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Discussion Starter #1
From what I've read on other forums, it seems the Mini Coopers have been dominating AutoX, with a few Mazda Protege's getting in a few wins here and there.

It'd be most interesting to have a Mini Cooper vs Mazda 3 competition :)
 

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vs the coopers? I dunno, standard on most of the coopers are traction control, corner brake control, EBD and ABS. The NA spec 3s only have ABS and EBD as options. I test drove one last week and they are fun cars to drive, I only hope that the 3 approximates it handling; with the 3 being longer, wider, higher, and in the NA spec, less technologically ambitious, to expect more might be a little much.
 

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MZ6ZoomZoom said:
The worst (compared to expectations) from what I've seen/heard is the 350Z.
350Z's SUCK A$$ on a AutoX course. I seen one at the Nopi show. This thing was fish tailing all over the place. This car was made for straights not curves.
 

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I think it's a big-time stretch to say that 350Z's suck. They're still fast, they're just not competitive in their class (BS), where the significantly lighter Honda S2000 has an advantage.

I think the 3 may be competitive if it's classed in HS. Maybe the 160HP motor could have a shot at GS, but I doubt it, unless it can get a lot of camber up front.

Currently, the Toyota Celica GT is about the fastest of the cars in G-Stock, while the base model Mini is probably the fastest FWD H-Stock car.

The "regular" proteges run in HS, where they are not super competitive, apparently due to a lack of camber up front. The MP3 is in GS, where it apparently suffers from the same problem. The MazdaSpeed Protege is in D-Stock, where is gets destroyed by the Integra Type-R and BMW 330.
 

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ikea boy said:
I think it's a big-time stretch to say that 350Z's suck. They're still fast, they're just not competitive in their class (BS), where the significantly lighter Honda S2000 has an advantage.

I think the 3 may be competitive if it's classed in HS. Maybe the 160HP motor could have a shot at GS, but I doubt it, unless it can get a lot of camber up front.

Currently, the Toyota Celica GT is about the fastest of the cars in G-Stock, while the base model Mini is probably the fastest FWD H-Stock car.

The "regular" proteges run in HS, where they are not super competitive, apparently due to a lack of camber up front. The MP3 is in GS, where it apparently suffers from the same problem. The MazdaSpeed Protege is in D-Stock, where is gets destroyed by the Integra Type-R and BMW 330.
I said they suck on a autocross course. Not at anything else. :roll:
 

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ATL said:
I said they suck on a autocross course. Not at anything else. :roll:
And I'm saying they don't "suck" on an autocross course. Sure, they're not the fastest car you can got for that much money, but they're still fast - even on an autocross course. If a Camaro can rip around an autocross course (and they do, I've autocrossed one before), a 350Z can, too.

Watching one guy drive one car doesn't necessarily say a lot about it. I've beaten all sorts of fast cars in my stupid bone-stock Civic, but it doesn't mean thath those cars 'suck', or that my civic is fast (because it's NOT), just that I'm a little bit more experienced than those guys.
 

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The 350Z sucks for the price and its class, on autocross. This has been shown MANY times (with even the MZ6 repeatedly beating them).
 

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MZ6ZoomZoom said:
The 350Z sucks for the price and its class, on autocross. This has been shown MANY times (with even the MZ6 repeatedly beating them).
Ya, if you want to qualify it like that, then yes I will agree, for the money, it's not the best autocross car you can buy. However, I'm highly skeptical about the 6 beating the Z if both are in the hands of good drivers. It's hard to make comparisons based on things you see at local events because the experience levels can vary so wildly. I mean, I've personally beaten plenty of WRX's in my stupid Civic, but I'm not about to say that my Civic is faster than a WRX, it's just that I have been doing it longer than those guys. I've seen well driven WRX's, too, and trust me, my Civic is no match for them.

I autocross in the Detroit Region SCCA. I saw two (+?) time national champion Matt Braun autocross a Mazda 6, and he only beat me by half a second, and I am here to tell you that: A) I'm no national champion; and B) my car is in a slower class than the 6 to begin with.

Now if we could put Matt Braun in the Mazda 6 and, say, Steve Telehowski in the 350Z, we'd have a valid comparison. But culling results from a bunch of local events is not a fair way to compare cars.

Again, I'm not a national caliber driver, but I've been autocrossing long enough to know how things work, and this is how it is:

- if the 350Z really "sucked" for autocrossing, it would be in H-Stock like my Civic, not B-Stock like the Honda S2000 and Porsche Boxster. The SCCA knows enough about how to classify cars that they wouldn't make that large of a mistake.

- No car in B-Stock sucks for autocrossing. They are all fast, it's just a matter of how they're driven. High powered RWD cars can look worse than they really are in the hands of a novice, just because they're sliding all over and spinning and stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
- No car in B-Stock sucks for autocrossing. They are all fast, it's just a matter of how they're driven. High powered RWD cars can look worse than they really are in the hands of a novice, just because they're sliding all over and spinning and stuff.
There's the answer right there.
RWD is a bit more difficult to drive around. FWD is by far the easiest to drive. With FWD, you can just power out of a corner, while with RWD you might spin.
 

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ikea boy,

I think everyone is just using a slightly too harsh term in regards to the 350Z's autocrossing ability.

It doesn't suck...its just sub par compared to the other vehicles in its class.

Its no where near as bad as the G35 Sports Coupe though. (Inability to turn off some of the grandma protectors severily hampers it).

The other problem is alot of the 350Z's are either...

1) New cars with new drivers...
2) Converted Drag cars...
3) Pimp mobiles autocrossing...(20inch rims).

The Z's I've seen at fedex field held their own pretty well...if they were running a few classes lower. Those silver S2000's utterly own them though...but those guys are hella good...and they get more reruns then you can shake a stick at.

 

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The 350Z sucks in turns. Read this:

http://www.autospeed.com/cms/A_1841/article.html

BTW, I beat 2 out of 3 350z's last time I was racing the same day as them. That's with a stock 4cyl family sedan on OEM tires, and my 3rd time ever autocrossing.

Considering the 350Z is a dedicated sports car wearing really wide rubber, I don't think "sucks" is too strong a description. Even the archaic and sterotypically-sloppy Mustang usually fares better than the 350Z. Something like a Celica would (and does) outright embarrass the Z.

It'd be another thing if the Z came with skinny all-seasons on small wheels, or had some other attribute that could be easily blamed and rectified. As it stands, I don't see any obvious reasons for the 350Z being so damn slow around corners... it just appears to be a poor design. Perhaps that's why Nissan is redesigning the suspension on the car ALREADY!

Of course, I'd LOVE to be proven wrong...
 

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Since you guys like talking about local autocrosses so much, check this out.

Go down to "street tire B Stock (BST)" and notice that my friend Matt won in a 350Z - Beating several S2000's and a BMW Z3. The car belongs to Matt's dad, and this was the first time Matt drove the thing. It was his dad's first autocross ever (so don't read too much into his placing).

Notice that Matt slaughted the DST winning MazdaSpeed Protege. And beat the GST winning Mazda 6 (although this guy was fast!). Also, he even beat the WRX STi that was there. I think he also beat all the miatas (even the ones on race tires), and the MR2 Spyder.

I think if you guys are seeing slow 350Z's at local autocrosses, it has a lot more to do with the driver than with the car.

As far as the article from the australian guy, Australia is supposed to have like the worst roads in the developed world, so what do you expect.
 

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Good find! :)

I wonder if the difference between the 350Z's I've seen and the winning Z is more than the driver. I ask because I've NEVER seen an even remotely fast 350Z, with many different drivers... odds are at least one of them had raced before.

An aggressive alignment perhaps? A "simple" course that was mostly sweepers connecting straights (where the Z would really shine)?
 

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Well, there are several trim levels of the 350Z, but I don't know what kind Matt's dad has, nor what kind is the "best" for autocross.

As far as I know, Matt's Dad's Z is completely bone stock, even the oem alignment.

I wasn't at this autocross (I don't usually go down to the Palace events), so I can't say much about the course.

But in all honesty, I think it's the driver. Matt is a very darn good driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A good driver can make a "so-so" car a very good car.
Just look at Takumi from Initial D.... LOL

H-stock was dominated by the Honda CRX for a while (and sometimes still is). The car had something like 100 hp only.
 

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So I was bored last night and dug out my SportsCar magazine (the SCCA's propaganda thingy), and checked results from the 2003 National Championship. This is the biggest autocross in the world, with the best autocrossers in the country (probably in the world) driving.

Carter Thompson took 6th place in B-Stock driving a 350Z, out of 58 drivers. He was about 1.2 seconds off the winner (S2000). He was beaten by one boxster, but it was less than 0.1 seconds ahead of him (over a 2 day event). He beat all of the B-Stock BMW's - including at least one Z4 (which also took a trophy, so it was very well driven).

So anyhow, if the 350Z was really a sub-par autocross car, even a great driver like Carter could not have taken a trophy at nationals, it's just too competitive there.

Anyhow, not that it matters to me. If I had enough money for a 350Z, I wouldn't be looking at a Mazda 3 ;) I'd be getting a BMW 330 or a Lexus IS300 or something.
 

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The 350z is a good car if you now how to drive it. By the way the reason the S200 etc. beat the 350z on autox isnt beacause the 350z spins its the oppiste. The 350z has the VDC system which doesnt let it spin. Even if you turn off the VDC it still has Brake Balence control which balances the braking on all 4 wheels. the only way you can spin it is using momentum and not touching the brake when turning. This is a disadvantage because cars like the S2000 can use a little oversteer to there advantage to get better times.
 

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ikea boy said:
Since you guys like talking about local autocrosses so much, check this out.

Go down to "street tire B Stock (BST)" and notice that my friend Matt won in a 350Z - Beating several S2000's and a BMW Z3. The car belongs to Matt's dad, and this was the first time Matt drove the thing. It was his dad's first autocross ever (so don't read too much into his placing).

Notice that Matt slaughted the DST winning MazdaSpeed Protege. And beat the GST winning Mazda 6 (although this guy was fast!). Also, he even beat the WRX STi that was there. I think he also beat all the miatas (even the ones on race tires), and the MR2 Spyder.

I think if you guys are seeing slow 350Z's at local autocrosses, it has a lot more to do with the driver than with the car.

As far as the article from the australian guy, Australia is supposed to have like the worst roads in the developed world, so what do you expect.
Yes! Exactly!
http://wsbf.net/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=7355&sid=e963a3c27494c1e1819432053d6d441e

350Z, fastest on street's.

Autocross is all about the driver. I'm not that good(yet), but I'm getting better. We've got quite a few regulars who are always top 5. One of those is a Neon, another a turbo Miata, and also a 2003 WS6 Trans Am. How can that happen? All he has done to the car is springs and R-compound tires. Its all about the driver, thats why. Granted, our club doesn't have any exotic cars with cantilever suspensions come out, but we still get our fair share of competition.
 
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