Eunos Cosmo's Car [search/contemplation] Thread: What would you rent for a trip to Japan?

Discussion in 'Member's Rides' started by Eunos_Cosmo, May 8, 2016.

  1. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    That reminds me. Drove one of the now off-sale V6 variants of the current Mustang when I was out in the US earlier this year.

    I actually really enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of the GT and I've heard all the stories and preconceptions about V6 Mustangs, and this one was also automatic of all things, but it was still great fun. Sounded good, handled at least as well as the V8 (I'm sure with lighter weight up front it may even be better in some situations) and felt plenty quick.

    I've heard good things about those Camaro V6s too. They get a bad rap for not being the "proper" versions but they seem like pretty good cars in their own right.
    I think I mentioned elsewhere, but my old Panda (similar platform) was problem-free for the couple of years I owned it. Didn't spend a penny on it other than basic servicing, which is more than can be said for my MX-5s...
    And tyre wear, given the above :lol:
    When I had to ride in the back of a 991 for 25 minutes it almost crippled me for life.
     
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  2. SVX

    SVX Premium

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    I didn't find Heldenzeit's 996 to be too cramped, but maybe it helps I went in with low expectations on comfort :lol:
     
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  3. GDII

    GDII

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    That's coz you tiny! Ask Heldenzeit to sit in the back of his car while you drive :lol:
     
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  4. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    So I think I've decided to go for the Abarth.

    I've discovered that dealerships are much more annoying to deal with here (or rather now) compared to the last time I bought a new car in 2012 (which happened to be in Texas). They do everything possible to obfuscate the total price. I've asked them very clearly (in writing, no less) for an itemized total cost breakdown including vehicle price, taxes, fees. Their response was:

    Of course I have thought about these things very thoroughly, and I know what the answers to each will be. But to completely deflect my very direction question related to the total cost is just infuriating. I've written them back again asking for the total cost, will update when I hear back...
     
  5. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    2 more emails from me to them and they are still not answering my question. I'm beginning to think they are hiding something....
     
  6. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Go somewhere else. They're going to be a pain the whole way.
     
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  7. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Drove an FR-S again (lit's now the 5th time I've test driven one of these cars :lol::lol::nervous::nervous:)

    I'm so conflicted. I think it's down the 500 Abarth and the FR-S.

    The FR-S is far and away the more accomplished chassis. I finally got to hit a favorite road in it, as the salesman just told me to take it for a 30 mile drive (don't mind if I do!). It's very good, as everyone knows.

    -The 500 Abarth is more fun more of the time, it's like an 8/10 in every driving situation. It just puts a smile on my face.
    -The FR-S is like a 9.8/10 when you are really in it's element, on a road well matched to it's chassis. One section of road I took it on was utterly spectacular...the balance is stunning. It's a 6.5/10 the rest of the time.... it isn't a charming, light-hearted car to drive every day like an MX-5.
    -The FR-S is likely to be cheaper to maintain in the long run.
    -The FR-S will definitely depreciate less
    -The Abarth gets better fuel economy, slightly (I've heard that they'll do 40mpg or better if you can keep your foot out of it)
    -The Abarth sounds about 16 million times better
    -The FR-S powertrain feels almost agricultural, the engine is remarkably rough (I think I can say this is true for sure now, after driving 5 different cars)
    -The Abarth has a better looking interior
    -The FR-S has far better interior ergonomics & controls
    -The Abarth is childish but still somehow the more mature feeling car. I could meet a client for lunch in the Abarth, and they might grin and roll their eyes a bit, it's basically a moped. I feel like they would question my taste/professionalism if I showed up in an FR-S. (/not relevant)
    -The FR-S feels like it's designed for people who are permanently 23 years old
    -They are, basically, the same price.
    -The Abarth looks....weird in a charming way
    -The FR-S looks sexy...in a cheap way
    -The Abarth is arguably the better & more fun day-to-day car
    -The FR-S is unquestionably the better ten-tenths drive
    -The Abarth back seats are almost useless
    -The FR-S back seats are completely useless
    -The Abarth has a stupid instrument cluster
    -The FR-S has a fantastic instrument cluster
    -The walk away and look back test: Neither car really aces it, but the Abarth wins I think just slightly. An ND MX-5 that I had as a loaner when my 2 was in for repairs nailed this as much as a supercar probably could. I remember parking it, then looking back at it's tight, well-formed rear and just being filled with want. Do I really just want an ND? It's so impractical....ugh. NDs are also more expensive than the pair I'm looking at.

    Idk guys. I DON'T KNOW. If it's not obvious, I find myself WANTING the Abarth more, but the FR-S is the more logical/reasonable choice. I just wish the FR-S looked a little better, had a little more mid-range torque, sounded a little bit better, and had a little nicer interior. As flawed as it is, I don't wish the Abarth was different at all.
     
  8. jjaisli

    jjaisli Premium

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    I think [EDIT: your post above] is probably an extremely fair and balanced assessment of both cars, pitted against one another. It really is tough. But to be honest, if this is going to be your daily driver, in the end, you have to go for what's going to be easier to live with on a day to day basis. Then again, you've been living with a Boxster day to day, which is not exactly the ideal daily, so it already shows you're pretty flexible.

    I love the FR-S and I think it's a better car than the Abarth, but I've also had a close relationship with hot hatches (2 x VW GTi, Mini Cooper S, Mazdaspeed 3, and I was actually interested in the 500 myself when it first came out. Really tough.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  9. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Agreed, that's a good take on both cars. Objectively the FR-S is the better car, but there's a lot to be said for the Abarth's brand of fun that just bubbles away constantly from the moment you turn the key to the moment you switch it off again.

    It's interesting how you describe it as the more mature-feeling car too. I've thought before that there's something about the Abarth that makes it feel like a mini-exotic - no other car at the lower end of the market feels like people have taken the time to get the details right, like they do with supercars, as on an Abarth 500.
     
  10. Beeblebrox237

    Beeblebrox237 Premium

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    If it helps, I've had both my parents in my dad's FR-S, they're both roughly 5' 6" and my mum can sit behind my dad, so I don't think the rear seats are totally useless. I know what you mean about the Abarth, though. It has a real sense of fun about it, and it does a good job of being as fun and entertaining as possible without being too juvenile or silly.
     
  11. Joey D

    Joey D Premium

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    My buddy had an Abarth 500. It was an awesome car to drive and ride around in, we even took it to The Dragon twice and it just ate up the road. It also it one of the best sounding cars I've heard outside the standard supercars and what not. The exhaust note is pretty much perfect.

    It was also the least reliable car I've ever seen. The thing burned off coolant (which the dealer said was normal) and it drank oil. The electrics were garbage. The hazards went on for no reason. The brakes were excellent for about 5,000 miles then suddenly turned to cheese. The transmission made a godawful noise that neither we could figure out or even the deal could figure out.

    If you end up with the Abarth, which I agree I think it's the car that's more fun of the two, I'd say get an extended warranty on it to be safe. That way it doesn't nickel and dime you to death. Also look into the Magnetti Marelli tune for it, my buddy eventually put it on his (it was a dealer option, so still covered under warranty). It gave the car a few more horses and just increased the fun factor with it.

    He ended up switching jobs though and working for Ford, so he traded it for a Lincoln MKZ of all things.
     
  12. homeforsummer

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    Adding to what @Joey D said above, I'd say it's worth going to have a look at a few Abarths too. I don't know how well they sell out there, but you might as well shop around a bit to try and find the most meticulously-owned example.

    From my own experience of my old Panda I'd corroborate that they use oil, though if they go through it RX-8 style then all may not be well. I checked the Panda every 1000 miles or so and it had usually used a bit, but never enough to be concerned about (and the stuff on the dipstick always looked completely fresh, so the engine itself was healthy).

    All this Abarth talk is making me want one for myself though. Current starting price for used examples in the UK creeping up on ten years old is around £5000...
     
  13. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Due to reliability concerns, I'm looking at new Abarths. There are some truly insane rebates on Fiats (probably because of their reputation). I've seen Abarths as low as $16k (I've read about them as low as $14k, but I haven't seen evidence of it) and I've seen normal 500s for as low as $11k (!!!). The Abarth I drove was listed at $18,800 but I guess the September rebate special ended and it went up to $20k....which kind of put me off that particular car. I emailed a dealer in Las Vegas that had one listed for $16k...but they sent me some sort of garbled response....didn't give me the best confidence. I'm finding FCA dealers to be pretty awful all around. Also, some of their rebates I probably don't qualify for. One dealer had a $1250 'sub-prime' rebate for buyers with credit scores lower than 650. Isn't that kind of insane?

    /OT: It's crazy...I'm making around 4X more money than I was when I bought my Mazda2 for $14k (which caused me exactly zero economic headaches ever and I paid off a year early), but I'm fretting about spending ~$20k now considerably more. There are many people who make much less than me that spend much more on cars...and they aren't even car enthusiasts. I've got a lot of money in savings. I have no debt. My living expenses are totally reasonable considering my location. Even being conservative, I could probably safely afford a $30k car. Why am I so stressed? I guess because I'm anticipating a major economic downturn in the next year or 2....and architects don't exactly fair well in recessions...

    edit: I read stuff like this subreddit and see everyone that has ever driven or owned an Abarth saying how much they love it, and it makes me think I'll regret getting anything else:

     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  14. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Since you're comparing the FR-S and the Abarth but the Abarth has a "new only" constraint to it, you should really be comparing it against a used FR-S so that you can see the FR-S advantage in the reliability department.
     
  15. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I am! The FR-S is a 2015 and the Abarth is new. However, I had a change of heart today, generally. Stay tuned...
     
  16. Bram Turismo

    Bram Turismo Premium

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    To me, it definitely sounds like you actually want the Abarth but you're just including the FR-S to have an option.

    Honestly, as an owner of a GT86, you're going to have a hard time finding something as cheap to maintain and as reliable as the Toyota. The GT86 needs mods for the fun to kick in. The Abarth is fun and a luny from the get go. I think you've wanted the Abarth from the start, just go for it. With mods, the GT86 turns into a spectacular machine. But not everyone wants to modify their cars. I really wanted to keep my GT86 completely stock. But having driven a Cayman S, sound is an aspect that completes a car. The GT86 actually handles pretty poorly, to really get the best of the chassis you need a set of grippy tyres from the start.

    I love my GT86, but it should've come from the factory with better tyres, a profound boxer engine sound (header and exhaust modification), and more torque (custom tune based off of the header and exhaust mods).

    You'll love the Abarth :tup:
     
  17. jjaisli

    jjaisli Premium

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    Well...? :dopey:
     
  18. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    No news on that front....

    In Porsche news, I finally fixed the ignition switch! Now the car will start without me pushing in the key with 15lbs of force and the interior lights actually shut off when I'm driving, and the radio doesn't curiously stay on without the key in the ignition. I also FINALLY got the title and registration taken care of...a year-long process thanks to the awfulness of the California DMV and my lack of time. I now have no current reason not to drive it...it's kind of like a car again! Until something else breaks. :lol:

    Also, my brother sent me photos of my FB, which I haven't even seen in 3 years....:nervous::(. The only comfort I have is knowing that it's stored inside a climate controlled garage, so it won't be wasting away with abandon. I gotta figure out how to get this thing to California and running and legal....

    [​IMG]
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    :O

    When I bought this car just before my freshman year of university, I appreciated it for it's style, the rotary engine, and how cheap it was (seller was asking $3500, I offered $3100, and he counter-offered...$2700???). I've actually come around to completely loving the concept of it to the point where its one of my favorite classic cars, period. While it isn't quite as pretty as an Alfa Romeo Guilia, it's bang on the same layout, size, and character. And it's much cheaper and easier to maintain.

    I have a few ideas for it, what do you guys think?

    -Find a replacement stock engine and restore it to more or less original.
    While this is appealing from a long-term ownership point of view, I didn't much enjoy the engine in stock form. The stock EFI system works very well (was astoundingly reliable when stock) but the powerband is kind of boring. Of course, my 6-port system never quite worked correctly. It really woke up when I wired-open the 6 port system and put a side-draft Del'Orto carb and full exhaust on it. Cheapest option, probably
    -Turbo2 swap
    Lots of power (comparatively) but it would change the character of the car quite a bit. I would have to go to the state referee to get approval of the engine swap. Time & money.
    -RX-8 swap
    A hassle of enormous proportions to get it running right, but this car with a 9,000rpm redline, 200+hp, and that sound would be quite awesome. The resto-mod option.
    -Heresy: Miata engine
    This would be cheap and straightforward (I believe) and there are a LOT of engines out there. I would never have to worry about the engine, and I'd pick up a little torque compared to stock. But it's just not the same thing. I think I'd miss the silkiness of the rotary.
    If I wasn't in California, I'd probably do an S5-based street ported 13b with a standalone EFI system. Shoot for 200hp n/a with a safe tune. But it would never be legal here unless they whole-sale change to a 25-year type rule states like Texas have. I wish, but I don't see it happening.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  19. INEEDNAWZZZ

    INEEDNAWZZZ

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    stick an ls1 in it huehuehue.

    Personally I like the first option, then again I'm very much a purist with cars of this age and totally understand the other options.
     
  20. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Original engine, and take the time to put a decent carb/EFI setup on it and set it up properly - possibly with a standalone ECU if you go down the EFI route. Along with a good exhaust it'd keep the car as original as possible but give the engine a little extra pep that it wouldn't have had back in the day.

    Any of the options that involve swapping in something else would end up being a lot of work to get just right, and the Miata engine in particular would be a change for the worse. I'm sure a late VVT would be the best option of that particular idea, but the B-series just isn't that special an engine and I think you'd miss the rotary's characteristics. The FB is a fairly light car so you don't really need much torque anyway.

    I'd also work on getting the entire thing as tight and well set-up as possible. It's amazing how much more you enjoy unrelated aspects of the car (say, the engine) if the rest of it is also in fine fettle.
     
  21. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    The problem is that California is very strict when it comes to emissions equipment. Not only does it have to pass the 'sniffer' test (meaning, the exhaust is analyzed to determine if emissions are in compliance) but there is also a visual inspection to verify that all of the original factory equipment is installed. This means basically everything between the air filter and rear section of the exhaust, including OEM catalysts. It's a very stupid regulation, IMO. It would be no problem to pass the sniffer test with a good set of cats and a standalone EFI system, but it's a no-go here. I could try registering the car in Nevada, but that's a whole different set of problems. These early EFI cars have notoriously complex emissions control systems (the 12a cars are much worse) and even just acquiring all of the components (in working condition) would be a project in itself.

    Its wild what these little engines are capable of. My GSL-SE was rated stock at 135hp (thinking back, this was pretty damn good for 1984...100hp/liter!) which IIRC translates to around 100whp. With very minor porting (just a clean up really) and a very good & well matched intake and exhaust, you can just about double that. Mine felt like it picked up an honest 25-30hp with the full exhaust and carb setup I was running. And it sounded soooo good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  22. homeforsummer

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    Who is the inspection carried out by? In other words, would the person inspecting the car be any the wiser if equipment wasn't original (but looked vaguely appropriate) and the car still passed its emissions test?
     
  23. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    That's a good question. I think I could have gotten away with stuff on my Boxster purely because it's so hard to just get to/see the engine. He verified one piece of equipment (I think he was looking for the evap canister, of all things) and then started the rolling road test. The RX-7 has a far more accessible/visible engine bay though. I've heard some of the techs are pretty car-ignorant. Maybe I'll poke around RX-7 club to see what the techs look for on the GSL-SE cars. I could probably build a pretty enjoyable car built around an S4 or S5 intake engine running a haltech ECU. If I could get 160hp in this car, I think that would be quite enough.
     
  24. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I'll update this post later with a pic, but I got a new set of tires for the Boxster. The car had a set of Bridgestone Potenzas that were from 2012, and they were....tired. Some dry rot (car was in Arizona for most it's life) and they were pretty much all leaking. I wanted something performance oriented, but could handle a northern California winter (routinely below 50F, lots of rain), so good wet weather and cool/cold temperature performance was a requirement. After doing some research, I landed on a set of BFG G-Force Comp-2 A/S.

    So far I haven't put too many miles on them, but I'm already loving them. Quieter, grippier, sharper turn-in, and also more refined-feeling than the old Potenzas. I'll admit that I never pushed the car too hard before, but the new tires have given me more confidence to do so. Feels like a car that's 5 years newer. I also quite like how they look on the car, kind of a proper 1990s looking tire somehow.

    Also to cope with the rain, I've ordered a 'hat' for the car that secures over the factory soft top to protect it from the elements. I didn't feel like dealing with a full-size car cover, and this one had good reviews. Hasn't arrived yet.

    I've been enjoying the car a lot more lately. Since I fixed the ignition switch, have a working stereo, new/better tires, and a better running engine (since I cleaned the MAF) the car is just working very nicely.
     
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  25. eiriksmil

    eiriksmil

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    I'd just rock that RX7 with Texas plates in Cali and say **** it. Old RX7s are so rad.
     
  26. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Couple of random pics since I got a new phone :lol:

    Night interior. I really need a nicer looking steering wheel.
    [​IMG]

    Meaty-looking BFGs. I've grown to like these wheels. They're so 90s, but in a nice way. I think they are the best looking of all the OEM options for the 986. The 18" 'turbo-twist' look a little too big, and the other wheels either look bad or not appropriate. There's still something very special to me about having big air intakes behind the door, MR cars are definitely cool.
    [​IMG]

    The improvements these tires have made to the car cannot be overstated. It feels like a totally different car. I'm loving them.

    In other news....my soft top has stopped working. I believe it's probably the relay.
     
  27. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I've always quite liked that four-spoke wheel and I'm not sure why. I kinda have a thing about four-spoke wheels anyway, but the Porsche one just looks quite expensive I think. And very 90s.
     
  28. Heldenzeit

    Heldenzeit

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    Once my 911 is working right again, we need to go for a drive together. Our cars would look good together on Hwy 9.
     
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  29. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    The peninsula is the one place I haven't explored too much in terms of driving roads. Heard about highway 9 though. Lets do it. Please be considerate of my 2.5 liters of displacement. :lol:
     
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  30. Heldenzeit

    Heldenzeit

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    9 and 35 are excellent. There's a little cafe right in the middle of it as well. There's usually some good cars there on weekends.