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Alternatives to another S2000?

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Alternatives to another S2000?

 
Old 12-01-2017, 10:10 AM
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Default Alternatives to another S2000?

I had an AP1 for 3.5yrs and liked it a lot. Sold it 14 months ago and am getting the itch for a small, simple, light, open-top sports car again for weekend fun drives and the occasional drive to work. However... I am not sure I want another S2000. It's a great car, but 1) I don't like owning the same car twice, I want some variety, 2) it will have to be parked outside, and I just don't trust an S2k being left on the street, and 3) the lack of low-end torque really bugged me. Sure, an AP2 would help with that, but to me the lower redline is a trade-off that makes it not any better.

Here are my thoughts on some alternatives - it seems there is no perfect answer. If anyone has experience with any of these, please let me know so I can try to figure this out. I want to spend $10-15k give or take, and don't mind moderately high miles - not looking for a showroom piece. Must be MT!

987.1 Boxster S
Pros: Definitely the "best" car of this group, a great sports car. Mom has a base Cayman and it drives great.
Cons: More $ and nicer than I really want.

NC Miata
Pros: Cheap ($10k for under 50k miles), good handling, modern.
Cons: Lame engine compared to the S2k, being seen in a Miata.

NB Mazdaspeed Miata
Pros: Addresses the low-end torque issue, $10k easy for nice ones, easy/cheap to get 200hp+, light weight and good handling.
Cons: I'm not a big turbo guy because I hate lag. Being seen in a Miata.

Z3 M Roadster
Pros: Love the looks, torquey N/A inline-6.
Cons: Have heard the handling is not very good. They're quite old these days so may have quite a bit of age-related maintenance.

Z4 3.0si Roadster
Pros: Good handling and engine, looks good IMO, nice interior.
Cons: Seems needlessly heavy/complicated/expensive compared to an S2000. A little tired of BMW (have an E90 M3 which I love, but I like contrast)

Before these are proposed, a Mustang, Vette, or 350/370Z vert are all too big, heavy, and "muscle-car" like for what I'm looking for. Normal NB Miata is too slow, and I'd love to try a new Miata but don't want to lose a lot of $ to depreciation. I want light, nimble, tossable, and small. Maybe an S2k really is the answer?
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:35 AM
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I wouldn't feel any more comfortable parking any of those on the road any more than the S2000.
I'd probably go Boxster out of that list but I'm really not a fan of the 987 styling. With the right wheels and drop it could look better
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFunk View Post
I wouldn't feel any more comfortable parking any of those on the road any more than the S2000.
I'd probably go Boxster out of that list but I'm really not a fan of the 987 styling. With the right wheels and drop it could look better
I somewhat agree - that car is very color- and wheel-dependent. In a bright color with some of the nicer optional wheels, it looks good. In a dull color with some other stock wheels it looks very bleh and I actually prefer the 986.

I feel like the S2k is a theft/break-in magnet, and the type of people to mess with one (for instance, my center caps got stolen twice) wouldn't be as interested in say an old Z4 or Boxster. Kind of like how my old Integra was messed with a lot but my BMWs have never been touched.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:17 AM
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I had a Mazdaspeed Miata with the Flyin Miata little enchilada (Intake, Exhaust, etc..) and I wouldn't go back from my S2000 back to it. Can't comment on any of the others.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lookstoomuch View Post
I had a Mazdaspeed Miata with the Flyin Miata little enchilada (Intake, Exhaust, etc..) and I wouldn't go back from my S2000 back to it. Can't comment on any of the others.
Can you elaborate why? I saw one sold on BaT in August with that kit, seemed like a deal at ~$10k.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by white98ls View Post
Can you elaborate why? I saw one sold on BaT in August with that kit, seemed like a deal at ~$10k.
The power delivery was not right, very peaky at the the top (I know I sound like hypocrite driving S2000 w/VTEC). Combine that with the lame 6500 RPM red line and short gears of the 6 speed, I didn't like the experience. Stock was real bad....the little enchilada with the O2 modifier is a band aid that makes it better but the only real fix is an ECU which flyin' miata sells as part of big enchilada. I guess the stock suspension is pretty bad, I can't say as mine only had after market suspension. Then there's the chassis, the stiff chassis of the S makes it so much more refined feeling. The MSM comes with more bracing then any other miata but still pales in comparison to the S2K.

I guess I'll refine my statement in saying stock to stock I wouldn't touch the MSM vs S2K. With the little enchilada it's a great improvement but still would prefer S2K. It seemed like a half assed implementation of a turbo miata...Mazda didn't have their heart in it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lookstoomuch View Post
It seemed like a half assed implementation of a turbo miata...Mazda didn't have their heart in it.
I seem to remember for this and the Mazdaspeed Protege with the turbo, they didn't even bother to touch any of the internals. Which is assuredly quite half-assed. I guess that's why the Mazdaspeed Miatas don't go for much more $. Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:56 PM
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Maybe 2006 or newer S2000 with a flashpro tune? The flashpro really helps the midrange between 4-6k but still doesn't feel remotely like a v6 down low so I do understand your point.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lookstoomuch View Post
I had a Mazdaspeed Miata with the Flyin Miata little enchilada (Intake, Exhaust, etc..) and I wouldn't go back from my S2000 back to it. Can't comment on any of the others.
I test drove a stock MSM before buying my S2K, and am keeping an eye on them now if I end up selling my S2K. It was nice, but the lower red line was definitive noticeable because it got to red line so quickly. For the money though, I feel it's a decent option.

I'm not sure if you'd go this route, based on the car you already own, but what about an e46 M3 or a 335i vert? It would be nice to have back seats, and the used prices for them would let me pocket $5-10k if I sell my car.
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WVCR-V View Post
Maybe 2006 or newer S2000 with a flashpro tune? The flashpro really helps the midrange between 4-6k but still doesn't feel remotely like a v6 down low so I do understand your point.
'06+ is going to be stretching the budget a little. People say the M3 I have lacks torque... well, it still has nearly double the AP1 (295lb/ft) peaking at a lower rpm. Granted with more weight, but a flashed AP2 would still be a lot closer to a stock AP1 torque-wise than the M3 I'm used to.
Originally Posted by coop3422 View Post
I'm not sure if you'd go this route, based on the car you already own, but what about an e46 M3 or a 335i vert? It would be nice to have back seats, and the used prices for them would let me pocket $5-10k if I sell my car.
I've driven a chipped 335i vert and definitely didn't get out needing one. I'm looking for a car that's lighter and more tossable than my M3, not heavier E46 M3 would be fun but still pretty far from what I'm looking for - 2 seats, small, hopefully under 3k lbs.
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