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View Poll Results: Which of the following does your heart most desire?
BMW Z4 2.5i 0 0%
BMW Z4 3.0i 16 43.24%
Mazda MX-5 Miata 6 16.22%
Mazda RX-8 12 32.43%
Pontiac Solstice 2 5.41%
Saturn SKY 1 2.70%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29th January 2006, 10:27   #1
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Post Roadster comparison

an empty back winding road, a small 2-seater roadster, the wind in your hair, a powerful (relatively) little engine, a long hood ahead.. which one of us hasn't dreamt of such a drive in a convertible?
i know i have for a long time now..

the 'roadster' concept, as far as i'm aware, was invented by the British and companies including Triumph and MG manufactured and led the roadster market for a number of years.

Lotus introduced the Elan (and later the Elise), and Mazda introduced the Miata which became an instant favorite with a world-wide cult following (except America, where it was considered to be a lady's car but everyone ignored the stupid Yanks with their over-powered, under-performing tanks, and the roadster flourished elsewhere).

then up came BMW with the M, followed by the Z, Audi with the TT and the market opened up even further. Vauxhall with their VX220 (built by Lotus) and its twin, the Opel Speedster made the market "cool".

and now the unthinkable has happened! the Yanks have interfered - with the Pontiac Solstice (good looks, and not-so-good everything else), and the promising Saturn SKY (based on the Pontiac Solstice / Vauxhall VX220 / Opel Speedster).

currently, i'm in the market, looking around for a roadster. living in New York (USA), the wind-in-your hair option isn't open too long in a year (also my wife prefers a roof) but i've never been much of a guy to let my head rule my heart.....

no definite choices have been made yet - i'm still in the initial stages. it might take me a year or two to actually go in for one but for now i'm just interested in going over the various options available and would love to know what fellow BHPians think. please choose your poll options solely on what you think you would go in for, given a choice. what your heart desires. leave practicality aside - it beats the concept of a roadster.

the prices have been mentioned just because they were available to me, no other reason. certain models have automatic / SMG transmissions as optional but i'm considering manual transmissions only.

also, i have listed only the cars i'm looking at. if a car or an option is not mentioned in the poll, then its not in my list of possibles (thats why the Audi TT and the Lotus Elise / Exige, Porsche Boxter have not been listed). why, you may ask? well, because i rule this thread.. lol

would love to have included the Porsche Cayman S but i tried configuring it and the base price of $58,900 goes through the roof on adding even the tinniest of options..

so here goes nothing - the contenders (in alphabetical order):
[please note that the prices mentioned are totally base, off the respective websites, with no options, destination charges or dealer fees included.]

clicking on each car name will take you to the USA website of that particular car manufacturer where you can preview the respective model(s). yes, isn't that wonderful? its a simple little magic trick i learned at Hogwarts.

BMW Z4 2.5i
"The under-dog"
base price: $34,800
engine: 2.5l DOHC inline-6, 24-valve VANOS VVT
horsepower: 184hp@6000rpm
torque: 175lb-ft@3500rpm
transmission(s): 5-speed manual / 5-speed automatic STEPTRONIC

BMW Z4 3.0i
"The most expensive and also an update is on the charts"
base price: $41,800
engine: 3.0l DOHC inline-6, 24-valve VANOS VVT
horsepower: 225hp@6000rpm
torque: 214lb-ft@3500rpm
transmission(s): 6-speed manual / 6-speed SMG / 5-speed automatic STEPTRONIC

Mazda MX-5 Miata
"The top contender"
base price: $20,435
engine: 2.0l DOHC inline-4, 16-valve VANOS VVT
horsepower: 170hp@6700rpm (160hp w/ automatic transmission)
torque: 150lb-ft@5000rpm
transmission(s): 6-speed manual / 5-speed manual / 6-speed Sport automatic w/ paddle shifter

Mazda RX-8
"The odd one out but has a Wankel!!"
base price: $27,435
engine: 1.3l RENESIS 2-rotor rotary engine (WANKEL!!)
horsepower: 238hp@8500rpm (197hp@7200rpm w/ automatic transmission)
torque: 159lb-ft@5500rpm (164lb-ft@5000rpm w/ automatic transmission)
transmission(s): 6-speed manual / 4-speed automatic w/ paddle shifter

Pontiac Solstice
"Looks great but could do with the LS2 motor (yes, its a direct fit). Everything else is ordinary"
base price: $20,490
engine: 2.4l Ecotec DOHC inline-4, VVT
horsepower: 177hp@6600rpm
torque: 166lb-ft@4800rpm
transmission(s): Aisin 5-speed manual / 5-speed automatic

Saturn SKY
"Looks awesome, seems promising but can it beat the MX-5?"
base price: $23,115
engine: 2.4l Ecotec DOHC inline-4, VVT
horsepower: 170hp@6400rpm
torque: 162lb-ft@4800rpm
transmission(s): Aisin 5-speed manual / 5-speed automatic

so those are my options.

the Mazda MX-5 and the Saturn SKY are my closest contenders followed closely by the BMW Z4 3.0i, but with the Z-series to be revamped in the near future with the possible M-roadster, i'd rather hold on. i've mentioned the BMW Z4 2.5i only because it falls in the price range but its one of the weaker contenders.

the Mazda RX-8 does not fall in the roadster category but i'm considering it anyways. its also the ugliest.

the Pontiac Solstice looks the best but i don't think i'm going to buy it unless it has the 6.0l V8 in it.

so take your pic people. let me know what you think about them, vote, vote, vote... make me proud, fight for your country (ok, i think i'm getting a little carried away here now...)!!

Last edited by aah78 : 29th January 2006 at 10:46. Reason: modifying content
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Old 29th January 2006, 11:21   #2
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duh! i just noticed that the "What Car?" section is a sub-section under the "Indian Cars" section. unfortunately, none of the cars in my poll above fall even remotely under the "Indian" category. so do we need to shift this poll to the "BHP Worldwide -> International Machines" section?

[psst mods, something to be considered during the next site upgrade]..
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Old 29th January 2006, 13:27   #3
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The RX-8 ,of course.
From what i've read and heard, she handles awesome and the wankel engine is the cherry on the cake.
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Old 29th January 2006, 20:15   #4
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guys wait a minute you have put solstice and sky...which are pretty crappy to drive and not put the G35/350Z which are far superior cars to the RX8 and even as good as the Z4..have some decent choice but out of these only the Z4 3.0i


Edit: I didnt read the roadster portion so i can understand G35 is out..but 350Z? and RX-8 is a coupe last i checked..
so if you want a roof and want to handle fully loaded under 35k you should without a doubt go for G35 coupe
if under 45k still the G35 coupe
if you want wind in your hair then a Z4
and if you dont mind spending 48+OTD and you have satisfy you wife with a roof and yourself with wind in your hair, then the Vette it is..when I bought mine I didnt get the discount, but since then I have had people give me info and a 54k(thats my cost fully loaded) vette can be bought for about 47.5 with employee type discount.
no car you mention would come close in the pleasure a vette will give you..and if you dont mind 1 year old..search for a vette convert 1 yr old and you should be in the 45k range as well..and coupe in the 41k range..

and boy you are willing to spend 41k for a base Z4 and you still want to be left in the dust by similarly priced car like the vette which will blow your mind away...

Whats the criteria exactly ...how much do you want to spend cuz this is a big spread and people dont have that big of a spread when choosing cars.. so narrow down the price range a little..

Last edited by 1Day : 29th January 2006 at 20:25.
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Old 30th January 2006, 00:08   #5
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Post kinda missin' ze roadzter pt monsieur

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Day
guys wait a minute you have put solstice and sky...which are pretty crappy to drive and not put the G35/350Z which are far superior cars to the RX8 and even as good as the Z4..have some decent choice but out of these only the Z4 3.0i


Edit: I didnt read the roadster portion so i can understand G35 is out..but 350Z? and RX-8 is a coupe last i checked..
so if you want a roof and want to handle fully loaded under 35k you should without a doubt go for G35 coupe
if under 45k still the G35 coupe
if you want wind in your hair then a Z4
and if you dont mind spending 48+OTD and you have satisfy you wife with a roof and yourself with wind in your hair, then the Vette it is..
have you driven the Pontiac Solistice or the Saturn SKY? can understand the crappiness of the Solistice as i've read about it a lot but the SKY has just debuted recently at the auto show. cars you've mentioned are very good indeed - the Nissan 350Z, the Infiniti G35 - but in my opinion, they carry too much of a boy-racer appeal and thats not what i'm looking for.
yes, the Mazda RX-8 doesn't fall in this category but i wanted to include it nonetheless. actually, the RX-8 is the only one thats not a coupe - its the only one with 4 doors and 4 seats to match.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Day
and boy you are willing to spend 41k for a base Z4 and you still want to be left in the dust by similarly priced car like the vette which will blow your mind away...
you're missing the roadster (British sportscar, in other words) point here. a roadster is not about 0-60mph timings or 1/4-mile timings. its about handling and feel. i'm not looking to race other cars on the freeway (or the track), just enjoy a nice drive. thats one of the reasons roadsters don't have V8s. also, the Corvette has never appealed to me, and doesn't fall in this category.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Day
Whats the criteria exactly ...how much do you want to spend cuz this is a big spread and people dont have that big of a spread when choosing cars.. so narrow down the price range a little..
don't worry about the price range - thats my problem. the big spread - lol that sounds cheesy but yes, those are the cars i'm considering.

Last edited by aah78 : 30th January 2006 at 00:09. Reason: modifying content
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Old 30th January 2006, 01:52   #6
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I understand the price range is your problem..i said it would be easier to choose but hey its your job to pick the cars too then isnt it..i am not trying to get on you or something..

anyhow then I am sorry your choices are quite poor even if you take roadster as your primary choice..

you talk about handling..please handling is the reason the vettes are doing such awesome times on the ring have your checked there time lately..

i am not defending vette because i own one..before the C6, no corvette ever appealed to me too..but C6 is a different animal al together..

also by dismissing the G35 and 350Z you are really making a big mistake..but hey its your car choice you asked for an opinion and i gave you what I thought..for your money none of these even deserve a mention..

and btw i keep test driving most cars every once in a while cuz I like to..so i can tell you with confidence..

if you dont mind your money buying your second fiddle then i cant do much about it..

Last edited by 1Day : 30th January 2006 at 01:54.
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Old 30th January 2006, 13:34   #7
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In your list, the choice for me was between the RX8 and the Z4 3 litre. But since the RX8 looks really wierd while the Z4 is total hollywood, I just had to pick the Beemer......a proper, proper sports car...
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Old 30th January 2006, 19:55   #8
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It had to be between the Z4 3.0i and the RX8, i cant even imagine voting for another car in a poll that has RX8. From wat i've heard and read - RX8...anyday. And IMHO, i dont think it looks ugly.
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Old 30th January 2006, 22:52   #9
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aah78, I suggest you test drive all these cars and get a feel for yourself. Go with your instincts. It is difficult for others to choose a car for you.

If the price is in the 40K territory, I personally would leave Mazdas, Saturns and Pontiacs behind and start considering a S2000, 350Z, C6, Elise or an SLK. There are not many roadsters in general and this price range in particular. So it should not be a daunting task to pick one.
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Old 30th January 2006, 23:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsxei
aah78, I suggest you test drive all these cars and get a feel for yourself. Go with your instincts. It is difficult for others to choose a car for you.

If the price is in the 40K territory, I personally would leave Mazdas, Saturns and Pontiacs behind and start considering a S2000, 350Z, C6, Elise or an SLK. There are not many roadsters in general and this price range in particular. So it should not be a daunting task to pick one.


couldnt agree more...i dont know why you picked the lower end ones..and why you didnt pick the better bets..like the elise(i personally dont like that its bare bones, otherwise i would be having one of those as well) or slk
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Old 7th February 2006, 01:03   #11
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Post re-vitalize

Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78
the prices have been mentioned just because they were available to me, no other reason. certain models have automatic / SMG transmissions as optional but i'm considering manual transmissions only.

also, i have listed only the cars i'm looking at. if a car or an option is not mentioned in the poll, then its not in my list of possibles (thats why the Audi TT and the Lotus Elise / Exige, Porsche Boxter have not been listed). why, you may ask? well, because i rule this thread.. lol
thats just for you guys who keep bringing up stuff i've already mentioned...
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Old 7th February 2006, 08:03   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78
and now the unthinkable has happened! the Yanks have interfered - with the Pontiac Solstice
Yanks already tried a Miata fighter in the form of a Ford Capri in the early 90s. Failed miserably.

Any reason you left out the Boxster and the S2000? They are highly acclaimed roadsters.

From your list the choice is obvious, the Z4 3.0i. The Miata comes a very close second and also saves you 20 grand.

If I could afford the Z4 3.0, then I would stretch my budget a few thousand and go for a Boxster. S2000 is a little boy racerish IMO.
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Old 7th February 2006, 09:45   #13
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Quote:
it might take me a year or two to actually go in for one
A few more roadsters/convertables are on their way and will be avaliable in the market in a year or two. I would suggest keep your list open to new additions.

Quote:
if a car or an option is not mentioned in the poll, then its not in my list of possibles
Despite that I am going to suggest a convertable to you. Since you are considering Pontiac Solstice, I am guessing you are not too specific on brands and are willing to consider lower rung brands too. How about the VolksWagen Eos? It's going to be launched in fall this year , comes with a proper folding metal roof with integrated sun roof! ( a industry first). Will satisfy your wife since it will give you a "roof" and will not be drain your pocket like the Beemer's. Engine options are 2.0T and 3.6 V6 but 2.0t should be your choice as you are looking for manual transmission. 200Hp should be good enough since roadsters/convertables are not about out right performance but wind in the hair cruising.

P.S. We are having a pre Toronto Auto show meeting tomorrow at the VW Canada corporate office, where I will be get to see the Eos. Will let you know first impressions about the car if you are interested.

Last edited by amit : 7th February 2006 at 09:48.
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Old 8th February 2006, 00:51   #14
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There is also a Pontiac G6 coupe with a folding hardtop coming this year. Saw it at the auto show....looks really good and at 30K, fairly reasonable for what you get. Its got the Lexus SC400 look.
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Old 25th April 2006, 08:55   #15
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Mazda RX 8 any day. The rotary engine kicks a**. Also the cool doors.
I also like the Pontiac Solstice though.
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