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Old 27th August 2010, 15:56   #1
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Default Lancer or Esteem? Which is a better starter rally car

I'm looking to buy a 2nd hand car to get into rallying. After doing my research I had narrowed down on the esteem as the ideal car to get started in rallying. And today in the INRC, most of the cars are either cedias or esteems.

But yesterday, my buddy told me he wanted to sell his 2001 lancer which has been maintained very well. So now I'm not so sure any more. What do you guys think... would you recommend the esteem, lancer or a 3rd car? And why is the esteem so popular anyways?
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Old 27th August 2010, 16:38   #2
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Esteem is not a good choice.

1. INRC allows cars to compete upto maximum of 10 years after production end. If yours is a Carb Esteem then it has only 1-2 years left. MPFI esteems can compete a couple of years more. Lancer on the other hand is still in production.

2. Lancer is a tough car that has won many rallies. The lancer version sold in India was also popular in WRC.

If you have the cash then dont look farther than the Cedia.
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Old 27th August 2010, 16:47   #3
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Quote:
Esteem is not a good choice.
pray why is it not a good car? that there is a whole class for the esteem carb version?
What is your definition of a good car?

Esteem is a good starting point to get the hang of rallying. Spares are cheap and there are teams available who can help you out.

Lancer - as much as its a great car to rally with, getting spares is tough and expensive.

If you are really keen on rallying, try hiring a car first from a team and then buy your own car.

Last edited by madan80 : 27th August 2010 at 16:47. Reason: edited html tags.
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Old 27th August 2010, 17:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101
1. INRC allows cars to compete upto maximum of 10 years after production end. If yours is a Carb Esteem then it has only 1-2 years left. MPFI esteems can compete a couple of years more. Lancer on the other hand is still in production.
1.I know of carbs sold till 2000. So, they should not be participating in 2011, by your theory.
2.Esteem mpfi was produced until 2007

Carb esteem class is called the Rally Star Cup and is akin to karting wrt to Career.
Esteem mpfi (1400 Group N?) is what almost everyone competes in.
There's a 1600cc class above it and then, the 2000cc class in which the Cedia competes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101
If you have the cash then dont look farther than the Cedia.
You can't just jump into F1 just because you can afford to.
Similarly, it is very important to start with the RSC and graduate based on performance and budget through higher classes.

And yes, good advice from Madan99.
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Old 27th August 2010, 18:05   #5
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Originally Posted by madan80 View Post

Lancer - as much as its a great car to rally with, getting spares is tough and expensive.

If you are really keen on rallying, try hiring a car first from a team and then buy your own car.
That was my concern as well, the cost of running the lancer in the rallies. Esteem seems to be a good, tried and tested, *cheap* rally car

I think the Cedia might be too much 'car' for me at this point as the extra HP in the hands of a beginner might be the recipe for ending up in a tree or something

What I need at this point is a car to learn the ropes. I will race it for a year or 2 and whenever I'm ready, graduate to a more powerful car. Of course, then your competing in a different class all together.

I would not even have thought about the lancer if my friend hadn't mentioned that he was going to sell his. The original plan was to take a class at the new school in Khopoli, volunteer at a few rallies, ride navigator, rent a car before I bought my own ride.

At this point, I'm just gathering as much info as possible. So any words of wisdom form the experts are welcome!

~Tony
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Old 1st September 2010, 15:20   #6
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Thanks for the Rally Star Cup info Nitrous.

So the plan is to start with the RSC next year. I'm applying for my MAI license now and me and my navigator, both first timers, are looking for a used esteem and a tuner in the Bombay/Pune/Nasik area.

We just have to decide between the Carb esteem or MPFI
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Old 1st September 2010, 16:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madan80 View Post
Esteem is a good starting point to get the hang of rallying. Spares are cheap and there are teams available who can help you out.

Lancer - as much as its a great car to rally with, getting spares is tough and expensive.

If you are really keen on rallying, try hiring a car first from a team and then buy your own car.
exactly my thoughts. Look at the cost of spares as well, as this will be one of the most important and recurring expenses.
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Old 1st September 2010, 16:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn_Ok_Plz View Post
Thanks for the Rally Star Cup info Nitrous.

So the plan is to start with the RSC next year. I'm applying for my MAI license now and me and my navigator, both first timers, are looking for a used esteem and a tuner in the Bombay/Pune/Nasik area.

We just have to decide between the Carb esteem or MPFI
No one is using a lancer for rallying anymore, stay away from it.

Start with the RSC category and gradually move on. There are a lot of regulations and procedures that you need to understand and learn in Rallying. This will only be possible once you start competing in them.

For the rally star cup category, you can only use Carb Esteems. If you are looking to compete in this category, I would suggest you to buy type II esteems that were produced after 97. Just swap in a MPFI engine into this car and you are good to compete in the 1400cc category also. This way you need not buy another car once the carb esteems are phased out from homologation.
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Old 1st September 2010, 17:00   #9
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However good car lancer is, the Esteem has more power for its class and cheaper to maintain too. Lancer will be a good bet if you are looking to upgrade to the next class.

But on the flip side Mitsubishi parts will weather well and hence Maruti Maintainence wont be cheap in comparison.

To be frank I dont see a reason to starts with either. It more depends on which car you are comfortable hauling on a rally circuit.
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Old 1st September 2010, 19:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
For the rally star cup category, you can only use Carb Esteems. If you are looking to compete in this category, I would suggest you to buy type II esteems that were produced after 97. Just swap in a MPFI engine into this car and you are good to compete in the 1400cc category also. This way you need not buy another car once the carb esteems are phased out from homologation.
Good point, so I can last the esteem till I'm ready to move on to the 1600cc + category!

I hear a lot of experts advising to rent a rally car before buying. I had originally planned to do this as well. But the negative apart from the Rs 60,000 cost is that we won't have a car to practice with till race day.

For some people who are not sure if rallying is for them or who haven't decided which car to buy, this makes perfect sense. But for me, since I'm very keen on being active in the rally scene for the foreseeable future and also having decided on esteem, does it still make sense to rent a car??

Thanks guys for sharing your inputs!
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Old 2nd September 2010, 06:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn_Ok_Plz View Post
Good point, so I can last the esteem till I'm ready to move on to the 1600cc + category!

I hear a lot of experts advising to rent a rally car before buying. I had originally planned to do this as well. But the negative apart from the Rs 60,000 cost is that we won't have a car to practice with till race day.

For some people who are not sure if rallying is for them or who haven't decided which car to buy, this makes perfect sense. But for me, since I'm very keen on being active in the rally scene for the foreseeable future and also having decided on esteem, does it still make sense to rent a car??

Thanks guys for sharing your inputs!
If you are serious about rallying, I would suggest you buy a used car and prepare it.

Renting a car is an option, but an expensive one. With J.Anand suspension, the rental rates have gone up to 75,000. This does not include your entry fee, transport, lodging, food etc. It will be close to 1lakh for a single event.
Besides these rental cars can be are notoriously unreliable if you do not know the background of the cars.

There are some good rally modified RSC cars on the market for sale. PM me if you are interested in buying them.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 08:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horn_Ok_Plz View Post

So the plan is to start with the RSC next year. I'm applying for my MAI license now and me and my navigator, both first timers, are looking for a used esteem and a tuner in the Bombay/Pune/Nasik area.
These days the licence is given by FMSCI, not MAI. And if i'm not wrong, licences are issued on yearly basis, so applying now will give you a licence for this year. But if you plan to compete next year, you need to get a new licence made from and after 1st January, 2011.

Cheers and good luck.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 09:02   #13
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Someone I know in the racing circuit (he used to be associated with the pit stop, servicing the cars) vouches for the MPFI Esteem.
He says the carb ones will have to be tuned very often depending on the demanding conditions and prone to over heating/starting and carb setting related issues.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 10:49   #14
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I have owned both the cars and i would say staw clear off lancer, its not meant to be a rally car atleast in india. However an esteem has a lot of rally parts available in here itself and preparing one for the rally is a piece of cake. I currently own a lancer and has been my loyal work horse for almost 11 years now, but even today when i see a rally prep esteem i drool.

Esteems are the best for INRC and the class they compete in has no contenders.


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Old 2nd September 2010, 13:13   #15
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My 2 cents.

Firstly I don't think one has the proper idea regarding the capability of the esteem. It is a fantastic base car, simply because of 3 things, its light, powerful and cheap to maintain. When you start modding it the wide number of options available for the esteem will leave you confused for a while.
For e.g. for the esteem one can have 4 - 5 different types of shock absorbers available, each having its own charactaristic and price. For the Lancer, people have not come up with so many options in India, simply because the rest of the stock parts are horribly expensive.

Since you are serious about a long term rally career, I would suggest buying a second hand mpfi esteem. Forget the RSC as it is infact more expensive than the 1400 class these days and unscertainity regarding the machinery is huge. In the 1400 class, you can take each season as it comes and improve, also you have the added advantage of having your own car at your disposal as and when you want.

Another point would be to take part in local events and autocrosses. These events will not cost a fortune to participate in and will give a hands on practise session in a competitive environment.
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