or use more than 50% throttle. If you can handle the stress that comes with the fun, get a motorcycle. Get a motorcycle with less than 50 horsepower. Get a scooter and ride it like it owes you money.
Same could be said for my FR-S. And I ride a 200cc Honda like it's the Isle of Mann TT every chance I get.

Old Honda CB350 Four

The 350cc 4 cylinder makes less power and uses more gas than the 350cc twin while weighing more, but trust me, it's the one you want.

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
2/8/17 5:10 p.m.

Cayman, either 981 or 718 ND or used S52 M Coupe

All tick the boxes you're looking for at various price points and amounts of utility.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/17 5:15 p.m.

I DO have thoughts on this subject I mean, I'm a guy who just had to choose between the E39 M5, a turbo Miata and a CRX Si to run around town. All of them get use, and I like them all for daily drivers.

Ransom thinks along the same way I do. You want something alive and eager, ready to play. That could mean massive amounts of torque waiting for a little tickle of your foot, it could mean a good chassis with relatively low grip.

Our M5 is in the former category, you're always aware of the massive reserves of speed available but it doesn't beat you up about it. A V8 NA or NB Miata, well, you're a little more conscious of what's underhood and it's a bit more in-your-face about it all. The V8 ND doesn't ask for a compromise. It's more like the M5. The performance is there, but under a veneer of civility.

The CRX is the latter. It's a fast slow car. It's fun to drive because it's involving, but not so much that it's exhausting. The classic Mini is more of the exhausting type, it's a puppy of a car that is always asking more of you.

The turbo Miata is the good chassis with some punch. You don't know the turbo's there until you ask for it, but it's still not the same as a big displacement hit. It's a good all-rounder, a quick car with an engaging chassis.

One thing all of these cars share is good suspension - and none of mine are stock in this regard. You don't want bad suspension in a daily driver, it'll beat you up. No matter what you choose, pick the car with composure over all surfaces instead the one that can lap 2s faster at the 'Ring. This might be one step down from the ultimate level, as Streetwiseguy has said. Although the advent of magneohetrological (sp?) shocks may be changing that.

I never through the FD (most recent) RX7 was a great street car. Fast (at the time), no question. But it wasn't accessible speed. You always felt you had to hold back. The S2000 gave me the same impression, you just couldn't play with it on the street. I've got very little Porsche and no Corvette experience, but the original Boxster on the street seemed to have a pretty good mix of attributes. So it's not so much about the ultimate speed of the thing, but about what it requires to have that speed. A high revving naturally aspirated superstar motor is wasted on the street, a big hearted bruiser is more fun.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/17 5:16 p.m.
WildScotsRacing wrote: Seriously, a ND RF that's been given the FM treatment ASAP would dot your i's and cross your t's PDQ.

And I'm seriously considering selling a few cars do to exactly this myself, as you know. But while it's quick, it's not Porsche quick. It may not be in the league that nderwater is looking for.

Yet

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
2/8/17 5:17 p.m.
wearymicrobe wrote: Given the choice I would take a properly setup ND miata every single day over my ACR Viper on a road trip or even around town I would take the Miata 95% of the time. I would take a 911S over a Turbo as well due to being able to push it harder on the street and not go to jail. On the street say 8lb/hp is starting to get un-fun for me, you simply cannot use it legally. Sub say 6.0 lb/hp is straight up not fun at all, then it actually becomes fun again around 3.5-4.0 lb/hp as it is basically uncontrollable and more of a laugh.

I agree with the 8lbs/HP thing. It's kind of fun, but only very briefly unless you want to hurt someone or end up in the back of a police cruiser. I had more 'fun' in my Mazda2 than my CTS-V just driving around even though the V is nicer to drive the 98% of the time I'm not extracting fun out of it.
For me there is a certain joy in a car that is straining to give me that extra little bit. As long as the car is fundamentally good, I'd rather have the car hold me back than me constantly hold the car back.
It's hard because most modern good cars are more than fast enough for the street and need to be held back, ND included.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
2/8/17 5:24 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote:
wearymicrobe wrote: Given the choice I would take a properly setup ND miata every single day over my ACR Viper on a road trip or even around town I would take the Miata 95% of the time. I would take a 911S over a Turbo as well due to being able to push it harder on the street and not go to jail. On the street say 8lb/hp is starting to get un-fun for me, you simply cannot use it legally. Sub say 6.0 lb/hp is straight up not fun at all, then it actually becomes fun again around 3.5-4.0 lb/hp as it is basically uncontrollable and more of a laugh.
I agree with the 8lbs/HP thing. It's kind of fun, but only very briefly unless you want to hurt someone or end up in the back of a police cruiser. I had more 'fun' in my Mazda2 than my CTS-V just driving around even though the V is nicer to drive the 98% of the time I'm not extracting fun out of it. For me there is a certain joy in a car that is straining to give me that extra little bit. As long as the car is fundamentally good, I'd rather have the car hold me back than me constantly hold the car back. It's hard because most modern good cars are more than fast enough for the street and need to be held back, ND included.

I agree even the ND is a bit to much for modern speed limits. There is nothing fun about being in a 210mph car that will do sub 3.0 second 0-60 and sitting in traffic. The car will be just to compromised.

I think many popel have opinions about this but have not actually lived with a monster for any length of time. A sub 4 lb/hp car for the first week you own it will always be fun as the compromises have yet to rear there ugly head.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/17 5:30 p.m.

The trick is finding a car that's not compromised by its performance. This can be done (see reference to E39 M5 above) but you need an automaker who's willing to put in the effort.

I don't usually do the math for power/weight. That's not a defining feature to me, believe it not. It's more about how the car delivers the power and how composed it is.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
2/8/17 5:36 p.m.

And don't get me wrong, I love my stupid cars. I want to load Mrs. Deuce and some gear into the V and drive all over the country driving tracks at 8/10 visiting friends. I want the R63 to be back on the road because it's a joy to drive everywhere even if it's not "fun". I'm driving kids around, proper fun is being a very bad example.
The best car I have is my 911, but the most fun I have right now is heel toeing my wife's FJ Cruiser as I downshift into corners. It takes the right shoes and the right timing and it's hard and it all happens at speeds that are about the flow of traffic.
As usual though, I'm on the prowl for something else to scratch that itch. I always am.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
2/8/17 5:36 p.m.

I enjoy my SR20 B13 Sentra more than my SRT4. Its just such a willing little puppy that gives more than you think it should. The SRT would grab it by the scruff of the neck and kill it without a second thought, but still...

codrus
codrus SuperDork
2/8/17 5:38 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: I never through the FD (most recent) RX7 was a great street car. Fast (at the time), no question. But it wasn't accessible speed. You always felt you had to hold back.

Having picked up an FD last year and driven it a couple thousand miles on the street since then, I don't think I agree. Yes, you need to wind it out to get the boost, but you can wind it out in 1st and 2nd legally. 3rd goes to 90-ish, so that's a bit more questionable. Then again, my Miata is around 7 lbs/hp, so maybe it's just in comparison to that. :)

I think the thing about the FD is that it begs you to keep going, so it requires more restraint to keep it to reasonable street speeds.

I'd pick the FD over the Miata for a road trip any day of the week, but that's because the Miata has race seats and a track suspension while the FD is stock. In reality, though, I'd almost certainly take the Audi over either if I was going more than a hundred miles.

(that said, I don't think I'd recommend an FD to nderwater as a DD -- they're finicky cars)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/8/17 5:47 p.m.

The FD is fast. A Miata is quick. Quick is more fun than fast on the street It's that "begging to go faster" thing I was talking about, you feel like you're not able to use the car. It's like my V8 track Miata on our kart track, it never gets to stretch its legs so it's not any fun.

I can believe that a stock non-R1 FD would be a better road trip car than a stock NA/NB Miata. That's never been the strongest point of the NA/NB, and a good coupe is always a good road trip option.

codrus
codrus SuperDork
2/8/17 5:56 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: The FD is fast. A Miata is quick. Quick is more fun than fast on the street It's that "begging to go faster" thing I was talking about, you feel like you're not able to use the car. It's like my V8 track Miata on our kart track, it never gets to stretch its legs so it's not any fun.

Maybe it depends on your commute. 2nd in the FD goes to 65 or so, and there are enough roads on my daily commute that are fast enough for that. If I'm not going to be able to hear the "shift now, please" beep at least 3 or 4 times on the trip, I'll probably take a different car. :)

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/9/17 7:11 a.m.
wearymicrobe wrote:
mazdeuce wrote:
wearymicrobe wrote: Given the choice I would take a properly setup ND miata every single day over my ACR Viper on a road trip or even around town I would take the Miata 95% of the time. I would take a 911S over a Turbo as well due to being able to push it harder on the street and not go to jail. On the street say 8lb/hp is starting to get un-fun for me, you simply cannot use it legally. Sub say 6.0 lb/hp is straight up not fun at all, then it actually becomes fun again around 3.5-4.0 lb/hp as it is basically uncontrollable and more of a laugh.
I agree with the 8lbs/HP thing. It's kind of fun, but only very briefly unless you want to hurt someone or end up in the back of a police cruiser. I had more 'fun' in my Mazda2 than my CTS-V just driving around even though the V is nicer to drive the 98% of the time I'm not extracting fun out of it. For me there is a certain joy in a car that is straining to give me that extra little bit. As long as the car is fundamentally good, I'd rather have the car hold me back than me constantly hold the car back. It's hard because most modern good cars are more than fast enough for the street and need to be held back, ND included.
I agree even the ND is a bit to much for modern speed limits. There is nothing fun about being in a 210mph car that will do sub 3.0 second 0-60 and sitting in traffic. The car will be just to compromised. I think many popel have opinions about this but have not actually lived with a monster for any length of time. A sub 4 lb/hp car for the first week you own it will always be fun as the compromises have yet to rear there ugly head.

Meh I rode a sport bike for years and commuted on it often.

That blows away essentially everything talked about in this thread in terms of thrust. With the added element of becoming a pancake!

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 PowerDork
2/9/17 7:26 a.m.

I have decided in my middle age that eager is more important daily that raw numbers. I have cars that will pull 1g on the skidpad, lay 500hp at the wheels, and stop hard enough to make your eyeballs bleed. But on the street i cant use it.

Most fun dailies were a mazdaspeed protege, nb miata, and a 97 neon acr. All on all seasons. All pretty much stock. I could use 80% of what they offered every day, and not worry about pound me in the ass prison time. And they were comfortable. And low maintenance. The really brutal stuff gets reserved for the weekends and track where i can use it all and enjoy it without fear of becoming a bad mans boyfriend.

1 2 3
Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
DGI2xpigjSovbpIBPCfuerLuu4cIZQ6D2oUREAsVDJ9Wtz2UiH8wqUlMGia8MC8v