Well this past weekend I drove WRX wagon at the autocross. The wagon was stock except for a set of severely heat-cycled Kumho V700 225/50/16. The course was pretty fast (top of 2nd for the WRX) and mostly consisted of sweeping turns with 2 small 2-3 cone slaloms (if you could even call them slaloms).
The wagon was fun, being on stock suspension it seemed to roll its way through the turns but never felt
12-17-2001, 08:52 AM
There's about 4 people that run in our local club that run WRX's. 2 are very active club members, one in the wagon, and one in the sedan. I've driven the sedan for a fun run at an event:
The car felt heavy, but it has a butt load of torque down low. With this car, I would almost never have to shift to 1st on a tight pivot cone. The brakes surely don't feel as good as the Celica, but they stop the car pretty well considering it's 3100+ lbs. The brakes are so much a function of the tires, that I think with good rubber, they stop quite well (There are just a few cars in the Celica league for braking). As far as the handling, it does have a lot of body roll, but it's not outrageous. The car does not turn in well at all. It reminds me of a z28 Camaro; it requires a lot of steering input, for a very little arc. It's a nightmare in tight slaloms until you get used to it. AWD cannot be beat on the launch. Dumping the clutch at 5000 rpms, and the car leaps like a tiger onto a gazelle. When driven on the street, the car doesn't feel that fast, yet it'll smoke a lot of cars out there from a standing start. From a roll, the GTS is about as fast. As far as an autocross car is concerned, a well setup GTS will lose to a well setup WRX on most courses with the same driver. If we had a LSD, it might be a better battle. As for the S4:
The S4 is a whole different beast. Although it's heavier than the WRX, it brakes much better... not as good as the Celica, but better than the WRX. Turn in, even with the stock alignment, is much more crisp then the WRX, yet a little behind the Celica. The S4 feels so fast upon hard acceleration, that the power is addictive. The twin turbo spools up quick and there is little or no turbo lag when you're on and off the gas. I think it's due to the twin turbos spooling in sequence instead of spooling concurrently. The AWD on the S4 is as good as the WRX, yet the S4 is geared a little better with it's 6 speed. On stickies, the S4 can be very competitive, for it's easier to drive than a WRX, but at $45k, it should be. It's only drawback is it's shear size. It's a pretty long car, which would be hard on tight courses... - Aaron
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