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Thread: 7 Most Underrated Track Cars

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    Speed Ventures agershon's Avatar
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    Default 7 Most Underrated Track Cars

    ETK and I just posted up a list of underrated track cars on our site. Thought you guys would get a kick out of it. I'll put the list of cars here, but click through and read the article for our reasoning behind the choices.

    In no particular order:

    GTI
    Mazdaspeed3
    Miata
    Boxster/Cayman
    Mini
    MR2
    Neon

    Read the article --> 7 Most Underrated Track Cars - Fast In Fast Out

    What did we miss? And feel free to disagree ... that's what the Internet is for, right?

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    I would never in a million years say the Miata is an underrated track car. Anyone who has ever been at a race track knows that it's a great platform. IMHO, if anything, it might be over-rated. I say that as the owner/driver of a Spec Miata.

    OTOH, the Neon is a pretty decent platform with a strong motor. I'm surprised we don't see more in ITA and other limited prep classes.
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    Speed Ventures agershon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    I would never in a million years say the Miata is an underrated track car. Anyone who has ever been at a race track knows that it's a great platform. IMHO, if anything, it might be over-rated. I say that as the owner/driver of a Spec Miata.
    I think Miata fits in both overrated and underrated. Many non-Miata drivers talk smack because it's low on power.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeColangelo View Post
    OTOH, the Neon is a pretty decent platform with a strong motor. I'm surprised we don't see more in ITA and other limited prep classes.
    I was actually surprised at how 1st gen Neons are holding value. A quick check of Craigslist showed 95-99 examples for $3500 or more. You could get a 944 for that, but the Neon would still be lots cheaper to race.

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    Where's the Toyota MRS? Definitely should be on the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
    Where's the Toyota MRS? Definitely should be on the list.
    Quote Originally Posted by agershon View Post
    MR2
    Right there!

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    Toyota’s mid-engine, rear-drive MR2 is severely underrated, and not just as a track car. It’s light, fairly well balanced, and enjoys Toyota’s nearly bulletproof reliability. There are even factory supercharged and turbocharged versions, though getting your hands on a clean one these days will require diligence.

    Specs for the first generation MR2 measure up pretty close to the first Miata: about 2300lbs and about 110hp. We like the MR2 for many of the same reasons we like the Miata. Toyota aftermarket support is well-established, and we hear the cool kids are doing some very interesting engine swaps with the MR2. We’re surprised we don’t see more of these at the track and think that should change.

    Nope and nope. At least not for the MR-S :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
    Where's the Toyota MRS? Definitely should be on the list.
    Is there a difference between the newest MR2 spider, number 6 on the list, and an MRS? I always thought they were the same.
    Also, I'm not sure how good an MR-S would be for a daily driver / track toy. Next to 0 storage space in those things.
    edit: you guys beat me to it.

    Acura RSX? Not too expensive these days and I'm guessing reliable. Honda Civic Si? Mazda RX-8?
    Last edited by Red_5; 05-07-2014 at 10:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmin View Post
    Nope and nope. At least not for the MR-S :P
    Funny, I had NO trouble at all finding a sweet body kit body_kits_extr_111238.jpg

    Seriously though, the standard channels (edmunds/kbb/etc) give the MR2/MR-S top marks for reliability. Judging from your avatar you have some experience racing them. Has your experience been different?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Acura RSX? Not too expensive these days and I'm guessing reliable. Honda Civic Si? Mazda RX-8?
    RSX - Yep, that's a good one. I guess I lump it together with the Integra and I see plenty of those on the track.
    Civic Si - Sure why notzzzzzzzzzz Sorry I feel asleep for a second
    RX-8 - My only hesitation would be potentially expensive upkeep and upgrades. But I agree it's a great track car.

    Great stuf

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    ETK
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    One car I thought of after we made the list was the mighty Honda Del Sol. I don't have experience with these, but apparently they have a lot of the benefits of the EG Civic (double wishbone suspension, copious after market support), in addition to a nimble shorter wheelbase. The down side being that it is a Honda Del Sol . . .
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    Speed Ventures agershon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etk View Post
    it is a honda del slo
    #ftfy

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    Quote Originally Posted by agershon View Post
    Funny, I had NO trouble at all finding a sweet body kit Attachment 7217

    Seriously though, the standard channels (edmunds/kbb/etc) give the MR2/MR-S top marks for reliability. Judging from your avatar you have some experience racing them. Has your experience been different?
    I'm on my 4th motor D: The 3rd generation MR2 is definitely not akin to the bulletproof drivetrain Toyota was making in the 90s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Is there a difference between the newest MR2 spider, number 6 on the list, and an MRS? I always thought they were the same.
    Also, I'm not sure how good an MR-S would be for a daily driver / track toy. Next to 0 storage space in those things.
    edit: you guys beat me to it.

    Acura RSX? Not too expensive these days and I'm guessing reliable. Honda Civic Si? Mazda RX-8?
    MR-S appears to be the name of the Japanese model. America's is an MR2 Spyder. Wah-wah https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota...2.80.932007.29

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    I vote no on MRS. Don't even have space for a helmet (if you have a passenger), even when you aren't carrying a passenger. No space for a helmet, and a small duffle bag (change of cloths for the track day weekend)
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    Quote Originally Posted by agershon View Post
    RSX - Yep, that's a good one. I guess I lump it together with the Integra and I see plenty of those on the track.
    Civic Si - Sure why notzzzzzzzzzz Sorry I feel asleep for a second
    RX-8 - My only hesitation would be potentially expensive upkeep and upgrades. But I agree it's a great track car.

    Great stuf
    Some of the older Civic Sis were pretty cool/quick cars.

    I don't think RX-8s are terribly expensive except for fuel. The later engines are pretty reliable and I think they're supposed to be pretty good out of the box. Of course we all want to install coil overs and generally tinker with our track cars.
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    I spent a day in an MS3 and it acquitted itself surprisingly well. Definitely guilty as charged as far as torque steer, but the good news is that it has plenty of torque.

    How about a Mini? Anyone willing to admit they've driven Spec Neon?

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    Yes, but who wants an underrated track car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    I vote no on MRS. Don't even have space for a helmet (if you have a passenger), even when you aren't carrying a passenger. No space for a helmet, and a small duffle bag (change of cloths for the track day weekend)
    There's space for both those things, and that's about it.

    Actually, I can fit 2 jack stands, a jack, a small tool box, and various fluids in my car. A couple of weekends ago I also fit my girlfriend and BOTH our helmets. It was pretty cozy.

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    Mazda 2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmin View Post
    There's space for both those things, and that's about it.

    Actually, I can fit 2 jack stands, a jack, a small tool box, and various fluids in my car. A couple of weekends ago I also fit my girlfriend and BOTH our helmets. It was pretty cozy.
    Yes but didn't you say in another thread that you weigh 120 pounds? That might have been another MR-S driver.
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