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      05-03-2020, 12:38 AM   #1
BimmerMan33
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E92 M3 vs Subaru BRZ tS - M3 stays!

I'm on my 2nd e9x M3 ZCP 6MT, just don't think there's anything as complete a package as the M3, I've tracked the M3 multiple times, while fun..., it feels heavy in the corners. Regardless, just revving the S65 V8 to 8K rpm to hear that glorious intake sound alone is worth keeping the M3... I'm just not done with it!
Now, I'm looking for something which is lighter, lower & smaller than the M3 but not too much money!
That brings me to the BRZ/86 platform! It's 2750 lbs & smaller as well as lower center of gravity than the M3, seating position also feels much lower. So, considering BRZ tS version which is further tuned by STI to be a even better handler... it will be tracked 4 to 8 times a year along with the M3. I just feel that BRZ would be a good car to learn track driving!

What do you guys think... anybody had a similar experience?
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      05-03-2020, 02:40 AM   #2
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I have both cars, the BRZ is great but pretty slow all around. Very safe car to push though since it doesn't really move. I would recommend you put a good set of coilovers on the M3 instead.
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      05-03-2020, 04:12 AM   #3
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I think I'd rather get one of the the new miatas. If it's in the budget a z4m or Cayman. What about a c5 Corvette?
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      05-04-2020, 03:34 PM   #4
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No way I would make that change. I couldn't go to something with such little power after being in the M3, which isn't exactly a powerhouse itself. The rumor is that the next 86 will have ~250hp. I would wait for that. Or the next Z, which will supposedly have a 400hp turbo V6. Or just keep the car you have, which is probably what I'd do.

I would say that from a learning perspective, the 86 could be a better option, but it's not like the e92 M3 is an uncontrollable monster---besides you note that you have already tracked the M3, so I don't see the point. I think these cars are a great learning tool. Once you want more, the aftermarket is waiting for you.
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      05-05-2020, 11:15 AM   #5
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I test drove one when they just came out and I did not like them at all. Now keep in mind, I never got to drive one on the track or a fun mountain road. The engine lacks character and it's painfully slow in daily situations (for example merging on the hwy).

For less money, I'd rather have an S2000 all day. Now if you're looking to track, maybe a convertible is not the best choice.

I also agree with another poster, an ND MX5 would also be my choice over the BRZ.
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      05-07-2020, 06:58 AM   #6
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Really appreciate the different feedbacks & thoughts!

I'm not planning to replace the M3 with the BRZ tS but to add the BRZ to the garage.
I know the BRZ is slow & has that mid range torque dip too but still think the chassis is light & low. If I feel it to be too slow, I still have my M3 to scratch that itch, may also consider supercharging the BRZ, though I don't like adding FI to a motor that was designed to be NA with high compression, plus you'll be likely chasing one issue after the other...

The MX5 is lighter than the BRZ but seating position is not low enough. Also when used as a partial daily driver (25 mi commute one way), it might feel too cramped & too much road noise... plus it has way too much body roll in the corners...
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      05-07-2020, 12:53 PM   #7
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The chassis, handling and seating position are perfect in the BRZ, so are the steering and shifter. Clutch is a little weird for me but the rest are spot on. So if you can live with that engine, do it. I drove a supercharged BRZ and it fixed all the problems I had with the car, so that's an option as well.
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      05-08-2020, 07:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeA View Post
The chassis, handling and seating position are perfect in the BRZ, so are the steering and shifter. Clutch is a little weird for me but the rest are spot on. So if you can live with that engine, do it. I drove a supercharged BRZ and it fixed all the problems I had with the car, so that's an option as well.
It's very common for people to supercharge the 86 platform, any idea regarding overheating issues with tracking? Also heard about people having to deal with overcooling in the winter.
Planning to just do header & tune to get rid of torque dip!
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      05-08-2020, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeA View Post
The chassis, handling and seating position are perfect in the BRZ, so are the steering and shifter. Clutch is a little weird for me but the rest are spot on. So if you can live with that engine, do it. I drove a supercharged BRZ and it fixed all the problems I had with the car, so that's an option as well.
That is the only way I would be able to live with the BRZ twins. It's just too slow otherwise.

But otherwise its a true light weight sports car with a very low CG, its all there but feeling like the car is in quicksand isn't fun.
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      05-08-2020, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerMan33 View Post
It's very common for people to supercharge the 86 platform, any idea regarding overheating issues with tracking? Also heard about people having to deal with overcooling in the winter.
Planning to just do header & tune to get rid of torque dip!
Haven't researched too much into it, but I had a long convo with the owner of the one I drove and he mentioned it being reliable so far with no issues. Granted, he put down around 300ish hp, not too crazy. Felt 335i speed, which I think is perfect for that car.
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      05-13-2020, 02:47 AM   #11
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I owned a 2015 WRB BRZ, had a TVS1320 supercharger, Brembo BBK, KW V3s, Rays wheels, etc...

To this day, I think it was one of the best cars I've ever owned, steering and shifter were PERFECT, with the supercharger it made 275whp and it was just the right amount of power. It was an absolute hoot to drive.

I kept it in pristine condition until some jackass did a hit and run on it in the parking lot, it was never the same after the repairs so I parted it out and sold it. I miss it dearly...
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      05-13-2020, 02:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeA View Post
The chassis, handling and seating position are perfect in the BRZ, so are the steering and shifter. Clutch is a little weird for me but the rest are spot on. So if you can live with that engine, do it. I drove a supercharged BRZ and it fixed all the problems I had with the car, so that's an option as well.
The clutch sucks because it has this stupid helper spring, first mod was to get some pliers and pull it out. It will feel 100 percent natural afterward.
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      05-13-2020, 07:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumbAS55 View Post
I owned a 2015 WRB BRZ, had a TVS1320 supercharger, Brembo BBK, KW V3s, Rays wheels, etc...

To this day, I think it was one of the best cars I've ever owned, steering and shifter were PERFECT, with the supercharger it made 275whp and it was just the right amount of power. It was an absolute hoot to drive.

I kept it in pristine condition until some jackass did a hit and run on it in the parking lot, it was never the same after the repairs so I parted it out and sold it. I miss it dearly...
Appreciate the input...
That's a very cool looking BRZ, love the stance & the vented hood!
The 86 platform starts out as a very good driver's car that you can then modify to various extents & make it your own, just like giving a canvas to a painter!!

Planning to get a 2020 BRZ tS hopefully soon!
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      05-13-2020, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumbAS55 View Post
I owned a 2015 WRB BRZ, had a TVS1320 supercharger, Brembo BBK, KW V3s, Rays wheels, etc...

To this day, I think it was one of the best cars I've ever owned, steering and shifter were PERFECT, with the supercharger it made 275whp and it was just the right amount of power. It was an absolute hoot to drive.
That seems like a great car! Agile, light, pretty good power.
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      05-13-2020, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerMan33 View Post
I'm not planning to replace the M3 with the BRZ tS but to add the BRZ to the garage.
I know the BRZ is slow & has that mid range torque dip too but still think the chassis is light & low. If I feel it to be too slow, I still have my M3 to scratch that itch, may also consider supercharging the BRZ, though I don't like adding FI to a motor that was designed to be NA with high compression, plus you'll be likely chasing one issue after the other...
I definitely wouldn't complain about adding an 86 to your lineup, but I think it depends on how you see the cars (M3 and 86) complimenting each other. I also have a 27xx lbs car with a supercharger (also around 250 hp), but with a brutal, track focused suspension. It's a lot of fun, even in the street, but only if I'm pushing the car hard. It's atrocious otherwise, but that's my doing.

If you're using the car as a track rat, just make sure it's something you can afford either A) track insurance per event or B) to write it off in an accident. I haven't done a track day in a while actually, but I've done about 25 in my life. There's always at least one person who wrecks his car while on the track day. On my first track day, a dude in a WRX and another dude in an S4 (this was back in like 2005, FYI), were going at on the track (this was a HPDE, not a race) and they ended up crashing into each other. One of the drivers needed to helicoptered out to the hospital. You can image what the cars looked like. I've seen some other bad behavior at track days as well. So just a word to the wise if you don't have much track time.

I'd probably go for a used 86 as a track rat, personally.
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      05-13-2020, 10:29 AM   #16
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My boyfriend has a BRZ. The car is an absolute blast. Yeah, its slow, but man it makes up for it everywhere else. Handles great, lightweight, RWD Manual, and can take a beating on track. He took his to 32 track days last year and when he wasn't tracking it he was at an Autocross with it. 17" wheels/tires are cheappp compared to 18's that go on the M3... I could go on. Point is, if I ever had to cut my budget in half, the 86 would be my buy. A few mods like mentioned above and the car is perfect.
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      05-13-2020, 06:14 PM   #17
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How to ruin a car in 5 easy steps:

1) I like this car, I should drive it more, maybe on the track occasionally
2) I want this car to go faster on the track
3) Insert all manner of dumb tomfoolery and go 1.5-5 seconds per lap faster on the same tire
4) Ugh I'm going faster maybe I need a rollbar/harness/race seat
5) Eh F it it's a track car *revs sawzall*

My advice - skip step 2, break the racermath cycle of car death

Instead, use these three easy steps

1) I like this car, I should drive it more, maybe on the track occasionally
2) I want this car to not break down on the track
3) Gee this car sure is fun I drive it a lot thanks past self for not ruining it and just making sure it doesn't break when I drive it

My opinion on the 86 is that it's somewhere between steps 2 and 3 on the 5-step program for ruining a car, straight from the factory, so in that sense, you're not going to make things much worse fi you follow the 5-step program. The M3 has a lot further to fall, and a lot more money to spend per minute on track even if you never touch anything. If the goal is lots of track time for not a ton of money, power is the enemy, lightness is your friend, and M3's are not the droid IMO

I'd be surprised if the ND hip point isnot the same distance from the ground as the 86. You feel higher up in the ND because you aren't cocooned by the body.

Cliff's notes: Get a BRZ, don't ruin it, do like that blue one up there, don't fall for the lie and make it into a track car, track-only BRZ's are cheap and plentiful and usually for sale near you
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      05-15-2020, 09:19 PM   #18
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Finally, bought a 2020 Subaru BRZ tS!
Just drove 150 miles so far... not able to exceed 4K rpm as engine is not broken in!
Will write up a detailed driving review & comparison to e92 M3, but here is the initial impression:

Clearly feels lighter and more eager to turn in.
No on center vagueness in steering.
Electric steering has immediate response but no feedback!
Ride is firm but not harsh!
Road noise is acceptable by sports car standards.
Engine NVH is on par with Japaneese cars but of course not the turbine smoothness of European engines! Haven't been able to rev over 4K yet.
Seats are firm & very supportive but not uncomfortable per se.
Manual shifter is direct & already smoother feeling, in spite of not broken in yet. Throws are short (STI shifter). Easy to rev match!
Brakes have typical Brembo feel, not grabby at all!
Interior fit/finish is decent, some cheaper materials but overall decent for the price bracket. Does not feel cheaply made per se!
Rear seats are vestigial/not for human use - cushion is big enough but no leg room!

Will post a detailed review & comparison to e92 M3 once 1200 mile break in is over!
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