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Discussion Starter #1
I recently put down a deposit on a Black STi with silver wheels. I'm really excited about this. I have yet to even drive an STi because when my dealer gets them in, they are already accounted for. But I was able to go down when one arrived just to see it in person. They had a silver and a blue. Gorgeous cars!! Anyway, I have a few questions/concerns.

1. I'm not crazy about the wing. I currently drive a 1969 Chevy Nova SS, and to go from a classic American car to a Japanese hot rod with a 1 foot tall wing on the back is definitely a stretch. Obviously I'm buying the car for what lies underneath the skin. But I saw on a thread(not sure which Subaru site...) where they showed a pic of a silver STI at a car show that used the base of the STI wing, but the top part was a bit shorter. It looked a lot better and a little more subtle. Probably allowed for decent vision out the rear window too!! Does anyone know if that wing was a photochop or if this is offered in the aftermarket and for how much?

2. Is this the type of car that anyone would want their wife driving to work in rush hour traffic? My wife drives a 98 Grand Prix(automatic of course) , but the miles are getting a little high, and if we get the STi, or any new car for that matter, she'd like to take it to work once in a while. I have no problem with her driving a new car to work...just that she doesn't drive stick..and she'd have to learn on the STi. I'm confident she can do it...just a little concerned that it might be too much car for her. It obviously has a lot of power..but combine that with AWD that she's never driven before...and the DCCD and the poor visibility out the rear window...I guess I'm just a little concerned that I'm trying to fill my need for speed, but might be compromising practicality. She basically told me that I should get the car that I want and she'll deal with it...but I don't want to be unfair.

Some other concerns that I guess I can read up on in other threads:

3. Which stereo to get installed? Budget is probably under $1000 including speakers and pretty much everything...

4. Removal of pink decals. I can't have the pink decals on the car. I just can't.

5. What will everyone do when the snow comes? Will it be safe to drive in the snow with the Potenza RE070's? Should I invest in a second set of wheels/tires for the winter? I do plan on going skiing in the winter and there's no way this car will never see snow.

Thanks for any help. Dealer said the car should arrive in Sept/early Oct.
 

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As to question number 5, there is NO WAY you should even consider driving the car in the snow with the stock tires. Never mind the tread pattern, the rubber compund is orders of magnitude different from a winter tire. You will have NO traction in the snow, and even just a cold day will be eye widening how much less traction the car has.

Michael
 

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1.) no option from subaru on the wing, you can probably find something you'll find tolerable in the aftermarket. you'll probably have to swap the trunk lid though. the stock wing has a lot of mounting holes.

2.) learning to drive stick on a very powerful awd car is not fun. the awd drivetrain is a lot less forgiving than a fwd or rwd. there will be a lot of stalling and probably a new clutch. if everyone is prepared to accept the conciquences it shouldn't be too much of a problem. just tell her to watch out for kids in hondas who want to race.

3.) i got a complete oem stereo used for a very reasonable price, but i don't care about how it sounds. if you want it to sound good you should ask around in the electronics forum. the 6 disk changer that comes in the wrx can be had for around $120 or so if you look around.

4.) pink kicks ass, educate yourself on the heritage of the car you'll be driving. the decals are pink for a reason.

5.) RE 070 will not be safe in the snow. planning to go skiing and having your car never see snow won't work. get yourself a cheap set of wheels and some snow tires. i'm really looking forward to driving the STi in the snow.
 

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I don't know about your other questions, but for the snow one, you should but a set of snow tires and different rims if you can afford them. The Potenza's will hug the road, but not in snow. As for replacing the rims, especially with the silver ones you reserved, the salt the trucks lay down for the snow might deminish the quality of your rims appearence. I'd hate to see that happen to your car.

Now the rest i'm not sure about......
As for the sterio question, I was under the impression that the speakers are installed, but not the head unit. I might be wrong though. You have the option of getting the head unit Subaru offers for like $500 with a 6 disc cd changer.

And has your wife ever driven stick before? I don't think the STi or the Chevy Nova are very good beginner stick shift cars. The power behind these cars, with the combination of an inexperienced clutch driver, can blow a clutch with ease. And again, i'd hate to see you having to replace a clutch. Know anyone with a more standard car like a Civic or an old Eclipse that is stick?
 

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Blackened said:
1. I'm not crazy about the wing. [...]
A lot of people aren't. I sure wish we had some downforce data (graph of pounds of downforce vs. mph) so at least I had some idea how effective it is. Since I plan to do some road courses (HPDEs, not racing) having downforce will be useful, but I suspect the wing, while indeed doing something, doesn't do as much as it looks like (i.e. it's bigger and bulkier than it needs to be). I tell people it is stock and there is no option for no wing. Besides, it could be worse -- an unpainted wood 1 inch wide wing on an erector set truss -- we often get someone with one of those at most autocrosses.

2. Is this the type of car that anyone would want their wife driving to work in rush hour traffic?
Maybe it depends on how bad rush hour is for your location. My wife likes the car and doesn't have any problem with it. She really likes having the available power on the highway. Around town she is gentle with the throttle and shifts early (3000-3500 rpm), and hasn't indicated any problems. It is the 6th gear at 75mph accleration that is really cool. Her current car is a stick however.

[...]...just that she doesn't drive stick..and she'd have to learn on the STi. I'm confident she can do it...just a little concerned that it might be too much car for her.
Personally I don't think it would be too much car. It really is a nice gentle car as long as you don't go over 50% throttle at over 3000rpm. Then it turns into a beast. I'd suggest trying to find another stick shift car to borrow for a while and have her practice on that. While the STi clutch is really very nice, I guess I agree that you don't want to learn on it. I doubt you'd burn anything out, but it is expensive and if you accidently hit the throttle hard you could get into big trouble. So find a friend with a beater car, rent one (good luck renting a manual), or have her pretend to shop for cars and test drive all the manuals she can. That should get her started enough so she can avoid some of the really early mistakes.

3. Which stereo to get installed? Budget is probably under $1000 including speakers and pretty much everything...
Cheapest option is to buy a Subaru WRX factory stereo on ebay. They really aren't up to the sound quality of almost any aftermarket stereo (barring Krako, Walmart house brand, etc.), so people replace them out regularly and dump them on ebay. Obviously everything fits, and the car is pre-wired so there shouldn't be any really hard work. You could probably even find someone to install it for very little money. Better quality is to spec out and buy a system, but this can get complicated. Read up on the NASIOC stereo forums, for instance. Personally I think you can have a really nice system for under $1000 -- don't believe the guys that say $3000 is necessary -- they use multiple subs, 7" pop-out LCD touch-screens, etc. Mine came out to $1700 but I went a bit overboard ($500 amp, 4 gauge power wires, fancy head unit, etc.) and paid someone to install it.

4. Removal of pink decals. I can't have the pink decals on the car. I just can't.
They aren't that bad. Really. I get comments on the wing, but not a single comment on the pink, though people thought it would be strange upon hearing about it.

5. What will everyone do when the snow comes? Will it be safe to drive in the snow with the Potenza RE070's? Should I invest in a second set of wheels/tires for the winter? I do plan on going skiing in the winter and there's no way this car will never see snow.
No, the RE070's are nto suitable for snow. One option is to get something like Bridgestone RE950 high-performance all-season tires (highest rated at Tire Rack, price isn't bad, available everywhere). The other is to go dedicated summer/winter tires. Wheels are a bear to find, but TireRack found that the ASA KA3 fits and is $139 each. Seems like a good idea for snow tires (e.g. Blizzak WS-50 or Nokian Hakkapeliitta).
 

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ldivinag said:
i clicked on that link. where does it say it fits the STi. their data doesnt include the STi. only the 2004 WRX sedan.
This thread:

http://www.i-club.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20348

on the second page. Personally I'm not fond of the wheel, but it is cheap and TireRack says it fits, and wouldn't be a bad choice for a winter wheel.

btw, i'm going with the gold SDRs... just to match... ;)
If they fit, which reports say they do, this can't be a bad option. They look OK, aren't too heavy, and the price is great. I'm looking at some Advan TCII in 17x8.5, but they're $620 each which is about 4x the price of the Rota SDRs. Still better than Kinesis or Fikse which will run $900-1000 each. Dang but this is an expensive hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info, guys. The tire and stereo links will be helpful. As far as teaching the wife to drive stick, I agree that finding a manual beater might be the best route. I'll see what I can find. An no, the Nova is not really a learning option ;)
 

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WRX_Mundi said:
Blackened said:
[...]...just that she doesn't drive stick..and she'd have to learn on the STi. I'm confident she can do it...just a little concerned that it might be too much car for her.
Personally I don't think it would be too much car. It really is a nice gentle car as long as you don't go over 50% throttle at over 3000rpm. Then it turns into a beast. I'd suggest trying to find another stick shift car to borrow for a while and have her practice on that. While the STi clutch is really very nice, I guess I agree that you don't want to learn on it. I doubt you'd burn anything out, but it is expensive and if you accidently hit the throttle hard you could get into big trouble. So find a friend with a beater car, rent one (good luck renting a manual), or have her pretend to shop for cars and test drive all the manuals she can. That should get her started enough so she can avoid some of the really early mistakes.
haha, ya i have never driven stick, but my next car is definitely going to be an sti, rit now i drive a 79 buick...
but if i go to dealerships to test drive cars with stick, and they ask me if i can drive stick and i say yea, and i go and burn the clutch... wont i get into some kind of trouble?
btw im not afraid of dealerships :wink:
 

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WRX Kartboy Short Shifter vs. STI 6 Speed

bi11y said:
haha, ya i have never driven stick, but my next car is definitely going to be an sti, rit now i drive a 79 buick...
but if i go to dealerships to test drive cars with stick, and they ask me if i can drive stick and i say yea, and i go and burn the clutch... wont i get into some kind of trouble?
Well first, learning to drive a manual should not burn any clutches. If it does you're either learning on a car with way too much power or doing something really wrong. We're not drag racing here, just learning how to start, how to shift up and down using synchros, how to start on an incline, and maybe some rev matched shifts if you're ambitious. If I really though you'd burn clutches I wouldn't suggest it.

I was also thinking used cars, preferably in the semi-beater category. You don't want to be learning on someone's new $50k car! Given a $3000 Civic with 100k miles on it, there is little you could do to the car that the previous owners didn't already do. Again, assuming just driving it around, not trying to do burnouts, racing, or any other silliness. Also, don't pick a car with a super-stiff clutch like a Porsche 911, which can be kind of difficult to get used to.

Dealer asking if you can drive stick? Come on -- they want to sell you a car. That's what they're hanging around the dealership all day for. You say you're looking for a car, you don't drive a manual, but all your friends are giving you a hard time because you don't. So you're determined to get a manual car. The salesperson should go out of their way to help you. After all, you've told him that if he doesn't, he gets no sale. If he does help you, he might get a sale. Might. There is no contract to buy no matter how much he helps you, and he knows it.

Now arguably this isn't really very ethical since you have little intention of buying. On the other hand, there is a small chance you'll buy a car and you aren't lying to the dealer about your abilities. Kind of like people who go listen to stereos at the stereo store, even with no intention of buying something. The salespeople may have nothing better to do, and who knows -- you may decide you like something and they get a sale. Besides, if they're nice to you, you may tell other people about their store.
 
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