Well... I'm coming to a point where I need to do some serious thinking and decision-making.
It's no secret that I (frivolously, foolishly, misguidedly) bought my Mirage as a dual-purpose daily-driven autocross toy. I autocross a lot... at least twice per month.
The Mirage is a pretty dumb choice for an autocross car. It's slow, under-powered, comes with tiny wheels and tires, is extremely top-heavy with a narrow track. But, I LOVE minimalist lightweight cars, appreciate great fuel economy, and I love beating people in an "underdog" car that they don't think can win. I enjoy the challenge of "driving a slow car fast". The Mirage being THE lightest new car available, and attainable for well under $10k... I dove in.
Stage 0, August 2017: Autocross it once in completely stock form. Won't accelerate, won't turn, and leans so much that it scared everyone watching. They thought for sure it was going to roll over. But, it wasn't. It didn't have enough grip. And all four tires stayed in contact with the pavement.
Stage 1, September 2017: Try to autocross it "stock" class in mostly stock form. Wheels, tires, rear swaybar, and shocks and alignment. Much improvement. Still slow, but at least it can put some power down, and corner reasonably well. Not bad. Until I got really comfortable with it and started pushing it harder. Then, one day I got it solidly up on 2 wheels. Like 4" of air under the front tire. Not good. Instantly decided it was time to move to a "modified" class and further modify the suspension.
Stage 2, December 2017: Install full coilover kit, lower the car 2", improve alignment... and drive. Wow! Cool! Until I got comfortable with it, and then I realized that the inside front tire was regularly lifting an inch off the ground under extreme cornering. Need to do more.
Stage 3, January 2018: Much research into areas of suspension that I'd never explored, namely Roll Center Correction. Learned a lot. Decided to modify a set of lower control arms to be slightly longer, and fit a taller ball joint. OMG, WOW! This was huge! The car felt so much more planted and secure.
Other minor suspension improvements (custom caster plates, custom tie-rod ends for bump steer correction, etc) and some minor power mods continued over the next year. Incremental improvements.
Stage 4, December 2018: Fitted wider tires to the front (205 front, 195 rear) seeking more front grip, better balance, and improved autocross times. Awesome! The car feels fantastic! But, dammit, it's back to lifting a front tire in hard turns. Not a lot, just 1/2" or so. But, frequently. Can't FEEL it. But, other people can see it, and I saw pictures of it. Definitely happening. Definitely not good.
Stage 4A, Last Week: Make some suspension adjustments in search of more stablity. The car feels EVEN BETTER. A bit less body roll, more control and precision. Soooo good!
Then it happened. I saw it happen. It wasn't pretty. Today my co-driver yanked a hard 90-degree turn at 35 mph with a bunch less grace and smoothness than I would. The car has a ridiculous amount of grip. It stayed stuck. But, being a top-heavy beast, it lifted the front wheel again. And not just a little bit. He had the car up to a good 30-40 degree angle! He deftly set it back down without incident. But, holy crap! Just a little more steering input, or a panic-induced correction... and it would have gone over.
And thus, here I am. There are more suspension mods (getting into pretty hardcore stuff at this point, more custom work, more uncharted territory) that I could try. I'm just not sure I want to. I'd love to continue the development of this platform, it just seems too risky. And frankly, I'm tried of spending money on it. The experiment is fun, but not THAT much fun.
I've created probably the best handling Mirage in the US. No understeer. No oversteer. Very controllable. Feels GREAT! And grip for days. It flies through turns and slaloms with great speed and confidence. But, if you have the balls to get too far into that grip... the car wants to go over. I'm just one ham-fisted move away from scuffing the paint on the roof.
It's great on the street! But, I simply can't push it as hard as I want to at an autocross.
What to do, what to do?