Automotive

Fast car slow or slow car fast?

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  • Oct 28th, 2020 4:38 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2009
685 posts
120 upvotes
Toronto

Fast car slow or slow car fast?

As always, I am researching what my next car will be... right now its a CLA250. Not that fast, but not super slow either.

It's fun going off the line in sport or flooring it on the highway on ramp, but I noticed even in my current car its not too long before I'm past the speed limit lol.

What do you guys think? Is it worth buying a 300HP+ car if not being tracked? Or is it better to get something slow like a BRZ that can you drive hard and not break the law?
67 replies
Member
Feb 17, 2004
478 posts
148 upvotes
Depends, are you looking to go fast off the line (I.e. Stop light racing) or fast around the curves (I.e. autocross track)?

If off the line, get something fast with lots of HP (I guess that means a CLA). If in the curves, get something with less HP (BRZ?) that is more forgiving and hones your skills to go fast.
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Sep 21, 2010
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Montréal
The latter, I really don't get the pt of some cars approaching 1,000hp and weighing nearly 2 tons. Not everyone drives on a track 24/7. I'm constantly worried about speeding and getting stopped by the police, it's damn annoying so it's kinda pointless unless they perfect those cop-spotting apps.
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Mar 23, 2004
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A new (2nd gen) CLA? Or a used one? Because the 1st gen CLA...I would drive that thing before you think you want to buy one. It's a really substandard drive for an MB--it basically feels like you're driving a bucket of bolts. It looks nice on the outside but has a pretty crap interior; plus it's way smaller inside than the outside suggests and it has more front and rear overhang than belongs on a "German car".

If talking about a new CLA though it is much improved. The main thing that sucks about it is that gawd awful double-tablet-glued-on-dash interior which your kids will think is cool (along with the "Hey Mercedes" crap) but that glued-on look is really just a sorry disgusting excuse for interior design. It's hilarious how the old CLA basically looks like it has a suction-cup GPS glued on the dash in the centre; the new one looks like they just glued a huge tablet on there to replace everything. Terrible, just terrible. One of the worst things I've seen in an automotive interior outside of a Tesla.

If you want something like a BRZ with more power either buy one and boost it or buy a used TT, Z4, or of course a Porsche like above ;) It's almost certain the Porsche will be a good lot more money for similar year and miles though lol. You're on the right track I think but the CLA...meh, if you gotta buy new and in that price range I say A3 is still a better idea despite the improvement in the MB. In another year the next A3 will probably be seen as well. CLA can also be insanely priced, without even being the AMG variant, by adding options to it.
Deal Addict
Jul 13, 2009
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That's not a good example of slow car fast.

Slow car fast is taking a 100hp box to redline every single chance. When I had a Smart Car, that was a blast. Rear engine, rear wheel drive. In Iceland I had a Opel Astra 1.3L that did 100hp with 5sp manual, that was more fun than anything on the best roads I've ever seen.

Not too many choices of fun slow cars these days. Mazda 2 with 5speed was super awesome fun, I test drove one and sales person let me have a few rounds with it. Mini Coopers are too bloated these days. Last generation Kia Rio is great at 139hp and relatively lighter weight but aside from the 5sp manual on base model. the autotragic is meh. New Rio is just tragic.

Those are proper slow car fast cars. Very low HP but great fun factor. Few options in Canada. If I had too much money and a big garage, I would get a track prepped Nissan Micra like this

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Apr 5, 2016
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booblehead wrote: Image

No need to look elsewhere
I agree. That's why I got one hahaha. My criteria is min. 300 hp. I don't want a sports car less than that.
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2009
685 posts
120 upvotes
Toronto
v82slo wrote: Depends, are you looking to go fast off the line (I.e. Stop light racing) or fast around the curves (I.e. autocross track)?

If off the line, get something fast with lots of HP (I guess that means a CLA). If in the curves, get something with less HP (BRZ?) that is more forgiving and hones your skills to go fast.
Probably just off the line to be honest.. but my problem is with 200+ horsepower you can't floor it much before you're breaking the law
ES_Revenge wrote: A new (2nd gen) CLA? Or a used one? Because the 1st gen CLA...I would drive that thing before you think you want to buy one. It's a really substandard drive for an MB--it basically feels like you're driving a bucket of bolts. It looks nice on the outside but has a pretty crap interior; plus it's way smaller inside than the outside suggests and it has more front and rear overhang than belongs on a "German car".

If talking about a new CLA though it is much improved. The main thing that sucks about it is that gawd awful double-tablet-glued-on-dash interior which your kids will think is cool (along with the "Hey Mercedes" crap) but that glued-on look is really just a sorry disgusting excuse for interior design. It's hilarious how the old CLA basically looks like it has a suction-cup GPS glued on the dash in the centre; the new one looks like they just glued a huge tablet on there to replace everything. Terrible, just terrible. One of the worst things I've seen in an automotive interior outside of a Tesla.

If you want something like a BRZ with more power either buy one and boost it or buy a used TT, Z4, or of course a Porsche like above ;) It's almost certain the Porsche will be a good lot more money for similar year and miles though lol. You're on the right track I think but the CLA...meh, if you gotta buy new and in that price range I say A3 is still a better idea despite the improvement in the MB. In another year the next A3 will probably be seen as well. CLA can also be insanely priced, without even being the AMG variant, by adding options to it.
Sorry for terrible wording in the OP... current CLA is the wife's and the lease expires in a bit, which is why I'm looking for a new car :)
booblehead wrote:
No need to look elsewhere
Haha I don't think I'm in the right age bracket for a Porsche yet
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
9437 posts
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Miata or BRZ. No point getting anything more than 200hp if taking curves.

Get 300+ cars just to show off. Loud low rumbles.

Used to really want nice fast rides. Then realize what I gonna do? Race the kids lights to lights?

Bobble is right about the boxster if going euro. Mid engine rear drive with manual, what more do you need?
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Jun 3, 2008
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Slow car fast is actually really fun, particularly with a manual transmission where you need to shift correctly to keep the engine within the power band. With a fast car (even with manual transmission), you're already at the speed limit, with plenty of power still in 2nd gear.

In this COVID era, you can always get access to manual transmission cars and rev them.... most dealerships have implemented new COVID policies letting you drive off with the car (no salesperson accompanying). Though, I'm not sure how many manual transmission drivers out there haven't driven a slow manual car before lol.
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Sep 3, 2005
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xerane wrote: As always, I am researching what my next car will be... right now its a CLA250. Not that fast, but not super slow either.

It's fun going off the line in sport or flooring it on the highway on ramp, but I noticed even in my current car its not too long before I'm past the speed limit lol.

What do you guys think? Is it worth buying a 300HP+ car if not being tracked? Or is it better to get something slow like a BRZ that can you drive hard and not break the law?
I have an FRS for this reason. I don't drive it hard all the time, but there are days that I drive the piss out of it, and its still under the speed limit, or just slightly above it. I have aftermarket headers, so the torque dip is not an issue on my car.
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Jun 14, 2008
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Slow car fast absolutely. One of the most fun car I drove was a manual 1 liter that made whopping 70 HP, double clutching at every street corner and 4k RPM all without breaking the speed limit. Another was an old 2 liter manual Mazda 6 that I took to the curvy mountain roads, that thing handles amazing for what it is, easily keeping up with the Mercedes and Audis in front.
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May 22, 2003
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booblehead wrote: Image

No need to look elsewhere
To be fair, I'm not sure I would consider even the base 718 low. My manual BRZ was lots of fun to drive despite being slow due to having to keep shifting gears!
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Oct 12, 2007
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Every vehicle we choose will be a compromise for at least one of our constraints or needs so the OP's question is a good one. I personally think the "fast" demarcation is a 0-100 of 7 seconds rather than raw horsepower or torque. Anything slower than that 7 second mark may be an intelligent buy but it won't work for me. Between 5.5 and 7 seconds is where we find an absolute ton of worthy coupes, crossovers and sedans these days so the choices are plentiful. I have to say that the closer a car gets toward the 5 second mark (or indeed below), the more I start to question what I really need my cars to do.

Heck, a 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack 392 can be had right now for under $50k and it'll do 0-100 in 4.5 seconds and the widebody version would, I am sure, be amazing around the track. What it has in power, it lacks in elegance in my view and won't make its way into my driveway because (a) that elegance thing and (b) I don't "need" all that performance.

And that's the thing about performance, we don't need it, we just want it. I still think that's a good thing.

Paraphrasing the late Carroll Shelby, more horsepower is never enough.
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Jul 30, 2007
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For Japanese fun car, I would suggest Supra 3.0. It's a 4 seconds car to 100kph. Fast but not too fast. Winking Face
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Jul 20, 2016
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booblehead wrote: For Japanese fun car, I would suggest Supra 3.0. It's a 4 seconds car to 100kph. Fast but not too fast. Winking Face
you mean a coupe Z4 with last gen interior ? :D
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Nov 18, 2006
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xerane wrote: As always, I am researching what my next car will be... right now its a CLA250. Not that fast, but not super slow either.

It's fun going off the line in sport or flooring it on the highway on ramp, but I noticed even in my current car its not too long before I'm past the speed limit lol.

What do you guys think? Is it worth buying a 300HP+ car if not being tracked? Or is it better to get something slow like a BRZ that can you drive hard and not break the law?
Define slow please?
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Jul 20, 2016
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OP plenty of fun cars at all price range ... in both acceleration fun and agility fun, tho if you want both generally it's not gonna be cheap.

sounds like you are looking for straight line speed more.... from stoplight, in the CLA250 price range you cant go wrong with the dual clutch golf r ... hard to beat AWD + DCT + torquey turbocharged engine for standing acceleration

if you wanan feel more g force stepping on it at highway speed you gonna need more top end power, V8 muscle cars are cheap ways to do it
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Aug 22, 2011
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I prefer fast car slow.
Now a days with the very limited amount of driving, my only excitement is a rolling 60-120 on the highway on-ramp at WOT.

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