Is Japan the last bastion for affordable enthusiast sports cars?

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375
2021 is going to be a big year for guys that loved 90's Japanese sports cars.

New WRX/STI
New BRZ/GT86
New Nissan Z

All manual options, all driver's cars. Now all Mazda needs to do is put their 2.5 turbo in a Mazda 3 hatchback with AWD and manual, and bring back Mazdaspeed. Then there are talks of Honda adding AWD torque vectoring to the Type R, and Toyota adding manual to the Supra.

Germans pretty much just have the GTI/Golf R but those get pricey fast in comparison to Japan's offerings for a similar package. Audi, BMW, Mercedes... you pretty much can't even buy with a manual anymore. Porsche is way too expensive for daily driving.

There are talks that GM is going to discontinue the Camaro (which would be awful as the ZL1 especially is unreal value, but even the entry level one is great, not to mention if you get the SA). Corvette doesn't have a manual, it's up there in price and more for people that want a grand tourer and not a proper sports car. Ford discontinued their hot hatches, the Mustang is coming as an electric SUV.

Dodge has a solid offering in their Challenger and it comes with one of the best manual trannies around but you gotta pay big $$$ for a nice Challenger

Koreans have nothing but the Hyundai Veloster N, which is not really worth it when there are better alternatives. It's FWD only and has 3 doors.

The Japanese seem to dominate the category of affordable, well built, fun, fast, practical cars, that are backed by a great heritage.
 
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Under the hood
Mazda already makes a sports car -- the MX-5. Your choice of soft or hard tops. Manual or automatic. It's not ultra quick, but doesn't have to be, and still be fun.

From a traditionalist, or purist point of view, it fits the definition of a sports car better than most of those mentioned. It's not a hot hatch. It's not a sporty coupe, as good as the players in those categories categories have become.

Heck, even the 911 has moved closer to being a GT than a sports car nowadays, unless one opts for the hardcore versions.
 
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utah
My 2021 wish list has the Camaro LT1 6MT, Challenger 392 widebody, and maybe that new Nissan Z if it manages to break the brand’s tradition of having something very ugly mixed into the design language.
GT86 i doubt comes with enough power.
 
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I hate to tell ya, but if you are looking for fun, try a Tesla Model 3.
The others seem boring, old school. Right now torque, quick steering and flat handling is a real kick.
With a Model 3, you can make life miserable for 911's. With a Performance Model 3, you can kick some ....
 
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I hate to tell ya, but if you are looking for fun, try a Tesla Model 3.
The others seem boring, old school. Right now torque, quick steering and flat handling is a real kick.
With a Model 3, you can make life miserable for 911's. With a Performance Model 3, you can kick some ....

I guess it all depends upon what you are looking for in a car. But don't you find some things about the Model 3 boring? The interior does absolutely nothing for me. It couldn't be more "cleaned" of excitement.

And the front end. What happened there? I'm still convinced that the design engineers got to where the radiator would go on a ice car, wasn't sure what to do, and a lead designer said something like "we've got to finish here. Let's move on and we will come back to the front later". And they never did. The S doesn't share the same plain front end. The did a great job on it. But the Model 3. Not so much.
 
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...
I hate to tell ya, but if you are looking for fun, try a Tesla Model 3.
The others seem boring, old school. Right now torque, quick steering and flat handling is a real kick.
With a Model 3, you can make life miserable for 911's. With a Performance Model 3, you can kick some ....


It is not really the same thing. The Mazda MX, Datsun Z and Toyota Supra are in a totally different category.
 
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Canadia
...And the front end. What happened there? I'm still convinced that the design engineers got to where the radiator would go on a ice car, wasn't sure what to do, and a lead designer said something like "we've got to finish here. Let's move on and we will come back to the front later". And they never did. The S doesn't share the same plain front end. The did a great job on it. But the Model 3. Not so much.

I suspect that was done to differentiate the models. They can't have their higher and lower end models blend together.
 

OppositeLocK

Thread starter
Messages
375
My 2021 wish list has the Camaro LT1 6MT, Challenger 392 widebody, and maybe that new Nissan Z if it manages to break the brand’s tradition of having something very ugly mixed into the design language.
GT86 i doubt comes with enough power.

I think they're going to put the 1.8 turbo into it. So it should have the same engine as a WRX.

For its weight and suspension, I don't think it's going to underpowered this time.

Imagine they put the STI engine into it (the 2.4) in the top trim... would hang with a Porsche Carrera even in the straights!
 
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Richmond, VA area
A base model GTI is not v. expensive, offered with a stick or DSG, and can be easily modified with software/hardware for a few grand at most for big power all while maintaining excellent reliability...don't see how you can lose with them vs. what you have listed but I am definately biased!
 
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422
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NWA 60634
2021 is going to be a big year for guys that loved 90's Japanese sports cars.

New WRX/STI
New BRZ/GT86
New Nissan Z

All manual options, all driver's cars. Now all Mazda needs to do is put their 2.5 turbo in a Mazda 3 hatchback with AWD and manual, and bring back Mazdaspeed. Then there are talks of Honda adding AWD torque vectoring to the Type R, and Toyota adding manual to the Supra.

Germans pretty much just have the GTI/Golf R but those get pricey fast in comparison to Japan's offerings for a similar package. Audi, BMW, Mercedes... you pretty much can't even buy with a manual anymore. Porsche is way too expensive for daily driving.

There are talks that GM is going to discontinue the Camaro (which would be awful as the ZL1 especially is unreal value, but even the entry level one is great, not to mention if you get the SA). Corvette doesn't have a manual, it's up there in price and more for people that want a grand tourer and not a proper sports car. Ford discontinued their hot hatches, the Mustang is coming as an electric SUV.

Dodge has a solid offering in their Challenger and it comes with one of the best manual trannies around but you gotta pay big $$$ for a nice Challenger

Koreans have nothing but the Hyundai Veloster N, which is not really worth it when there are better alternatives. It's FWD only and has 3 doors.

The Japanese seem to dominate the category of affordable, well built, fun, fast, practical cars, that are backed by a great heritage.
Last I checked Ford is still cranking out gas engine Mustangs with a stick shift trans.
Ecoboost 4 with plenty of torque or blaster V8.
 
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KY
Last I checked Ford is still cranking out gas engine Mustangs with a stick shift trans.
Ecoboost 4 with plenty of torque or blaster V8.

A four cylinder ponycar leaves me cold. You have to get a GT Premium to avoid the interior that looks like it was ripped from an '80s vintage Hyundai. Add the virtually mandatory Performance Package and a GT Premium is knocking on $45k.
Don't get me wrong, the GT is a great car, but properly equipped it is hardly entry level.
 

Pew

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1,165
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Illinois
Coming from an evo owner, the Camaro and mustang have been putting a real hurt on Japanese sport cars this past decade. They're all around the same price point but all the cars from the island need full bolt-ons and a tune to somewhat keep up with a stock Mustang or Camaro.

Assuming, the Camaro and Stang are continued.
 
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Nashville, TN via Memphis
I think they're going to put the 1.8 turbo into it. So it should have the same engine as a WRX.

For its weight and suspension, I don't think it's going to underpowered this time.

Imagine they put the STI engine into it (the 2.4) in the top trim... would hang with a Porsche Carrera even in the straights!

Has it been confirmed that the next WRX will have a 1.8L engine?

Got a link to that info?
 

OppositeLocK

Thread starter
Messages
375
A base model GTI is not v. expensive, offered with a stick or DSG, and can be easily modified with software/hardware for a few grand at most for big power all while maintaining excellent reliability...don't see how you can lose with them vs. what you have listed but I am definately biased!

Yeah but then the maintenance and parts are more expensive for VW, plus you have to do carbon cleaning to maintain the same level of performance.

I look at cost as total cost of ownership.
 

OppositeLocK

Thread starter
Messages
375
Has it been confirmed that the next WRX will have a 1.8L engine?

Got a link to that info?


Some say 1.8 for WRX, 2.4 for STI. Both FA platform based.

This article says both get 2.4 but I don't think Subaru has ever used the same engine in a WRX that is in an STI.

Unless the STI will have upgraded internals for more boost?

The Levorg has a 1.8 which is supposed to be a preview of the new WRX.

 
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1,387
Location
Richmond, VA area
Yeah but then the maintenance and parts are more expensive for VW, plus you have to do carbon cleaning to maintain the same level of performance.

I look at cost as total cost of ownership.
Not really on the maintenance and parts - all v. standard. Carbon cleaning on the Gen 3 MQB 4s is not anywhere close to what the previous gen motors have...you don't really have that issue anymore like they did. Sure, some get this done and it can be necessary but isn't that expensive in the scheme of ownership. What is your info/data here to back those comments? A $25K car that you add a software tune and a downpipe for the tune of $2K at most (more if you have the stick for a new clutch to hold all that torque). These are the unequivocal low-cost-feeling-hurter winners IMHO. The R is not as it has a price tag north of $40K but again, can be turned into a monster to some degree for a few grand. Don't get me wrong, like the cars listed in the OP for sure but the VWs to those that don't know much about them in terms of ease of extracting power with software/bolt-ons are worth checking out.
 
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