Originally Posted by Longboarder
So would you recommend a BMW of some sort over the FD?
I should have added that I don't know how to fix anything myself...always has to be done by a shop. I'm mechanically inept...can't even change a lightbulb
Perhaps I should look at someone more reliable. It's just that on paper, the FD can be fantastic when set up right with little $$.
S2000 is extremely reliable, easy to work on, and capable out of the box. Alignment, brake pads, fluid, tires -- and go track. Bumpsteer kit (<$200) if you have 00-03 (AP1). The stock suspension is excellent. That's less than $1000 on top of car purchase price to go tracking. They are well-made and require little maintenance/repairs. A huge community (there are events with 25-30+ S2000s in attendance...) means plentiful spares and help with driving, maintenance, upgrades, etc.
Brake pads take 5 minutes to replace and are easier than e9x. You can do it :P Same with oil, etc. Don't want to do anything? Check out prices: http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/9008...enance-thread/
and compare to whatever you are paying now.
And tires? Try four 255 RS3s mounted and balanced for less than $600
Reliability is a major concern. If you don't know how to do work/troubleshooting yourself, FD is likely going to be a nightmare.
The only downside to S2000 is it will be a dramatic hp drop, but it's really only noticeable at Auto Club and Laguna. And forces you to focus on maintaining momentum.
I looked at S2000 and e36 and settled on the S2000. There are arguments for both. I suggest e30/e36 if you want to stay BMW. Personally, I think the S2000 is a better platform (better support, better suspension design, more reliable, faster out of the box, newer, etc.) and went with that.
And again, I love FDs -- they are a fantastic performance platform and I have long-contemplated buying one (either keeping 13B or goin LSx) but in the end it has always appear to be a poor choice for an "arrive and drive" track car. Which is what I want -- to be driving, not wrenching and hunting gremlins.