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Thread: Help me pick a new DD/trackday/auto-x car

  1. #1
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    Help me pick a new DD/trackday/auto-x car

    My current DD/trackday/auto-x car is my 2004 330i ZHP. These days it rarely gets any DD time, just occasional trackdays. I bought it in 2010 after the birth of our first child, when a 2dr coupe was just not a viable option anymore. It replaced a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT (no great shakes). Since then, it served admirably as a daily driver through our first two kids, a couple auto-x events, and about a dozen or so trackdays. With the birth of our third child two years ago, it has been largely relegated to driveway duties. The daily driver is now a 2011 535i, which I mostly dislike in every way when compared to the e46.

    All of that preamble to get to the fact that I don't really need to use the e46 for trackdays anymore. I could switch to something else, it doesn't need to be a sedan. I have done about all I can cheaply do to my e46 - intake, headers, exhaust, LSD, dyno tune, under drive pulleys. If the clutch dies I will probably go for a lightweight flywheel. But other enhancements are $$$ (turbo/supercharger, coilovers, carbon, etc). Ideally, I would find something that is capable on track, but also swallows three car seats across the back so I could go back to one car, but that is pretty much a pipe dream.

    So looking for thoughts and opinions on other BMW options. Hopefully with some direct experience for comparison. I figure the possibilities are a 135i, 135M, e46 M3, e39 M5, e9X 335i, Z3 coupe/M coupe. Basically, I am looking for something reasonably priced (<$30k?), rear wheel drive, manual transmission, easily trackday capable. I would keep the car street legal and comfortable, as I don't have a tow vehicle or the inclination.

    135i/1325M - I know these are every bit as nimble as the e46, and will kick my ass in a straight line

    e46 M3 - These still carry a bit of a price premium, but I like my e46. It really is the ultimate driving machine.

    e39 M5 - I know this probably isn't the greatest trackday ride. My brother uses his 2005 CTS-V, so that is probably part of the fascination. Plus my desire to get in three carseats, which I realize is probably hopeless.

    e9X 335i - Hopefully just as fun to drive as my e46, plus much more poke down the straights.

    Z3 coupe/M coupe - Always loved these. But the regular Z3 coupe probably is no faster than what I have, and an M coupe carries a price premium.

    I realize there are many other non-BMW options, not covered here.

    Thought?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    i would be curious to see 3 car seats test-fit across the back of an E39 M5. the E39 rear seat is quite a bit larger than an E46. and your oldest is likely now in a booster, correct?
    peter

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2015 VW Golf TSI Comfortline 5MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by slater View Post
    i would be curious to see 3 car seats test-fit across the back of an E39 M5. the E39 rear seat is quite a bit larger than an E46. and your oldest is likely now in a booster, correct?
    I don't think it's safe to have minor children in the back seat of your car during an HPDE or track day. Booster seats notwithstanding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by slater View Post
    i would be curious to see 3 car seats test-fit across the back of an E39 M5. the E39 rear seat is quite a bit larger than an E46. and your oldest is likely now in a booster, correct?
    Yes, oldest in a booster. The other two in forward facing convertibles. The seats are wedged in pretty tight in the back of my F10 535i, but there are people on the e39 forums that swear you can make three across work.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    135i or e46 M, plenty of high mile M car deals out there
    2005 BMW 330i ZHP - BMWP brakes/intake/strut bar/shifter, Coby wraps interior, BBS CHs, Eagle Eye LED tails, GC coilovers, 2x2 CF MTECH2 diffuser, Sprint Booster/sport button mod, 4.5 LCM, Xtrons 9inch HU, BSW stg1, dynamat, M3 sedan dead pedal
    2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Cement Gray - OE blackout badges, Innovativ HIDs, Phillips LED fogs, CanvasBack full rear coverings



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by theothersawyer View Post
    Straight up trade for a ZHP sedan?

  8. #8
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    TIRERACK.com - Revolutionizing Tire Buying
    Quote Originally Posted by mko9 View Post
    Yes, oldest in a booster. The other two in forward facing convertibles. The seats are wedged in pretty tight in the back of my F10 535i, but there are people on the e39 forums that swear you can make three across work.
    hmmm. know anyone nearby with any form of E39 that you can test with? or perhaps fine one for sale locally and test-fit.
    peter

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2015 VW Golf TSI Comfortline 5MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

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