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V8 guy drawn to STi specs....story and questions inside!

1885 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  murley
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


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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