My car was rear ended earlier this month. So, I am looking to get a replacement. I love driving manuals but the traffic is so abysmal, i have to resort to automatic. I must say, I've had lots of memories with my 98 though I have a few complaints. The performance wasn't really that good and the brakes were kinda poor performing. That being said, I am thinking of a better performing and better braking due to my rediculous commute.
I have come to two conclusions, a 2000 or 2001 toyota celica. I've learned that the 1zzfe and 2zzge was co-engineered and designed with Lotus. And Lotus being my favorite car company, I am immediately attracted to those two engines. However, I would like to get familiar with the 2zzge as I plan on getting an Exige when I graduate. I've driven the Matrix XRS and I love how smooth the 2zz is compared to the comparably rough running and sounding 1zz.
My second conclusion is the 1995-1997 BMW 318ti e36 chassis, the hatchback (no trunk overhang) because its lighter and has folding rear seats. Its a 1.8 and most robust, most reliable, engine BMW has ever made since 1985. With 138hp and 128lb.ft. of torque, it propels the heavier than corolla (2745lbs) to 60 in just under 9seconds (like my 98 corolla). However, the skidpad is 0.85g and 60-0 braking of 127ft while the corolla has 0.76g and 137ft. The 318ti has 4 discs. Cargo area is 15cu.ft. plus the additional cargo area when the rear seats fold down. Which is good because I bike to campus since I park off campus. Also, its RWD and that is always a plus. I am a driving enthusiast and I have never owned a RWD vehicle before. Because the drag coefficient is a little higher than the corolla (.34 compared to the 98 corolla's .32), it gets 32mpg instead of 38mpg.
I respect 3 companies: Toyota, BMW, and Lotus. I have learned the toyota way of engineering, now I am eager to learn the BMW way of engineering. Study it, change things out, etc. There is plenty of aftermarket for the 318ti, which is good. One of which is lowering springs, and Bilstein struts/shocks. Hopefully that will increase the skidpad to .90g and if it requires some stickier summer tires, then so be it. Stickier tires and firmer suspension will hopefully decrease the braking distance by 5-10ft. The lowered suspension will hopefully lower the frontal area to get me an additional mpg?.....maybe not. With a CAI, headers, and Cat-back exhaust, I hope the hp rating will increase by 10% if done right and shave about 0.5second off my acceleration.
Though, the Celica is a very fun car too. Though its not RWD, the GT-S model will kind of keep up with my brother's e46 330i w/sport package. The GT-S gets good fuel economy but I dunno if it has folding rear seats, if it does....then that will greatly add stress to my decision. I highly respect Toyota and I highly respect the 2zzge; if its good enough for Lotus, its good enough for me. The GT-S will surely outperform the Bimmer, but driving a Bimmer has the added benefit of more sex. lol. j/k.
What is everybody's take on my thought processes? Has anybody here have any experience with the e36 chassis and the m42 (1.8L) engine? If so, any caveats you would like to share with me? My friends are great admirers of BMW and Toyota, they informed me that the e36 3-series lineup is the most reliable BMW you can get but finding one will result in high mileage. BTW, this looks fun: