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Yes, I race a geo. Lots of people scoff at that idea, but not all geos were anemic little three-cylinders like the metro. The geo storm is an Isuzu stylus without any of the nifty options like a turbocharger or AWD transmission. The engine is a nearly respectable 1.6 liter four cylinder; it's actually the same block that lotus used for the M100 Elan. My storm is a 1990 GSi, one of the two earliest versions of the storm. Here's how it stacks up against a normally aspirated (i.e. base model) 2005 MINI:
1990 Storm GSi 2005 MINI
Curb Weight 2410 lb 2700
Horsepower 130 hp 115 hp
Weight/Power ratio 18.5 lb/hp 23.5 lb/hp
0-60 mph 8.5 sec[&] 9.8 sec[~]
Wheelbase 96.5 in 97.1
Front Track 56.3 in 57.4
Rear Track 55.2 in 57.7
Width 66.7 in 66.5
Length 163.4 in 143.1 in

The cars look similar on paper, but the MINI's wheels are at the far corners of the chassis, which means that it handles a lot better than the geo. I've been autocrossing my storm for few years now. It is noisy, lacks headroom (my helmet rubs the roof), and has WAY too much body lean. Despite this, it is fun to drive, and surprises people every now and then. If you want to race a storm, you probably want a GSi because of the DOHC, different gearing, and few extra horsepower it has. Here are a few articles that were written about the storm back in the day:

  • & - Geo Storm GSi. (includes related articles) (evaluation). John Phillips III, Larry Griffin, Nicholas Bissoon-Dath and David Kunkler. Car and Driver v35.n11 (May 1990): pp61(5). (2378 words)
  • ~ - http://www.edmunds.com/apps/vdpcontainers/do/vdp/articleId=104624/pageNumber=1
  • + - "Little squirts: ten sporty point-and-shoot cars for a price that won't soak you. (includes related rating information from six reader/testers) (Evaluation). Kott, Douglas. Road & Track 44.n9 (May 1993): 56(12)
  • * - Slick, Quick and Inexpensive, Autoweek, April 16, 1990
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