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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I will finallyyy be finishing up school in about 3 months and I want to buy a new (to me) car. I have a list of criteria and a few ideas but I need some opinions and maybe more options.

Criteria
Must be a manual
  • AWD or RWD
  • At least 250 crank hp
  • Turbo or NA, maybe supercharged but idk
  • under 30,000 doll hairs
  • less then 45,000 miles

Random things I'd like to have
  • Sun/Moon Roof
  • Heated Seats


I want the car to be fun/sporty. It would be my DD for about a year or two so it needs to be livable. I plan to track the car at about 10 autocross events and around 5 real track days per year for now. I'd like it to be something that can be turned into a full race car in the coming years. I do like when engines can just rev to the moon so having a 7k redline would be cool. I'm more of a 2 door and hatchback kind of person but the right sedan would be cool.

What i'm considering
  • Sti
  • evo
  • Golf R
  • Nismo 350z
  • Nismo 370z
  • S4
  • S5
  • gt500
  • 5.0 Mustang
  • Cayman S
  • ???

Help!
 

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adding to your list of idea...
M6
E60 m5 (maybe a little higher mileage)
Porsche 911
Just off the top of my head, you have quite a lot of good choices for that price though.
Good luck finding your car!
 

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this is literally what I think about all day! lol
about to start clinical's soon but want something fun!

I'd also throw in a 335i (e9x) and the e46 m3
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah BMW's are tough for me because of how dated the interiors look so I really have a tough time with an e46 and a 335 would be out because its lacking a limited slip. But keep the ideas coming!
 

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S2K also a good choice. But if this is your only mode of transportation then some of the vehicles on your list might have big expensive repair bills if they were to break down.
 

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So I will finallyyy be finishing up school in about 3 months and I want to buy a new (to me) car. I have a list of criteria and a few ideas but I need some opinions and maybe more options.

Criteria
Must be a manual
  • AWD or RWD
  • At least 250 crank hp
  • Turbo or NA, maybe supercharged but idk
  • under 30,000 doll hairs
  • less then 45,000 miles

Random things I'd like to have
  • Sun/Moon Roof
  • Heated Seats


I want the car to be fun/sporty. It would be my DD for about a year or two so it needs to be livable. I plan to track the car at about 10 autocross events and around 5 real track days per year for now. I'd like it to be something that can be turned into a full race car in the coming years. I do like when engines can just rev to the moon so having a 7k redline would be cool. I'm more of a 2 door and hatchback kind of person but the right sedan would be cool.

What i'm considering
  • Sti
  • evo
  • Golf R
  • Nismo 350z
  • Nismo 370z
  • S4
  • S5
  • gt500
  • 5.0 Mustang
  • Cayman S
  • ???

Help!
I would suggest the Cayman R or at least a Cayman S Design 1. The R is as close to track as you can get. Lighter and more trunk space than a Z car, and better balance/power to weight ratio, cheaper yet higher quality and easier to convert to pure track than anything else you listed. If you don't want to be as Spartan as an R, then, yes, go with the Design 1.





 

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I would suggest the Cayman R or at least a Cayman S Design 1. The R is as close to track as you can get. Lighter and more trunk space than a Z car, and better balance/power to weight ratio, cheaper yet higher quality and easier to convert to pure track than anything else you listed. If you don't want to be as Spartan as an R, then, yes, go with the Design 1.





I have never seen a cayman r for less than 50k. I would love to see one for 30k, i would be interested lol
 

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I have never seen a cayman r for less than 50k. I would love to see one for 30k, i would be interested lol
Then your absolute best bet will be the Cayman S.

Your only other choice worth considering is a regular Corvette C6 or an 06' Z06. I've never been impressed with the either the Camaro's or the Mustang's track abilities. They're more for straight line speed. They're both heavy and require a lot of modification for the track. Nismo 370Z would be a great choice for the track but absolutely zero trunk space.
 

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Cayman R wouldn't work because it would still be my DD for awhile and no A/C = no fun
Yeah, that's why I suggested you just stay with getting a Cayman S earlier in the thread.

My top 3 choices (in that order):

1. Porsche Cayman S
2. Corvette Z06 or C6
3. Nismo 370Z
 

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I would wait for the new 2015 mustang out of your choices.
 

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I would wait for the new 2015 mustang out of your choices.
If we're talking about staying under the 30K budget both the turbocharged ecoboost 4 banger and 6 cylinder are inferior to the Cayman S engine and tranny. Unless the new Mustang will be a hell-of-a lot lighter than the Cayman S, I don't see the need for one.

Here's performance specs for the 09' Cayman S vs 10' Mustang GT 5.0/302.
 

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Buying a used Cayman to DD/track/etc. as a new graduate, be prepared to be nickel-and-dime'd to death with maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've wrenched around with a Boxster enough that a Cayman doesn't bother me. I think I'm having a tough time with being a new grad in a p-car, if that makes any sense. The STi seems more age appropriate but I see them everywhere
 

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I've wrenched around with a Boxster enough that a Cayman doesn't bother me. I think I'm having a tough time with being a new grad in a p-car, if that makes any sense. The STi seems more age appropriate but I see them everywhere
Everybody and their mama has a Subaru STi. What a loud, obnoxious, gaudy, ugly toy. No, it doesn't make any sense to be worried about what someone else thinks. Do you want a sleek, modern, sporty DD car that you can easily transition to the track with or do you want to satisfy a demographic?

How are you having a tough time with a Porsche when you said yourself that your budget is 30K? There are only two reasons a person of your disposition shouldn't get a Cayman S: 1) The need for a back seat. 2) The desire to tinker around with cheap, easily installed upgrades.

Then there are these two issues:

A) Since you want a track car you will probably end up taking the rear seat out of a coupe anyway.

B) Why tinker around with cheap horsepower and parts when you can have a more complete package from the get-go?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just got done reading up on Cayman's and it seems that if you are going to track it then you should get a second gen which puts them out of the price range. :(
 
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