What is the best autocross or rallycross car for 15k?

I am new to autocross and rallycross, though I am most likely looking to get involved in autocross first since I cannot find any rallycross in my area.

Reliability, run cost, and age are no issue. I am simply looking for the car that can compete best in an autocross setting for no more than 15 grand (just the cost of the car do not factor in making it race ready, though if your answer comes in under 15 grand even better).

Car must have manual transmission, rear wheel drive, and handling ability. I am not against muscle cars, but I want one that can turn well.

Easiness to learn would help of course, but I have done track days before so I think I could learn most cars quickly.

Also salvage/restored cars are ok, but I do not want any cars with lingering problems so nothing that reaches to high in price to find easily, I am really trying to stick to 15k.

some early ideas I have are any the between honda s2000, mazda rx8, BMW 330CI, e36 BMW m3, 986 porsche boxster/cayman, classic porsche 911, let me know if any of these are particlarly good

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  • 8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    I'm into autocross and have been track racing since before I had a driver's license. Huge car guy.

    I own an S2000; it's IMHO one of the most fun cars ever made, way better than my old Boxster. The downside to the Boxster is the cost of maintenance - you can't actually get to the engine, you need to get it up on a lift and have it dropped out to get fixed which adds $$$ every time you need maintenance, which will be pretty often if you're getting into racing. Great handling and good acceleration, but not nearly as fun as the S2k and way costlier to run.

    330ci has a great engine, but it's a seriously bloated, heavy car. Handles alright but suffers badly due to weight. Will get its butt handed to it by an S2000, Boxster, etc.

    The E36 M3 is the most overrated fanboy POS on the market, I swear... my friend had a '98, and my 2000 Jetta VR6 would eat it in a straight line AND on a technical course with a few internal mods and coilovers. Pretty embarassing. Totally not worth the hype, there are way more capable cars out there.

    Classic 911's are sick, really fun cars. They cost bank, but pretty much always have high resale value. Maintenance can be costly. But very, very rewarding cars that feel really confident on a track or at high speeds.

    Otherwise, of these cars, the S2000 is the way to go. I'll never get rid of mine... drive one and wring the engine out to 9k, you'll understand :D And in regards to the above poster's statement about AWD: I raced two Evo X's on an 80-mile, twisty back road (Mines Road in Livermore, CA) in my S2000, and finished a good 5 minutes before them. Was waiting at the end having a smoke. I do track days at Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow and can easily hand basically any Evo or Sti its *** around the track with my S2000. I have cams, cam gears, valves, lifters, intake and exhaust, no internal mods, and stock struts on Tein springs and do just fine!

    The other car I'd suggest you look at is a C5 Corvette. Great performance and handling, pretty cheap for what you get.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    No... you should take an AWD car for that, way better, and get a cheap one so you can save for other upgrades in suspension, maybe a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX may do the job.

    Look, to help you decide, you can use a car performance simulator[1] there you can virtually have any car you may like and do any mod to test how it would improve!

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  • 4 years ago

    S2000 Autocross

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