Top 10 Track-Ready New Cars Under $60,000

Top 10 Track-Ready New Cars Under $60,000
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10.BMW M3 $60,100

BMW’s 3-series is already used as the benchmark for sports-sedans and coupes all over the world. It’s well balanced, has power going to the rear-wheels, and is a fine combination of fun and sportiness. But for those looking for more sport in a car will opt for the M3. Unlike it’s competition from Mercedes, the M3 is still available with a six-speed manual transmission-a key requirement for many track-serious drivers. It can also be had with a dual-clutch automatic that can outperform your own skills, but isn’t perhaps as fun. The M3’s 4.0-liter V8 pumps out 414-hp and 295 ft-lb of torque, and a whole 8,400 rpms to explore all that power.

When asked, the M3 will blast to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, but that’s not all it will do. Thanks to an impressive amount of high-tech goodies, the M3 will hunker down and take on the track in a way that reminiscent of the brand’s DTM race-cars. Like other cars on this list, the M3 features a locking differential that will help deliver more traction and power coming out of a turn. The M3 also features electronic dampening control, so the car will feel softer when its not on the track.

Sure our first car on the list breaks the $60K mark right off the bat, but if you can’t land one for under asking, you’re not trying hard enough – especially now that the M3 is at the end of its life-cycle.

And if you do have more to spend, for an extra $10,000 there’s the Lime Rock Park Edition (seen above). Check our review of the BMW M3 with the competition package, where it was tested on the big and fast Road America track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.murphree.1 Steven Murphree

    That’s funny. The Mazda Miata (the MOST raced car on tracks every weekened) was missing from this list. This list looks like a 14 year old came up with it as it does not consider any classes that could be raced in or what competitions these cars would be used for. In all seriousness, what is the likelihood that a ZL1 owner or Audi TT owner will take their car to a track day compared to owners or S2000’s, Civic Si’s, Miata’s, or the FRS/BRZ? The author of this article should have spent their research time at an actual track day, not on MSN autos.

  • Honda Family

    You started by saying the FR-S and BR-Z aren’t the only track ready cars, but then they’re not even on the list. If you’re using them as an example of what track ready cars looking coming out of the date, then they should at least be on this list.

    I understand the S2K is not there as it’s not sold anymore but BRZ/FR-S/Si should be there then.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWVURGK6AVGAKRCSIZDKI43N2E Daniel

    It’s funny how Mitsubishi keeps pushing the paddle-shift transmission when they don’t even make it.  It’s made by Getrag, and Mitsubishi mechanics don’t work on it. 

    Better still, on an Evo forum about half the people who comment consider it an automatic and treat it with the same disdain as if it had a torque converter.

    As a bonus, it adds weight on the front of the Evo, where it really doesn’t need it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWVURGK6AVGAKRCSIZDKI43N2E Daniel

    I’m glad somebody mentioned car classes.  More and more people show up at their first autocross with a car having ONE modification that puts it in an unfavorable class.  In the case of the Mazdaspeed 3, it will probably get the best results in its stock class.  The slowest modified class it goes in is STU, where it’s screwed because it’s front wheel drive and pitted against the Evo, STi, and M3.  I know a guy with an STU Legacy (wagon) that would eat MS3s for breakfast.

    Regardless of what class it goes in, a late-model Camaro at an autocross gets beaten by anything lighter…which is most of what’s there, unless you’re counting tow vehicles.  The Camaro owners I’ve met autocrossing look like they’re having fun, and their cars are pretty smooth on course, but they’re also pretty realistic about its’ cornering ability.  Even a modified one burns up the front tires, and the longer it’s on course, the slower it turns.  Maybe they’re better on a road course.

    The Mazda Miata does pretty well in ANY class, and it doesn’t even matter which model year it is.

  • Fxcamaro

    the zl1 handles unlike any othe camaro in existance, I know i had the pleasure of selling one this past year. It beat the lambo lp 670 sv around nurburgring, it is not just another late model camaro. and alot of the guys who buy them beat on them I know 2 outtathe 3 guys who I know bought them had them at the track this year. and you really think more brz owners will have there cars at the track  more then zl1s percentage wise?  I didn’t know guys wives/ girlfriends let them take their cars to the track on the weekend.

  • scottb

    Mmmm corvette anyone?