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Thread: Best NEW car choice for A Street

  1. #1

    Best NEW car choice for A Street

    The lease on my 2016 BMW M4 convertible is ending in a few months, so I'm starting to look for a new car.

    I'd like to stay in A Street, so I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on the best NEW (i.e. 2019) car for A Street.

    I like the BMW, but it's heavy 4,055 lbs on fairly narrow wheels (10 in. rears and 9 in. fronts) for the class. The M4 coupe and M3 are lighter, and probably what got the car into A Street. But compared to others available in the class, I think there are better choices for autocrossing.

    Here are the ones that I think are the top picks based on curb weight, torque, wheel base, and max wheel width for the trim that stays in A Street:

    Camaro ZL1, non-1LE - 3883lbs, 650 ft-lbs, 110.7 in. wheelbase, 11 in. wide rear wheels, 10 in. wide front wheels
    Camaro SS 1LE - 3685lbs, 455 ft-lbs, 110.7 in. wheelbase, 11 in. wide rear wheels, 10 in. wide front wheels
    Corvette Z51 - 3298lbs, 460 ft-lbs, 106.7 in. wheelbase, 10 in. wide rear wheels, 8.5 in. wide front wheels
    Porsche 718 Cayman - 3010lbs, 280 ft-lbs, 97.4 in. wheelbase, 11.5 in. wide rear wheels, 8.5 in. wide front wheels.

    I'm a huge Corvette fan. The C7 Z51 was where I was leaning initially, but it has the narrowest wheels. So I'm not sure it really can be competitive against the C5 Z06 or the C6 GS with their lighter weight and wider wheels. If the C7 GS was in A Street instead of SS, that would solve my dilemma.

    The Camaros have the highest torque and widest wheels, and Will F. can drive his SS 1LE like a bat out of hell. But they are also the heaviest and have the longest wheelbase. And while the ZL1 has huge torque, I'm not sure that makes up for the 200 lbs over the SS 1LE when they are on the same width wheels.

    Lastly, the Porsche seems really under powered compared to the others. But its light weight, wide rear wheels, and short wheelbase makes me think it might be the best choice for autocrossing, particularly when all of the performance options are selected.

    JK

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    Last edited by JKinOB; 09-01-2018 at 03:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Late Apex Photo BM96's Avatar
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    Here’s a thought, wait a few days and look at the results from the Solo Nationals. If it wasn’t raining, then the best in the country will shake out the choices for you.
    Last edited by BM96; 08-30-2018 at 07:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    Hi, John

    Looks like you've done your homework. Take Larry's advice. Lots of people at the Nationals did they're homework, too. Benefit from their work.
    Also look at the 2017 set of results, too. Pretty much says C5 & C6 Z06s, C6 GSs. So no NEW winners there. But remember, there are changes to the rules every year. And remember driver competence and ability is always a wild card. A very good driver in a dump truck is usually going to beat the casual novice in the best car for the class. For instance, somebody forgot to tell Will Flores the Camaro SS 1LE is a dump truck. But he just goes right ahead and usually beats everybody anyway.

    Back to your question. There are a couple of NEW Mustangs, that are legal in A Street, and when properly set up, might be winners. The Shelby GT350, and the new Mustang GT with the Level 2 Performance Package (which has 10.5" front wheels, and 11"rears, with Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires). The OEM tires can be used for local events in SCCA Solo. The Shelbys suffer from outrageous dealer mark ups when you can find them, but the Mustang GTs with PP2 are out there for $45 to $50K when you can find them.

    NOT THAT I CARE, but Uhmm, I have found some of the PP2 GTs. There is a white one in Seattle, a Royal Crimson one in Santa Clara, a Kona Blue one in Leesburg, VA, and another White one in Ankeny, Iowa. If one is still on the lot this winter, I think the dealer might be ready to deal....

    So, I also know where there is a spotless 2016 Z51 7 speed manual, very low miles, in Long Beach Red metallic that comes with a spare set of wheels and RE-71Rs. You could probably pick it up CHEAP. Finished fourth in A Street last year behind a couple of Corvettes and a Camaro ZL1 1LE. I think with the right driver, (someone under 70) it might be competitive locally.

    Good luck with your hunt! See you around the asphalt.
    Best Regards,
    John
    Corruption of English is worsest than the worst.

  4. #4
    Administrator SCNAX
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    If it was me, I would be in a Lotus Elise.

    Oh wait... I am.
    "Definition of a "good day" autocrossing? If you can make it all day without someone yelling at you." - R. Noll
    This forum and server sponsored by some guy in Tennessee

  5. #5
    Thanks Larry. I looked at the 2017 results, and the top 25 are all C5s and C6s. I didn't realize the 2018 Nationals were so close - I will definitely review them before I make a decision.

    John, I do like your Vette. But a) for non-autoX reasons, I will be getting a new car, and b) your comments about the C7 tire width are partly why I decided to create my spreadsheet with power, torques, weights, wheel widths and wheelbase.

    The Mustangs are interesting candidates, despite my irrational bias towards GM. Their numbers are very close to the Camaro SS 1LE. They have half inch wider wheels up front and a smaller wheelbase, but both are heavier, and have less torque.

    One metric I created was curbweight divided by total wheel width - Curb Weight / (2 × front wheel width + 2 × rear wheel width).

    Here are the results:

    BMW M4 Convertible - 106 lbs/in
    C7 Z51 - 93 lbs/in (after checking, the Z-51 package brings the weight up to 3,444)
    Camaro ZL1 - 92 lbs/in
    Camaro SS 1LE - 88 lbs/in
    Shelby GT 350 - 87 lbs/in
    Mustang GT PP2 - 86 lbs/in
    C5 Z06 - 78 lbs/in
    C6 GS - 77 lbs/in
    718 Cayman - 75 lbs/in
    Lotus Elise - 71 lbs/in

    Randy, if the Lotus Elise was still being sold new and eligible for A Street, it would definitely be a contender.

    Cheers!

    John

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  6. #6
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyC View Post
    If it was me, I would be in a Lotus Elise.

    Oh wait... I am.
    DieHard Lotus Folks - somebody has to play on the Dragon. Might as well be you. Thanks for all you continue to do....You do it well.

    I'm still car crazy after all these years. Why change now?
    Very Best Regards,
    John
    Corruption of English is worsest than the worst.

  7. #7
    Member SCNAX booyaa56's Avatar
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    swap the weight on the ZL1 and 1LE and your good.

  8. #8
    Ahh, you're right.

    I copied it incorrectly from my spreadsheet. I've updated the original post.

    I would love your thoughts on the car selection.

    Best regards,

    John

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  9. #9
    Member SCNAX booyaa56's Avatar
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    Can’t go for the ZL1 1LE, it’s not a AS class car. If I had a choice I would go with the Corvette that Matt Jones drives, I believe it’s a 2010-11 Corvette GS. Don’t get me wrong I love my Camaro 1LE and the features that are included in the 1LE package, however I do see my car being classed differently next year. The only person I know that can drive the 1LE to almost match the GS is Brian Peters and it looks like he just took the SSR class by .6 of a second yesterday over Sam Strano, tells you how awesome of a driver Brian is

  10. #10
    Thanks Will. For non-autoX reasons, I will be getting a new car, so the C6 GS is out for me.

    What class do you think the Camaro SS 1LE will be in next year?

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  11. #11
    Member SCNAX booyaa56's Avatar
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    The latest talk will be BS class

  12. #12
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyaa56 View Post
    The latest talk will be BS class
    John-
    This is where the rumors started; last March and April 2018. The jury is still out for a 2019 rule change.


    MARCH 2018 SCCA FASTRACK NEWS: page 16 "Change Proposals" - Street :

    #22582 Muscle cars to B Street?
    The SAC would like member feedback on the following proposal:
    Move from AS to BS
    BMW
    M3 and M4 (F80/F82)(2015-18)
    Chevrolet
    Camaro SS 1LE (V8)(2017-18)
    Ford
    Mustang Shelby GT350 (2015-18)
    Nissan
    350Z NISMO (2004-08)
    370Z NISMO (2009-18)

    APRIL 2018: SCCA FASTRACK NEWS, page 7.

    Street
    #23680 2018 Mustang Performance Pack 2 Question
    Per the SAC, add the following new listing in Appendix A:
    AS
    Ford
    Mustang GT Performance Package - Level 2 (2018)
    Per the SAC, update the following listing in Appendix A:
    FS
    Ford
    Mustang GT (excl. Performance Package - Level 2) (2010-18)
    Note: the “PP2” Package for the Mustang GT is very similar in concept to the Camaro SS 1LE, so the SAC has decided to class this car alongside the 1LE in AS. However proposal #22582 to re-class the 1LE to BS is currently out for member comment, so the SAC welcomes member feedback on including the PP2 in that proposal for 2019.

    So, like I said in a post above; the rules often change every year or so. Should know something later this year...

    John
    Last edited by lost won; 09-02-2018 at 06:52 PM.
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  13. #13
    Thanks Will and John!

    Very helpful info.

    As a related aside, I test drove the base 718 Cayman, and I was really impressed.

    Best regards,

    John

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  14. #14
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKinOB View Post
    Thanks Will and John!

    I test drove the base 718 Cayman, and I was really impressed.

    Best regards,

    John
    The Cayman is a really great car. The base 718 is a good value.

    I think if you're interested in the Porsche, and impressed with it; you owe it to yourself to test drive a base 1LT Corvette Stingray.
    For autocross, you don't need the Z51 stuff, or the 2LT stuff either. Bob Stall has a couple of new ones on sale.
    No, I am not a salesman; but I have some experience buying Corvettes. The base 1LT is the best bang for the buck.

    John
    Corruption of English is worsest than the worst.

  15. #15
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    BREAKING NEWS: Sep 4, 2018 Lincoln, Nebraska (Rain, rain, go away)

    Solo Nats, first day: East course, A Street Top 20 of 65

    C5 Z06s 2002-2004: POSITIONs 1,2,4,12,15,16,18,19,20
    C6 Z06s 2007-2009: " 3,5,6
    C6 GS 2011 " 17

    Shelby Mustang GT350 2016: " 7,10

    Camaro SS-1LE 2017 " 8,9

    Porsche Cayman 718 2017,2018 " 11,14

    Lotus Elise 2006 " 13

    NO Mustang PP2
    NO Solstice GXP in AS, But one placed 6th in CAM-S !! AND Local Tom Kamman 7th in CAM-S in his C5 !!!


    results available here:
    http://sololive.scca.com/

    Nice assortment, hey?
    Stay tuned for tomorrow, sports fans.
    Last edited by lost won; 09-04-2018 at 08:56 PM.
    Corruption of English is worsest than the worst.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DCCSD itrbruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lost won View Post
    C5 Z06s 2002-2004: POSITIONs 1,2,4,12,15,16,18,19,20
    C6 Z06s 2007-2009: " 3,5,6
    Does anyone know how the C5 Z06's can give the C6 Z06's an extra 100HP at basically the same weight and compete with/beat them?
    Maybe today's course was that much of a speed maintenance course?
    And it looks like it MIGHT have been wet - not sure how wet.
    Last edited by itrbruce; 09-04-2018 at 01:53 PM. Reason: added guesses

  17. #17
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    Bruce,
    It was pouring rain on them today
    and two, they do not weigh the same - C5 Z06 is roughly 100-150 lbs lighter
    and three, the C6 is geared much higher in the manual car - The C5 Z06 is geared just about perfectly for autox at 70-72 in 2nd gear, and the C6 Z06 is near 90 mph (depending on the exact tires used on both)
    This all means it is slightly course dependent, but either can win on any course. The C6 Grand Sport is right in the mix as well - a three way tie, and all have won at nationals.
    Gary T.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lost won's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASPC5 View Post
    Bruce,
    It was pouring rain on them today
    and two, they do not weigh the same - C5 Z06 is roughly 100-150 lbs lighter
    and three, the C6 is geared much higher in the manual car - The C5 Z06 is geared just about perfectly for autox at 70-72 in 2nd gear, and the C6 Z06 is near 90 mph (depending on the exact tires used on both)
    This all means it is slightly course dependent, but either can win on any course. The C6 Grand Sport is right in the mix as well - a three way tie, and all have won at nationals.
    Spoken like a very experienced and successful Corvette driver, all around good egg, and Driver of Eminence, Mr. T.
    Good to hear from you once more. Still got the Viper?
    Best Regards,
    John
    Corruption of English is worsest than the worst.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DCCSD itrbruce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASPC5 View Post
    Bruce,
    It was pouring rain on them today
    and two, they do not weigh the same - C5 Z06 is roughly 100-150 lbs lighter
    and three, the C6 is geared much higher in the manual car - The C5 Z06 is geared just about perfectly for autox at 70-72 in 2nd gear, and the C6 Z06 is near 90 mph (depending on the exact tires used on both)
    This all means it is slightly course dependent, but either can win on any course. The C6 Grand Sport is right in the mix as well - a three way tie, and all have won at nationals.
    Thanks Gary.
    Yeah, when I found out there was some rain, I figured that might be a big part of the answer as extra HP can turn into as much as a hindrance as a help... which is what I'm guessing also played a role in what looks like is going to be the end of the JK streak ... unless he can make up a 7.5 sec deficit. Ouch! Maybe car trouble too?
    Re: the weight, I was going by wikipedia that says there is only a 12 lb difference - 3118 vs 3130 according to ...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevro...vette_(C5)#Z06
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevro...e_%28C6%29#Z06
    But good point about the gearing - that is a big difference!
    Thanks again.
    Are you running? I don't see you in the entry list.

  20. #20
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    Hi John. Nope, I sold the Viper (which is in AS as well) to Jason R about 2 years ago, which he still has. I co-drove it with him at both the Fontana and Crows Landing Pro Solos this year, but didn't do all that well. I drove the Purcell's C7 Grand Sport at a SD practice event right about that time, and was so impressed with it I bought one not that long ago. 2017 with Z07 springs/CCB's, Cup2 tires, manual trans and competition seats. race wheels are here, but still waiting on the front tires. Probably won't run it much, but I'll bring it out some for sure.
    Gary T.

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