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Old 11-21-2015, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default Turbo the miata, or just buy a C5Z?

I know this is the turbo miata forum, but what do you guys honestly think?

I am trying to figure out if it's worth the time to build the Miata, or would you buy a C5/C5Z?

I'm torn.
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Old 11-21-2015, 05:55 PM   #2
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Buy c5Z. Don't touch it, just drive it.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:02 PM   #3
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Buy c5Z. Don't touch it, just drive it.
Oh, it'd for sure be a heads/cam/headers/exhaust car.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:08 PM   #4
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So buy a miata for $5, then put another $5-10 in it for everything you'd need.

Or, buy a $25K+ car and throw at a minimum $5 more on top...

Yeah, close call.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
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Goals? Budget? Location?

Remember this, spanking some Mustang *** in a Miata is a hell of a lot more fun than doing it in a Corvette. For the rest of Mustang guys life, he has to live with the fact that he let a Miata put bus lengths on him.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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Two things...
1) I am patiently waiting for 18psi to show up.
2) A good friend of mine had a 99 C5 that had exhaust intake headers and a tune. It made like 362WHP/358WTQ. One week later my car dyno'd at 225WHP/209WTQ.
He would not race me, and he drove my car and claimed it was way more fun than his vette. I drove the vette and completely agreed.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:27 PM   #7
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I'll weigh in since I own/owned both:
Not even close to the same thing. At all. Anyone comparing doesn't know what they're talking about.
Also c5z can be had for 15-18 all day long in decent shape with decent miles around here. 25 gets you a mint 3k miles showroom floor car. The car needs nothing, and is seriously fast. But then a properly built turbo miata is always the surprising underdog, and such a hoot to drive that we all (obviously) are in love with them.

Ultimately it comes down to your goals. Not just peak power comparison, that's stupid. Keep in mind that the argument "hop up a cheaper car vs buy a more expensive car" has probably existed since cars were invented.

I'll post moar of my honest feedback when I have a moment.

PS: base vette and z06 are completely different animals, imo. I'd agree with your assessment of the base vs a turbo miata. Not so much if you compare to a Z
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deezums View Post
So buy a miata for $5, then put another $5-10 in it for everything you'd need.

Or, buy a $25K+ car and throw at a minimum $5 more on top...

Yeah, close call.
I already have my $5 Miata and it is decently fun to drive, but slow as *****, and even turbo'd it'll be a 13 second car most likely. I will admit, it'd be a blast, but still not fast by todays standards. ****, It might get drug by a new minivan.

Also, C5's have dropped in price by a lot as of late. I am aware that the C5 will cost more overall. I'm not ignorant to that fact. I just know that the Miata would get annihilated by a stock C5Z, even at 250whp.

I don't want some minty low miles car, as I intend to drive the **** out of it and don't care about that stuff. Cars are meant to be driven, not garage queens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erat View Post
Goals? Budget? Location?

Remember this, spanking some Mustang *** in a Miata is a hell of a lot more fun than doing it in a Corvette. For the rest of Mustang guys life, he has to live with the fact that he let a Miata put bus lengths on him.
Fun, relatively fast car that is DD reliable when needed.

I'm in Indianapolis, IN

Budget varies.

I am an automotive tech by trade, so I'm not scared to do work. Time is the limiting factor typically.

I came from driving modded Neons, So I know the feeling of dragging a mustang.

Newer cars just ruin it though. I remember when a 12-13 second car was fast. Now those are the slower guys out.

One of my best friends who also happens to live across the street has an 08 JSB C6Z that goes [email protected], and it is such a basic build. And it is a car that he can daily if needed.

I just don't want to put the time and effort into the car and be disappointed with it afterwards.

That's why I asked for the opinion of the forum. You guys own the Turbo Miatas, so you should know what they are like with a terbuh on em.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
I'll weigh in since I own/owned both:
Not even close to the same thing. At all. Anyone comparing doesn't know what they're talking about.
Also c5z can be had for 15-18 all day long in decent shape with decent miles around here. 25 gets you a mint 3k miles showroom floor car.

Ultimately it comes down to your goals. Not just peak power comparison, that's stupid. Keep in mind that the argument "hop up a cheaper car vs buy a more expensive car" has probably existed since cars were invented.

I'll post moar of my honest feedback when I have a moment.

PS: base vette and z06 are completely different animals, imo. I'd agree with your assessment of the base vs a turbo miata. Not so much if you compare to a Z
I was hoping you would chime in!

I know they are not really comparable as they are completely different classes of cars.

I do enjoy the Miata, I just feel that it will not be rewarding/satisfying once built, and that the C5Z would be much better, even in stock form.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:39 PM   #10
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If you're building a miata to go drag racing or street racing, you should stop wasting time and go get a corvette/mustang/whatever.

All but a handful will keep up with even a mildly boosted v8
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
If you're building a miata to go drag racing or street racing, you should stop wasting time and go get a corvette/mustang/whatever.

All but a handful will keep up with even a mildly boosted v8
I don't intend it to be a drag racing car, but that is what I am using to define how "fast" it will be.

That is what is so appealing about the C5Z, it is a decent straight line car but also very good at turning. Which is what I like.
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #12
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Seems like my original thought was correct though.


Might just sell the Miata and look for that C5Z this spring....
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Old 11-21-2015, 07:49 PM   #13
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Alright, real brief but hopefully will help:

c5z
Torque/Power everywhere. Properly fast out of the box. Sexy and "grown up", relatively comfy, handles good even stock, can still get 18mpg city and 30mpg hwy. Aside from the problematic year of I think 02, no real issues. Doesn't attract attention from the ricers/hardparkers/jdm broz. Great aftermarket but everything is super expensive. Biggest peeve (imo) is the hilariously crappy interior.

turbot miata (let's say 250whp)
The feeling of "fast" like no other car. Enough torque/power to never be bored, and to pull away from many cars on the street. Nimble, tossable, "fun", cheap to buy, cheap to modify, excellent on track. Also great gas mileage. "Tinkerability" like no other, but attracts attention from the hardpark/retard broz. Biggest peeve (imo) is being associated with the hellaflush crowd, and the fact that it will never really compete with the properly modded or boosted v8's in the straight line department.

If you asked me a few years ago which I'd choose, I wouldn't even think about it: turbo miata. If you ask me now, it would be tough. If you ask me in a year or two, I'll probably always choose corvette.

There's a reason the owner base for the vette's is 99% 50yo+
It's a fantastic car out of the box, but more grown up, less "fun" in the tossable/drive like a hooligan sort of way.
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Old 11-21-2015, 10:02 PM   #14
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I don't have a turbo miata, but my NB is extensively modified and I have a fairly modified C5Z. Both are really fun cars. The C5 is loud, fast and gets lots of attention. The NB is quick, tossable and really fun. They are 2 totally different cars. You are comparing a big bore sports car to a small bore sports car. If I had to pick one... it would be my C5Z. I would really miss my NB though. I have also had a base C5, while not the bang for buck car the Z is, it is still a formidable sports car with lots of potential.
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Old 11-22-2015, 12:35 AM   #15
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Unless it's auto. My auto 03 vette I sold 100% due to the transmission. The z06 felt like I always imagined that car to feel
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #16
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The LS1 isn't a high revving engine. In stock form it's done at 5500 rpm. It's got gobs of torque down low. I'd think the Vette would be more bulletproof.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:02 PM   #17
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My brother has an 02' Z06 with headers, intake and a tune, and I have a 155whp NA, non turbo Miata, so not the exact comparison you're looking for, but I think valid nonetheless.

Like 18 said, they are completely different animals. Brother's vette is silly fast, big comfy, highway queen. We both regularly track our cars, and there's no doubt his chassis is so much better out of the box to handle high horse power track driving. I'd have to make so many mods to my car to make it capable if it were turbo'ed, while all he did was put sticky tires on it and some very mild suspension mods (sways and shocks? don't remember right now...)

On the street, his makes highway commuting extremely satisfying. But it's a bit of a pig off the highway. Not tossable, you're not shifting like, ever, it just kind of gingerly goes where you want it to. It's planted, but it feels big, because it is.

My Miata is much more satisfying to drive off the highway. It makes you smile. You can rev it out, row through the gears and giggle as you're doing it, not even really going that fast. If it was boosted, it would make up on the highway where it's currently severely lacking (everything above 70mph, I guess.) But it will still be raw, loud (as in wind noise, tire noise, not good/fun loud), and more like a go kart.

So it really depends on what you'll use it for. If I was daily-ing it to work, 45 miles, 40 of which were on a highway, I'd take the vette any day. If my commute was shorter, or mostly through country roads or whatever, I'd pick turbo-miata.

Also worth noting- the Vette has a **** ton of cargo space. My brother can put his snow boards/boots and luggage behind the seats, he can fit his surfboard back there, and still have room for a comfy passenger. He can do holiday shopping and gets boxes and boxes of stuff, etc. The Miata? Have fun strapping **** to the roll bar with the top off in the middle of winter. Been there, done that.

Both fun cars, but serve very different purposes. I love my Miata because I take public transit to work and drive it to the track and on weekends for fun. It would not be my main car if I had a real commute.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:40 PM   #18
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Most of the basics have been covered, but I'll throw out the cost of consumables. If you're going to track a 'Vette, the consumables will cost far more than for the Miata. You can buy wheels and race rubber for a Miata for what you'll spend on a decent set of street tires for the 'Vette.

Also, parts are expensive. Aftermarket stuff is stupid expensive. Even doing your own work, it'll add up. It's also not a fun car to work on... lots of packaging complications.

We had a C6 Z51 for about a year. I got rid of it because it was a total POS. I was hoping to step up to a C6 ZO6 in a couple years, but after the experience I had I will never own another one. I'm sure ours was a 'Friday car' or something, 'cause I know a lot of very happy 'Vette owners, but I won't take the chance. It's a shame, 'cause it was a great GT car, and very fast, even stock.

I sold my NA when we bought the C6, and 7 months later, I bought it back because it was more fun to drive 90% of the time. Three months later the 'Vette was gone, and we replaced it with an NC that my wife DDs.

She's also learning to track the NC... that would have been a lot scarier in the 'Vette!
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:24 PM   #19
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I have driven C5Zs in the ~485whp range and turbo Miatas at everything from 150whp to 350whp.

The Miata is more fun on a day-to-day basis. More tossable, lighter on its feet, more fun. I think the Miata interior might be better than the C5 interior - the C5 is that bad. The C5 is better on the highway, more power.

On track, the C5 is more capable, but the comparison is pointless because the consumables for the C5Z will cost you 2-3x what they will for the Miata. C5Zs also require substantial cooling system and oiling system mods to stay reliable.
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
On track, the C5 is more capable, but the comparison is pointless because the consumables for the C5Z will cost you 2-3x what they will for the Miata. C5Zs also require substantial cooling system and oiling system mods to stay reliable.
This. People think Miatas are cheap street cars. They are on a different level of cheap for the track. I was shopping around for other track car options and most everything else besides like honda's were way more expensive.
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