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Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/12/14 10:28 a.m.

Get a Volt, great idea!

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/12/14 9:27 p.m.

Great feedback for me on this thread! Thanks to everyone for both sides of the argument. And, of course, I pretty much agree with ALL OF YOU.

The M3 really IS that great. And I am among those who digs a stupidly overpowered FWD hatch (it goes back to my ITA race cars).

I had Carmax bring that Orange ST up from Virginia Beach and I'm going to drive it at the end of the week. I'll report back and let you know what I think. The advantage of that car is that it appears to be pretty heavily optioned at a price that doesn't really reflect the cost of the options.

As for the idea of upgrading the M3 stereo, it won't work. I drive the thing with the top down almost all of the time unless it is actually raining. You can't hear anything on the hands-free with the top down. It's not the car's fault.

Meanwhile, I just had the 308 aligned after putting a set of front coil-overs on it. I was out blasting around in the countryside earlier tonight. That thing is nuts. The handling is just insane. It will go through almost any corner at almost any speed without complaint. I've never driven anything like it.

getfast
getfast Reader
10/12/14 9:30 p.m.

VB? If you're anywhere near Richmond you can drive my 11k-mile, no-options FoST anytime (i.e. one of the ones that can be had for ~$22k brand new)

scottdownsouth
scottdownsouth Reader
10/13/14 7:10 a.m.

You have a Ferrari. Be damed if anyone on here could tell me what to drive.

Storz
Storz Dork
10/13/14 7:16 a.m.

What about one of the awd hot hatches?

Storz
Storz Dork
10/13/14 7:21 a.m.
Nick_Comstock wrote: Get a Volt, great idea!

Just returned from an 1100 mile road trip with ours, of the 27 cars I've had its top 5 for sure. Comfortable, awesome in gas when you need it to be, peppy and looks great. I am a huge fan of them. I daily drive a ZHP for comparison...

Storz
Storz Dork
10/13/14 7:23 a.m.

Also. We need pics of said Ferrari

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
10/13/14 7:38 a.m.

The problem is that you are looking at the wrong Ford. The Focus is a great car, but people will get hung up on the M3 trade-in. BUT, if you go with the Fiesta ST it will be clear that you wanted a sensible DD that would be fun and frugal, practical and affordable. Something that is the opposite of the Ferrari. Secretly however, you will enjoy the FiST even more than either and drive it all the time!

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/13/14 10:53 a.m.

FiST won't fit three kids across the back seat, which is something he says he wants. FoST is pushing it in that regard depending on the kid size.

Personally I find my FoST a fun car to drive. Put it in sport mode and swap the rear bar and end links and the torque steer improves quite a bit and the lift throttle oversteer becomes much more predictable. The stock rear end links like to bind up on the car which is what causes the unpredictable handling in transition. I've got the Cobb rear bar and the Steeda end links on it and it's much easier to manage. I autocross mine with RS-3s and it's a lot of fun. That said, you still can't put all the power to the ground and the rear motor mount gives up at times causing wheel hop.

It's not an M3, but I find the cockpit with the Recaro seats to be quite comfortable and everything is where it should be.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
10/13/14 11:16 a.m.
Nick_Comstock wrote: I cannot picture a universe where I would consider any FWD hatchback an upgrade over any M3. It's inconceivable.

The vert is by far the worst e36 chassis? And to be honest, the ST twins are very very good performance cars.

Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/13/14 11:23 a.m.

In reply to yamaha:

That's like saying I'm dating the ugliest girl from the supermodel school.

getfast
getfast Reader
10/13/14 11:24 a.m.

Very good indeed. Having spent 11k miles in the stock FoST so far and more than 50k miles in several stock-or-close-to-stock E36 M3s over the years, I'd say "stock for stock" the FoST is faster in a straight line and probably around Summit Point too... it'll just never have that BMW feel and balance.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 11:46 a.m.

In reply to Storz:

I swapped out the shocks and springs up front and it's sitting about an inch lower now. I'll have to get more pics with the new look at some point. I was out driving the car in the countryside last night. I am always shocked at how good it really is.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 11:50 a.m.

Oh, and I forgot about this...

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
10/13/14 12:07 p.m.
Nick_Comstock wrote: In reply to yamaha: That's like saying I'm dating the ugliest girl from the supermodel school.

No, its like the one permanently disfigured student they were forced to allow entry by the ACLU.

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
10/13/14 12:16 p.m.

Someone neglected to mention the 122 behind the Magnum PI sled is the former GRM 122.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 12:23 p.m.

Um, busted.

But in reality, my brother is now the primary force behind that 122. I consider myself an innocent bystander.

Storz
Storz Dork
10/13/14 12:29 p.m.

It appears you have sports car pretty well covered. I would get something comfortable and somewhat sporty for a DD. What about a 550i?

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 12:37 p.m.

Mid-sized sedan. Um. No. (I already own a really nice sofa.)

mistanfo
mistanfo UltraDork
10/13/14 12:50 p.m.

Who needs balance and feel when you've got an E diff?

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/13/14 1:24 p.m.

Aaron---- it sounds like it's going to come down to how you like the driving experience. I recently drove a Focus ST and while it was powerful, it didn't feel as fast as my E36 M3. FWIW The ST was also very nervous on bumpy roads, torque steered like mad, and was just a very active / busy car. Some folks like the crazed feel of a front driver with a ton of power---- some don't. It's a matter of taste, and how you like the car.

Drive one---on a variety of roads, and see if you are still hot and bothered to get one. I know I'm now much more curious about the Fiesta ST--- as less power going through the front wheels coupled with less weight to haul around may make for a more rewarding driving experience. YMMV and all that.....

Great looking 308 by the way! I've always "off" color Ferraris!

Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/13/14 1:33 p.m.
yamaha wrote:
Nick_Comstock wrote: In reply to yamaha: That's like saying I'm dating the ugliest girl from the supermodel school.
No, its like the one permanently disfigured student they were forced to allow entry by the ACLU.

And then settling for the heavy girl you dated for a week in junior high because she's warm at night and cooks good.

Geekspeed
Geekspeed Reader
10/13/14 2:00 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
Nick_Comstock wrote: I cannot picture a universe where I would consider any FWD hatchback an upgrade over any M3. It's inconceivable.
That word, etc. I like the idea of the new Focus ST. The driving leaves me really uninspired. A Playstation, HDMI monitor, force feedback wheel, and a copy of GT5 are cheaper and about as involving. Scratch that. You get more driver feedback with the Playstation.

REALLY? I am not trying to be insulting, but have you had your head examined recently? :-P

I am not being mean, really. I actually just bought a 2014 FoST and think it is a blast to drive. It is very engaging. I find it to be a much better driver's car than the R56 Mini Cooper S that I had. I test drove several vehicles before getting the FoST, and it was definitely the best. The Genesis Coupe R-Spec 2.0 felt isolated and sluggish. The Fiesta ST was cool, but it did not feel like it attacked the corners as aggressively as the FoST. The FR-S was a great driver's car, but it was too much of a compromise due to the size and lack of cargo capacity. The GTI and Beetle R-Line did not seem like they wanted to play as much.

There is definitely torque steer, but it is easy to adjust to after you have driven the car a few times. Needless to say, I really like the car, especially considering that I got it for 21.7k.

As for the OP, I am not a big fan of convertibles, so I don't think my opinion would help much here, seeing as it is biased. However, the FoST IS a nifty car and I don't think you would be unhappy with it.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 2:18 p.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin:

My GF has a '13 Clubman S and it has some of these same issues--too much power a skittish nature over the rough pavement. Oh, and crazy fast. As I said, I'll be driving it and will happily report back.

And thanks for the kind words on the 308. When you have one of these you are automatically "that guy" right off the bat. When you have a red one, you are instantly much worse than "that guy" somehow. I like the graphite, but I have been thinking about spraying the whole thing with bedliner for a more stealth look.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
10/13/14 2:35 p.m.

Aaron--- I'm envious of your 308. I knew they were going to jump in price and then they did--- before I could get my act together. Now a $25K car is a $35-$40K car and headed up. Congrats on buying one when the buying was good!

I've always loved those since I was a kid. I remember driving from Chicago to Boston in my Dad's 78 Scirocco when I was 9 or 10. We were driving through the Pocono mountains when a navy blue 308 came basting past us. I still remember seeing the front end-- all chipped up from road debris. I noticed the car, and my Dad said-- "and look at it-- he really drives it--- now that's cool!" Cool it was! I've wanted a 308 ever since.

Good luck on the Focus ST--- it's a heck of a lot of car for the $$.

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