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New car to tune?

skaska Posts: 1
edited July 2014 in Honda
I have around $20k-25k to spend on a project car to tune and I've so far looked into (all 2007):
Civic Si Coupe
Mazda SPEED3

Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions on either these three models or something else within my price range? I prefer to buy a new car rather then an old one because I'd like to start from scratch basically. Thanks.


  • kork13kork13 Posts: 90
    As in the past, Hondas, esp. Civics are primo for tuners. I just bought the '07 Si myself, and am looking to start playing with it, so I'd be very interested in what you have in mind as far as defining 'a project car to tune'. It cost me ~$21k, which is the cheapest of the three, and would leave you a few thousand dollars to use for initial mods.
  • xaetaxaeta Posts: 8
    buying an older car also means starting from scratch too, with far more parts available for older models vice waiting a bit for the newer ones....

    but I second the choosing of the new Civic Si...even though it is starting to look like a mini-van...
  • kork13kork13 Posts: 90
    hahahahaha i totally agree... it took me about a week to finally realize it, but i drove by a minivan at some point, and then it hit me... the entire front end looks like a MINIVAN!!! :surprise:

    I think America is following the trend in Europe of heading toward the ultra-compact, as evidenced by the Civics, Minis, SmartCars coming to the US, and even the Elements and similar.
  • both honda and vw are great cars to "tune". i prefer german cars myself less of the racer boy image.

    for 500 bucks you can bump the gti from 200 to 250 hp and 300ft/lbs (i think i'm right on that number)

    i don't think the civic is turbo (?), so big hp gains like that typically cost a lot of money.
  • 2gtiguy2gtiguy Posts: 8
    Nectar (et al...), I just had APR's ECU upgrade done on my 2010 4-door GTI. Went from 200HP/207lbs to 254HP/296TQ. $599 for the software plus $100 for the install at the top-rated dealer in the area. Worth every penny, my friend. The one thing I felt was lacking (that's a strong word) in my GTI was the HP/torque relative to other cars in the class. The chip flash has more than taken care of that, and at no cost to my mileage (unless I stomp on it a lot, which I sometimes do....;) ). Anyway, I'm with you on German cars, and I love my GTI.
  • perunestperunest Posts: 42
    Two questions on your chip upgrade.
    1. Does this affect the warranty? I believe it does, but probably only for engine related problems.
    2, Where did you have this done?

    My fun car is a 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster (330 HP) purchased new. I put this car away in the western Massachusetts winters, I'm looking for a four season fun car and the 2010 GTI is at the top of my list.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,504
    If they can detect the chip and if the warranty claim has anything to do with the powertrain, you bet VW will deny it. There's nothing to say that the car's transaxle is going to enjoy the extra torque as much as the driver :P

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  • 2gtiguy2gtiguy Posts: 8
    Solid points. I don't drive it like a maniac, so it hopefully won't put too much strain on the transaxle. That said, APR's Stage I upgrade is designed to work within the specs of VW's existing equipment (which, being German, is outstanding), so I don't think it's an issue. Also, APR's upgrade includes the ability to switch back to stock settings AND lock it out once you've done that, making the upgrade "undetectable" (I used quotes because I haven't proven this yet). We'll see.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,504
    Well the only way a chip is going to get that kind of power is cranking up your turbo boost, and so they are probably going to be able to detect that. It would be interesting to dyno the car to see what the actual HP ratings are. Also might be good to know how much boost they are dialing in--hopefully not excessive.

    I'm modifying the supercharger on my MINI and I'm taking precautions for the added boost with cooler spark plugs and larger intercooler intake. One always has to be concerned with heat build-up when cranking on the boost I think.

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