ChrisTheSwede New Reader
May 30, 2014 10:29 p.m.


I'm looking to get into Rallycross and the goal is to do my first event October 11th at Glen Helen. Woop!

I don't have a car yet though, and I need your advice. I know I want an RWD, and I'm pretty sure that I want to be in Stock or Prepared to start off with. These have been my options:

Volvo 240

This is where I come from and I know the car well. Cons: It's too big and heavy.

Toyota Starlet

Size is perfect. I'd also like to continue building on one and go to Modified/Open stage rally with it in the future. IMPOSSIBLE to find a decent one in the states though, I also think it's way underpowered for Stock and Prepared?

Toyota MR2

I'm just learning about this car, and I've seen it being somewhat successful in Rallycross. Probably the best candidate so far. Unknown territory though.

Any thoughts and advises on any of these cars? Anything I missed? (Mazda is not on the table)

I've seen there are some MR2 users on the forum but I'm not allowed to send PMs it seems. If you read this, please let me know.



irish44j PowerDork
May 30, 2014 11:31 p.m.

Everybody here loves the Starlet. But good luck finding one in decent shape. Parts not that easy to come by. Really short wheelbase could be a negative for rallycross. And in stock or prepared class it's way underpowered compared to cars you'd face. Engine swap for MR, that's a different story.

I would rank the 240 high. It's what I was going to get before I got what I got. Not sure why you think it's too big and heavy, the 240 has a long rally heritage in Europe. It's more or less just a Volvo equivalent of the e30, except with easier Turbo availability. I think not as many people use them because they're hard to find in manual transmission these days (at least in this area). I'm thinking about picking up a 240 wagon someday for some kind of motorsports TBD, just because a motorsports 240 wagon is, simply, awesome.

MR2 is a good choice, and several people on here rallycross them successfully.

Somewhat surprised not to see you mention probably the most popular non-Mazda RWD rallycross car out there:

BMW e30 (also, e36 is very competitive as well).

Our local region RWD (all three classes) basically have e30s and RX7s at the top finishers every year. I think at one point we had 7 or 8 e30s running locally last year.

All that said, I would think it appropriate for "Chris the Swede" to rock a 242 coupe. If volvos are what you know, it's a good choice and it will be competitive.

Look in the build threads section here. My e30 rallycross build, a couple MR2 rallycross builds, some Miata and RX7 rallycross builds, Porsche 911/944 rallycross builds. Add the Volvos to that list and that pretty much covers your best choices for RWD rallycross, in any class, unless you have some cash and spring for a BRZ/FRS :)

cghstang Dork
May 31, 2014 6:32 a.m.

Of the options you listed and for stock or prepared classes, MR2 is the way to go. Mazda should be on the table though.

I'd recommend trying to pin down you goals so you don't start (and get heavily invested) the with the 'wrong' car. If stock class is where you want to stay you may pick a different car than if you're planning to move into prepared or modified.

Mr_Clutch42 Reader
May 31, 2014 6:42 a.m.

I've also read that a Miata is also really good for Rallycross.

nicksta43 UltraDork
May 31, 2014 8:15 a.m.

I'm curious if people think a 2700-2800# car is too heavy for rallyx.

RoughandReady HalfDork
May 31, 2014 8:56 a.m.

240, hands down.

May 31, 2014 9:54 a.m.

I vote 240. Or 242.

RoughandReady HalfDork
May 31, 2014 10:06 a.m.

I don't know anything about rallycross classes, would running the 2.1 or 2.3 you get with a 240 put you in a higher class than the sub 2 L Toyotas? Is there a displacement modifier for turbos?

GTwannaB Reader
May 31, 2014 10:49 a.m.

I have to say I regularly see Starlets for sale in the Bay Area. Most are modded in some way, but this one is bone stock. Start driving and call on the way.

nicksta43 UltraDork
May 31, 2014 12:16 p.m.

Irish, have you weighed the E30?

oldeskewltoy SuperDork
May 31, 2014 12:32 p.m.

What about a 140 series Volvo??? lighter than a 240... plenty of go parts for the B20...


rwd E7 series Corolla, this one is $700.00

irish44j PowerDork
May 31, 2014 2:18 p.m.
nicksta43 wrote: I'm curious if people think a 2700-2800# car is too heavy for rallyx.

stock weight, or stripped?

that's about the stock weight of a e30 325i sedan (with sunroof, etc)or 2nd-gen RX-7 (IIRC).

the 2nd-place car in our MR class is in an e28. Even stripped it's probably around that weight. And he's very fast in it, even just using the SuperETA engine.

Aside from the fact that pretty much every Subaru out there is over 2700# other than the stripped GCs.

So the answer is no.....that's not too heavy, provided it has 150+ hp or so. Also depends where the weight is and how it's balanced.

irish44j PowerDork
May 31, 2014 2:19 p.m.
RoughandReady wrote: I don't know anything about rallycross classes, would running the 2.1 or 2.3 you get with a 240 put you in a higher class than the sub 2 L Toyotas? Is there a displacement modifier for turbos?

no. If you engine swap, you're in MR....period. You can put an LS6 or a twin-turbo 2JZ or whatever you want. But just remember that there's only so much power you can put to the ground in a RWD car, especially if you're running rally tires (which are typically pretty narrow)

irish44j PowerDork
May 31, 2014 2:25 p.m.
nicksta43 wrote: Irish, have you weighed the E30?

No. I'm currently looking for someone local with scales. Based on what I've read, and what the stock curb weight of the early 318i is, combined with how much weight I know I've removed, My best guess is that I'm around 2200-2250lbs (with my passenger seat removed, which I did today). But it could lose a lot more weight if it didn't have to be street-legal. It still has bumpers, full lighting, and all of its glass (except lexan rear door windows), and heavy Sparco "tuner" seats. Plus it's a sedan so a bit heavier than the coupe.

The car is said to be 2460lbs in full stock trim (including sunroof). Just taking the sunroof, sunroof assembly, and all the electric window motors/locks/wiring out by itself gets rid of nearly 100lbs right off the bat. Stock rear seats are VERY heavy, as are the stock front seats, as is the carpet and soundproofing. I figure I've taken close to 300lbs off the car all told(and added back maybe 100 with the rollbar and skidplate).

Figure an extra 100lbs or so for a 6-cylinder e30 stripped to the same level due to the extra engine, transmission, and differential weight. IIRC

SpecE30 cars (fully caged, with fire systems, coolsuit systems, etc) seem to come in around 2500lbs (without driver) pretty often, and those are 6-cylinder.

JtspellS Dork
May 31, 2014 3:23 p.m.

I do have access to scales at work josh, but they are for trucks taking bulk so its just a total number (unless you hook up your tire trailer them we can still be in business)

irish44j PowerDork
May 31, 2014 3:58 p.m.

Baltimore may be a bit of a hike for that, lol. I may just go to the local dump one day when it's not busy.

oldeskewltoy SuperDork
May 31, 2014 4:06 p.m.


ShadowSix Dork
May 31, 2014 5:44 p.m.

Has anyone tried an S-10/Ranger/Toyota Pickup? Cheap, easy to find, parts are almost free, easy to work on... but is the leaf spring and weight distribution a deal breaker?

irish44j PowerDork
May 31, 2014 6:05 p.m.

We've had a few pickups out there. They do ok, but aren't particularly fast it seems. They don't handle as well as the cars and don't have good weight distro for rallycross. They would probably be better for stage rally.

From what I hear, one of the more popular pickups for rallycross is the Mitsu Mighty Max. Not sure why, but maybe they accept a DSM motor or something, IDK.

ChrisTheSwede New Reader
June 1, 2014 2:44 a.m.

Thanks for the input, all! I'm happy and a bit surprised to the see the 240 getting this much praise. I know it's a great stage rally car but the tracks I've seen on the Rallycross events made me believe a lighter car with shorter wheelbase would be favorable.

I totally agree a 245/Wagon has an attitude to it like nothing else.(For the skeptics, here's Daniel Wall in his 245 a few summers ago) If I ever go to Modified and stage rallying I will start looking for a 240 like this one

For now, I have a few Craigslist MR2s to look at tomorrow, hopefully I'll see some of you on Glen Helen in one of those!



ChrisTheSwede New Reader
June 1, 2014 11:21 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

So, I'm continuing my hunt for a starter Rallycross RWD... I just stumbled upon two BMW 318is (a '91 and a '95), both for a fair price, and I'm thinking that maybe I should give the little boxes from Bavaria a chance after all. Would you say the IS is a good base for Stock/Prepared?

Thanks again for the advice, if you have any questions about Volvo 122s let me know.

ouchx100 New Reader
June 2, 2014 12:59 a.m.

Glen Helen happens to be my local rallycross event. First off, this weekend was the national challenge and if you weren't there to spectate or race you missed out a little bit. We have a huge event with some really good drivers through out all classes. Mod 4 and stock 4 dominate and is ruled by subarus.

Usually our 2wd class is both fwd and rwd combined. Stock class and prep class are the smallest classes with usually just a few cars each. Today since it was nationals stock rwd was two guys sharing a Miata and a first timer in a ranger. There was no prepared fwd or rwd this weekend.

When the classes are combined into just stock 2wd expect to see the Miata, some rentals, a dodge stealth, maybe a focus or vw or some sort. Our modified 2wd class has multiply VWs (some are rally cars), a focus rally car, a Suzuki swift rally car, Miata, Volvo 242 rally car and most importantly the guy who won our first event this year, mod rwd today, and mod rwd nationals at Tulsa last year driving an e36 with the straight 6.

My advise on what car to get it either step up to mod 2wd or if you want to run stock bring a Subaru of some sort and play in stock awd. If you don't really care about being competitive bring what ever you like and come have fun. Our courses are fast and flowing on one side and tight and technicial on the other.

June 2, 2014 9:01 a.m.

Get anything that you don't care about it and just wail on it.

Jerry Dork
June 2, 2014 10:12 a.m.

First gen MR2 owner here (although it's for sale & possible sold this coming week).

I've had plenty of fun in it, RWD kicks ass. Dyno'd a meager 120hp after new exhaust & intake, but with some weight reduction it's been competitive, even if I've not been the best driver.

June 2, 2014 10:31 a.m.
ChrisTheSwede wrote: In reply to irish44j: So, I'm continuing my hunt for a starter Rallycross RWD... I just stumbled upon two BMW 318is (a '91 and a '95), both for a fair price, and I'm thinking that maybe I should give the little boxes from Bavaria a chance after all. Would you say the IS is a good base for Stock/Prepared? Thanks again for the advice, if you have any questions about Volvo 122s let me know.

I think you just answered your own question. See my avatar.

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