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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all.

This is my first post but Ive been reading for about 2 weeks now. I stumbled across a brochure for the STi and was quite enticed by its spec list.

Had a 96 Prelude Vtec once and it was a fun car. Problem was as i started spending money on aftermarket go-fast parts, I quickly realized I wasnt getting much for my money. Being a long time muscle car fan, I knew where to get THE POWER. So, I sold the car and bought a pickup for utility and decided to build my own car. A 900HP street-legal drag car was begun and is still in progress.

Since the Prelude has left I have been going into withdrawls for something that moves and corners well. I figured in a year or so Id shop for a clean used car. I planned on either a 93-98 Supra TT, 2001+ C5 vette or possibly a 2001+ WS6 Trans Am.

<Present day> STi seems like the ultimate bang for the buck. Not much more then a clean used Supra, but with a nice warranty and the new car smell! Sounds good to me!

So I test drive an 03 WRX to 'feel' the AWD. It felt VERY planted and reassuring. Impressive first experience with AWD even if it was somewhat tame, although I hung one corner pretty well. WRX didnt flinch

I'm also eyeballing the G35 a little. What a gorgeous car, huh? No STi tho. If i wasnt so performance starved Id be running to an Infiniti dealer.

Ok so QUESTION TIME for the Subie owners. If you'd like to add any comments at ALL, I welcome all opinions!

How do you drive these cars fast? What does the car do when driven fast? It felt like letting off the gas made the car turn in tighter....and accelerating induced some understeer. Is this accurate?

Basically Im trying to get an understanding of what these cars do when ran hard. Ive read they come to the US with understeer built into them. Do you counter this by applying power to oversteer OR brake OR just let off gas?

To the un-AWD-educated eye it would seem that AWD is superior to RWD in every category (except maybe MPG). Offering superior cornering and straight-line grip and allowing the driver to fully utilize the engines power under alot more situations.

All I know is the little WRX felt very capable to me..I imagine the STi will be alot more of the same feeling.

Thanks for reading and helpin a new-to-Subies guy :D

RJ





Is it true AWD wont roll backwards on a hill when clutch is depressed?
 

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Parking brake on US STi

Basically to answer your question-

Driving a AWD car is basically more like driving a FWD car than a RWD car- but with AWD you can put the power to the ground earlier in the corner.

What I have learned is that I go into a corner without sliding all over the place (at a decent speed), dive in towards the apex, and as soon as you hit the apex you NAIL and I mean NAIL the gas. ;) :D

All credible reviews (especially in Europe where they KNOW how to drive the STi) point to these two facts:

1) The car will seem to understeer- follow the advice above- hit the apex and NAIL the gas.

2) You have to push the STi very hard, and seemingly beyond it's limits, to get it to "work" right. Just keep on the gas and eventually you will track out of the corner. I believe the CAR reviewer said: "You have to push the car seemingly beyond it's own limits, thinking about the huge accident you are about to have, and then the car will respond. It isn't pretty- but it is made to win" That's not an exact quote but was the gist of what he said.

Sometimes I use a little left-foot braking to help the rear end come around a bit.

Does the car steer with the throttle? No. Can you use the throttle to "help"? Yes. Do you want a car on the street that "steers" with the throttle- I believe the answer is no.

I think the key to driving the STi is going to be to trust the car, give it up just a little on corner entry and apex forward absolutely BLAST out of it... :)
 

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stupid question: what is apex?

Welcome to the forums.
And there are plenty of G35 vs Sti discussions around (i-club, nasioc)...
STi is superior, in my opinion, after reading 1000s of topics on all forums.. And I am young and still need a ride that would attact girls... G35 is a looker, but much slower.. $5000 + $3000 in labor and accesssories supercharger by stillen will get u to 380 hp, but it will still be slower than STi...
I'd test drive both to find what u like..
STi has my vote...
 

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To answer your question about the APEX....

When you take a corner, the apex would be the closest point to the inside of the corner.
 

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This is a corner ---> (

The arrow is pointing at the apex, or 'top' of the curve.

If you'd like to really get into racing and car dynamics, pick up "Going Faster" by Skip Barber.
 

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sorry to ask such a newb question, but I just wanna check if my understanding is correct regarding oversteer and understeer.

oversteer - the car turn more than you need...
understeer - the car doesn't turn enough than you need....

is that correct.. @@



Peace
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: The Warranty Issue

Thanks for the fast responses. I kinda figured it would react more FWD then RWD when pushed. Felt to much 'pull' through the turns with the WRX for that.

The first disturbing things ive heard so far about the STi was quoted by you JJ.

"You have to push the STi very hard, and seemingly beyond it's limits, to get it to "work" right"

"You have to push the car seemingly beyond it's own limits, thinking about the huge accident you are about to have, and then the car will respond"

To get it to WORK RIGHT? I dont like the sound of this. Its probably not near as bad as it sounds, right? Because it sounds like the car wont perform as expected unless you are really pushing the envelope. Well this would be a street car for me and I wouldnt be able to safely and legaly PUSH it very often. Also, im new to turns (drag racer) and I would be scared shitless to push a car of this level to its limits for it to "feel RIGHT".

Unfortunately dealerships are jnot offering testdrives at all. Understandable for the new owner of the car...but it creates a $30,000 gamble. You can read the reviews and look at the pics. Nothing is going to tell you if the car will fit your drive and life style like some time behind the wheel. But, since i cant have this...I have to judge by what i read. Not exactly the way I want to research a $30K purchase :-?

So how do these cars respond to letting off the gas during turn in? I imagine it would cut in tighter.

How can i expect the STi to respond in the twisties when I am "not driving it like im about to have a WRECK"? (I REALLY dont like the sound of that)

Under normal-to-aggressive STREET driving does car still exibit understeer?...or this only when entering corners very hot?


Thanks much for the help. I love these cars so far, but, I need to make sure its the right choice for me.

Jason


p.s. Speedemon- that is correct, more or less. understeer is when u are turning into a corner and the front tires are pushing through, not allowing you to turn as tight as you are trying to. Oversteer is when the back end breaks loose and comes around on you. Think about powering a high-HP RWD car through a corner. Hope this helps you to understand.
 

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I see so many similar posts. The street is no place to push the limits of any car. It only costs a few hundred dollars to participate in a BMW, Porsche, Miata, club class (using your car) and usually you don't have to be driving one of the marque's cars (I actually saw a Hummer H1 show up at a BMW school a few years ago). The point is you will be a better, safer driver on the street (or track at some point), and be able to better answer and understand your own questions. This is a much better investment than any after-market go fast goodies, since most people can't begin to us use the full potential of any stock automobile (some French cars excluded!).

P.S. One Lap of America is currently running (with two WRXs). See the web site, or Car & Drivers
 

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Snowy Calgary!!

You shouldn't get so spooked by the 'work right' quote by JJ. If you want to get a general feel for the way a car like the STi will handle, go drive a WRX. You'll get 95% of the way the car will OVERALL feel. Of course you need to be thinking different suspension, more power and so on, but the behavior of an AWD car and the STi will be more apparent.

What JJ means by making it 'work right' is that you won't get the absolute full benefit of the car unless you really learn to drive it. The way people like Paul Hansen have been putting it is that you can't just take the car out and use it to the max. A car tester doesn't get the full idea. It's an enthusiast car and it demands enthusiast attention and racing background to drive the thing to the max.

Most of us will never get 100% out of the car unfortunately. That however doesn't mean that it won't do 90-95% amazingly well.
 

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Speedemon said:
sorry to ask such a newb question, but I just wanna check if my understanding is correct regarding oversteer and understeer.

oversteer - the car turn more than you need...
understeer - the car doesn't turn enough than you need....

is that correct.. @@



Peace
understeer = front wheels turned to left or right but you keep going straight. Bad!

oversteer = is when the tail starts to drift out from behind you in a turn.
 

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RJ my 2 cents re: AWD. It's the best system for varying terrain and improves handling and cornering speeds. The reason is application of power through four wheels instead of two. AWD is the wave of a performance future.
 

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Also keep in mind that the WRX is pretty much locked at 50/50 front/rear torque split. I imagine it will drive much more like a FWD car than the STi will. With the DCCD in auto mode, 50/50 is one extreme of the scale; for most driving conditions, the computer will provide a rear bias. Of course, you can always lock it at 65% rear if you want it to feel more like RWD. :)
 

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Yeah, but the WRX still has the center viscous diff. that varies it front-to-rear as well.
 
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