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Old 11-17-2006, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Mazdaspeed 3 aka "Apex Predator" (SportCompactCarWeb.com)

Mazdaspeed 3 aka "Apex Predator" (SportCompactCarWeb.com)

http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/fe..._mazdaspeed_3/



Quote:
Apex predator. In biology, it's the name given to creatures at the top of the food chain, the ones that hunt and devour other animals, but are never prey themselves. Before humans and guns came along, great white sharks, lions and grizzly bears were all undisputed apex predators.

In the world of high performance sport compacts, the term apex predator applies to vehicles that hunt and devour corners in a similar fashion. Over the last few months, a handful of new models have laid claim to this title, notably the Chevy Cobalt SS, VW GTI and Honda Civic Si, but that was before the arrival of the Mazdaspeed3.

After long negotiations with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), Sport Compact Car secured the exclusive North American test drive of the 2007 Mazdaspeed3 during the "final production confirmation" at its premier track facility, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) in Monterey, California. This was a very big deal for both of us. Mazda has granted exclusive first drives to other magazines in the past, but has never invited a journalist out to what is normally a closed-door, top secret session. We've never done anything like this before, either.

The Program

Mazda runs a tight ship. As one of the smaller manufacturers in the auto industry, there is no other way to get things done. Factory performance programs like Dodge SRT, Toyota Racing Development and BMW's M division employ dozens if not hundreds of engineers and specialists around the world. Mazdaspeed's North American operation has only three full-time employees, with another dozen or so supporting program engineers in Japan.

I'm learning all this from Tod Kaneko, the US manager of Mazdaspeed, as we drive up to Monterey to meet up the five other Mazda folks who have set aside this weekend for the final shakedown of the Mazdaspeed3.

Kaneko is something of a legend in the sport compact industry. He's a former Garrett turbocharger engineer with a background in Indy Car, CART, IMSA and various other factory motorsports development programs. He also has a long history of turbocharger design and development. Before that, Tod made his name on the streets of Southern California that gave rise to the whole import racing and sport compact scene. His two other crewmembers' resumes are just as impressive; Derrick Ige, Mazdaspeed's marketing specialist, is the former manager of Metal Crafters, the noted concept car builder. Ige also served as crew chief for Dan Gurney's All American Racers Indy Car program and did stints at Penske and Nissan factory racing teams. The other member of the team is Takahiro "Koby Jr." Kobyakawa, one of the original Mazdaspeed engineers from Japan and the son of Mazda legend Takaharu "Koby" Kobyakawa - the lead engineer on the FD RX-7 and Le Mans-winning 787B race car.



Ige couldn't make it for the weekend, but along for the test are Koby Jr., Mazda PR Manager Jeremy Barnes, Mazdaspeed Accessory engineer Jonathan Butts, Mazda-Japan test driving ace Masami Katakura, and some guy you might have heard of named Dave Coleman. More on these jokers later.

The Car

The Mazdaspeed3 is based on the Mazda3, the compact sedan and five-door hatchback duo that has been the company's bread and butter since 2004. We've praised the standard 3 for its exceptional value and practicality, yet despite its solid handling, it has never been at the top of our list of performance front-drivers. But that should all change when the Mazdaspeed3 comes out it in September of this year. This car will be the mightiest front-wheel drive vehicle in the sport compact kingdom by a wide margin, boasting about a 50bhp and 70ft-lb torque advantage over its current rivals. It should be noted that Dodge boasts 300hp for its, as yet unreleased, Caliber SRT-4. But we're getting ahead of ourselves - let's first take a look at what it takes to turn a Mazda3 lamb into a Mazdaspeed lion.

Three conditions must be met before a vehicle receives the Mazdaspeed designation. First, it must have styling that sets it apart from the standard version. Specifically, there must be significant functional external design differences noticeable from 50 feet, per a mandate laid down by Mazda's executive vice president, Robert Davis.

To set the Mazdaspeed3 apart, the team used an entirely new front bumper, hood, rear wing and fascia, along with 18-inch alloy wheels. These parts don't just look good; Mazda claims everything has been aero-tested. Particular attention was paid to achieving high-speed stability through the use of underbody aero parts tested in a wind tunnel and on the Autobahn. Under the engine, there is a channeled, smooth plastic undertray that directs airflow beneath the car, reducing pressure and lift. Gurney flaps ahead of all four wheels direct turbulence under the tires instead of into them.

The second aspect of the Mazdaspeed equation is best-in-class dynamic performance. To figure out exactly what that means, Mazdaspeed benchmarked a wide range of cars globally, including the Dodge Neon SRT-4, Acura RSX Type-S, Subaru WRX, VW GTI (MkIV), and Ford Focus RS. In addition, "stretch targets" like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and Subaru WRX STI were evaluated to see how the Mazdaspeed3 fairs against the very best in the sport compact universe. The Mazdaspeed3 was not tested against either the latest-generation Honda Civic Si or VW GTI, but Kaneko feels the substantial engine, chassis and suspension improvements make his 3 tough to beat.

Along with extra bracing and other reinforcements integrated into the chassis and body panels on the production line, the front strut towers were heavily fortified to improve torsional rigidity. A new damper and spring package lowers the car by 10mm, compared to stock. Aggressive valve damping and higher spring rates work in combination with the larger anti-roll bars, reinforced lateral links and higher bushing durometers to significantly reduce body roll while providing sharper turn-in and steering feel.

The third and most critical parameter involves upgrading the powertrain. Again, to be considered a Mazdaspeed vehicle, the 3 had to be the class leader in terms of useable power and torque. So it receives the same turbocharged inline-four MZR engine found in the Mazdaspeed6 and new CX-7 SUV. This advanced engine is Mazda's own flagship design based on a turbocharged 16-valve, DOHC 2.3-liter with integrated direct injected spark ignition (DISI) architecture. A heavily modified turbo MZR engine, featuring a similar DISI design, powers current NHRA Sport Compact ProFWD Champion Ed Bergenholtz's 1400-plus hp Mazda6.

DISI is the latest technology to hit the automotive industry. Right now, only Mazda and VW/Audi sell direct injection gasoline engines, which have a couple of distinct advantages over traditional port injection engines.

Port injection mixes fuel and air in the intake runners at about 35 to 60psi, while Mazda DISI engines mix a pure charge of air with fuel injected directly into the cylinder at over 1600psi. The higher pressure creates a denser, more homogeneous air/fuel mixture and cleaner, more powerful burn. Spraying fuel directly into the cylinder also provides a cooling effect, which results in greater combustion efficiency and knock deterrance-Mazda estimates a three to five per cent improvement in fuel economy over port injection engines.

As high tech as DISI is, it is not the reason the Mazdaspeed3 has so much power and torque. Credit the Warner-Hitachi K04 turbo; the same unit found in the Mazdaspeed6. For a stock turbo, it has a lot of trick features, including a compressor stage supported by a full-floating, journal-bearing, water-cooled center section. Power balance is supported by a 79 trim 50mm turbine stage with an Inconel shaft-wheel mated to a 16.5mm A/R Niresist iron turbine housing. Maximum turbine speed is over 165,000rpm with a peak exhaust gas temperature in excess of 990 degrees Celsius.

Mazda wouldn't tell us the exactly how much boost is in the Mazdaspeed3, but given that the engine and turbo are the same as those found in the 274bhp Mazdaspeed6, we're guessing the manifold pressure is similar as well - roughly 16psi. Whatever it is, it's helping the Mazdaspeed3 make an impressive amount of power and torque - 263bhp at 5500rpm and 280ft-lb at 3000rpm. To put that in perspective, the last really fast factory front-wheel-drive turbo foor-door was the 2004 Dodge Neon SRT-4, which only made 230bhp and 250lb-ft of torque.

"The hard part wasn't getting the power," says Kaneko, "but getting the power to the ground. The Mazdaspeed3 has slightly lower power output in comparison to the Mazdaspeed6, primarily because we had to balance raw power output versus dynamic driveability."

Clearly the Mazdaspeed3 would need an LSD and a lot of fine tuning to utilize all that torque without smoking the front tires at every stoplight. The development team decided against mechanical clutch and Torsen types in favor of the smoother response and everyday driveability of a Tochigi Fuji conical seat-type LSD. But there were still fears that torque steer would make the car undriveable. So Mazdaspeed engineers deployed the standard set of torque steer countermeasures; they optimized steering, alignment, and suspension geometry and sourced large diameter, equal length driveshafts. Then they developed a system that uses PCM (Mazda's term for Engine And Chassis Control Unit) calibration and electronic throttle valve-opening control strategies. Steering angle and wheel slip compensation factors were programmed into the PCM to assist in transferring the power without upsetting the chassis, dynamic handling and steering performance.
This complicated electronic system addresses the two root causes of torque steer: too much power too soon, and unequal loading of the tires. To combat the former, the PCM dials back the amount of power available in first and second gear by recalibrating the engine, reducing the throttle angle, and/or adjusting boost pressure. A steering angle sensor assists with uneven tire load, by telling the PCM to reduce power in similar fashion when it senses a sharp or abrupt steering angle input. It's a complicated system that some might distrust, until the very first time they go for a drive.

The Test

So why are we here, really? Well, the final production confirmation is basically Mazda's version of an exit exam before it sends its 'latest star pupil' out into the real world. There is still a lot to know about how the Mazdaspeed3 behaves when driven very hard, so two test mules have been brought over from Japan and set up for US roads and conditions. The white one is the official test monkey, while the silver one is a backup being used to scout local roads. There is also a dark grey version of the car being used by Mazdaspeed Accessory Engineer Jonathan Butts as his development mule for a soon-to-be-released Mazdaspeed coilover kit.

Back to the test. Every possible nook and cranny of the white car has been plumbed, probed or wired with data-logging sensors - even down to individual ball joint temperatures. Wire looms snake throughout the car, eventually connecting up to an array of Mazda R&D laptops, a Hioki datalogger and a VBOX GPS unit.

But data logging is not the only reason we are here. A month and a half after my drive, around the time this magazine will hit newsstands, other automotive journalists from the US and Canada will test drive the Mazdaspeed3 at its official press launch. It's no coincidence that this event is planned for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Along with dialing in the car, Tod and his crew want to see how the final production version will handle on the actual racetrack where the industry's most influential critics will flog it.

The folks at Mazda are not stupid. They know we in the motoring press are notoriously hard on cars we don't own. In fact, the track drive was originally planned for three laps - one out, one flying, one cool-down - but then cut back to two. Why? Because journalists don't do cool-down laps.

Of primary interest is the performance of the stock brakes. While it is common in the industry to substitute high-peformance pads, fluids, and sometimes even rotors and lines for track events like this, Mazda wants to see if its stock brakes will last during the rigorous press launch. The tech guys tell me the stock pads and fluid performed without any problems during a prior testing session at Buttonwillow, in which the Mazdaspeed3 was lapped continuously at 20-minute intervals under hot summer conditions. But the setup for the day-long press event is actually much more abusive; pitting every two laps to switch drivers with no cool-down laps in between could cook the pads and boil the brake fluid. The potential for poor braking performance and damning reviews aside, this could be a serious safety issue. But so far, it's all speculation; we're here to lap the cars hard to find out. Should the stock brakes fade or fail, the Mazdaspeed guys are prepared to outfit the vehicle with Endless race pads and Motul brake fluid.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:11 AM   #2
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Part 2

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The Drive

The particular Saturday we have for testing is exactly two weeks before MotoGP invades Laguna Seca. The grandstands, Yamaha and Repsol tents are already up and seedlings spelling out a massive Red Bull have already been planted trackside. Since MotoGP arrived at the track in 2005, MRLS has undergone a major overhaul.

Yamaha put up two million dollars to help make the track smoother and more bike-friendly. Changes include kinder, gentler cornering strips and much larger gravel pits. Any portion of the track that isn't gravel has been paved over to allow downed bikes and riders to slide instead of tumble. Though the overall course is much nicer, with a super-smooth track surface, many of the familiar reference points are gone and it's like driving on a new track.

It would be easy to blame the new conditions for my terrible driving, but it's the fact that I'm not a patient person that makes me slow. Fast driving requires waiting until the last second to brake and waiting longer still to corner. The feel of the Mazdaspeed3's beefy calipers and rotors give me the confidence to brake exceptionally late, but somehow l still manage to turn in early. In my first lapping session in the car, I often found myself tightening my line halfway through the corner, which is irritating because it means I could have gone much faster.

The very fact that I realize this speaks volumes about the car, if not my driving skill. Power and torque aside, the handling clarity of the Mazdaspeed3 is its most rewarding aspect. Turn after turn, I find the car to be exceptionally balanced and predictable. It constantly tells you exactly what you're doing right and wrong. And at track speeds, when you're wrong, you're understeering. The front tires squeal first, which is sign that the limit is near. Ignore it, (as I did) and the squeal becomes a howl. Keep at it, and the front tires begin to shudder and the ability to steer quickly goes away. Lift the throttle, however, and steering feel returns and you're smoothly back on line. There is no mushiness in the chassis, sloppiness in the suspension or vagueness in the steering that hides what the front wheels are doing, and this is very important in a front-wheel-drive car with this kind of power.

The first few laps are an exercise in confidence building. I'm more brazen with every lap, trying to brake and turn later and get on the gas earlier. I realize I've run out of talent when I take a drive-through penalty in the gravel trap at the exit of turn two. It's my only unrecoverable mistake of the afternoon and I'm annoyed because the car gave me repeated warnings that this was about to occur.

The key to driving fast in any front-wheel-drive car is the concept of slow in/fast out. This is particularly good advice for the Mazdaspeed3, which has more than enough grunt to pull you out of any turn. Just be sure you've completed the transition from corner to straightaway before you mash the gas, otherwise you'll find yourself picking pea gravel out of the brake dust shields.

Luckily I'm carrying enough speed to make it out of the gravel trap without the aid of a tow truck. But my ploy to pretend nothing happened fails miserably when I pull in and two pounds of newly-crushed gravel, held in the front wheel wells by inertia, fall onto pit lane with a crash. Koby Jr. points and laughs.

As I become more comfortable behind the wheel, a few things become abundantly clear. First, the Mazdaspeed3 is a truly legit track car straight off the dealer's lot. Sure, a few concessions have been made for the street, but about the only thing it needs is a stickier set of tires. When I first heard that the output of the engine was limited in first and second gear, I was immediately suspicious. But after lapping Laguna, I found an abundance of power with completely seamless delivery. Even with the electronic nanny, there is more than enough to spin the tires in first and second gear throughout the powerband.

My second revelation is that everybody who works for Mazda drives really, really fast. Kaneko is a former super karting champion, Koby Jr. is a JDM gymkhana master, Butts is a former rally and ice racer, and Coleman, is well, Coleman. Even PR guy Barnes is a former Southern California regional autocross champion. And then there is Katakura-san. He's been with the company for 47 years - the first 10 of which he spent as their factory race car driver. He claims to have driven every Mazda vehicle since 1959 and, even at 65, he is beyond fast. I have a feeling I'm the slowest guy here, but since they're not recording my lap times, that remains the only question that isn't answered by the end of the day.

The question of which brake set-up to use for the press launch is eventually resolved. The stock set-up was trouble-free throughout most of the day. In fact, the aftermarket Endless race pads performed worse, with a grabby initial engagement deemed unacceptable. The only issue appeared late in the day after a particularly brutal lapping session. At rest, the hot brakes would make a blood-curdling mechanical shriek when the pedal was depressed. The exact cause was hard to determine, but as they cooled, the noise went away. Confident that even the journalists wouldn't be able to inflict that kind of abuse, the Mazdaspeed guys decide to stick with the stock set-up.

Conclusion

After two years of planning, thousands of miles of global travel and millions of dollars in research and development, it has all come down to this. The Mazdaspeed crew has collected numbers, data and feedback and I have my, well, estimates. In deference to all the other magazines that didn't get early access, we weren't allowed to run numbers on the Mazdaspeed3. Mazda claims it will do well under six seconds to 60mph and, based solely on my butt-dyno, I'm inclined to agree - although even with the fancy torque-limiting system, it's going to need some rough tarmac and fancy launches to avoid massive wheelspin. Mazda also claims the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, which sounds about right; I probed the far right sweep of the speedometer, lifting at around 130mph when I ran out of road. Other than the increased wind noise, the car felt extremely stable and showed no signs of slowing.

By now it should be apparent that we highly approve of the Mazdaspeed3. Of course, it's no secret that we like cars with gobs of turbocharged power - but there is more to this story. There is a deep sense of passion surrounding the Mazdaspeed3 that is absent in almost every modern car, factory tuned or otherwise. Tod put it best when he described the working relationship of Mazda R&D and the race teams they support: "We use a lot of 'transfer of technology' from our Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development programs and input this knowledge directly into our production vehicle programs. For example, we are assisting various teams such as Ed Bergenholtz and his turbo Pro-FWD drag car and Eric Burmeister's Mazda3 turbo rally car. Not only does this help improve motorsports competitiveness, it also provides a great training ground for additional development of young Mazda engineers."

"We don't have a lot of resources like other OEMs," Kaneko continues. "As a result, we need to utilize everyone's specific areas of knowledge and expertise to assist our motorsports and production vehicle development efforts. It's really an example of personal passion since this activity is primarily conducted after hours among the close-knit group of Mazdaspeed teams and engineers."

We're lobbying hard to get a Mazdaspeed3 for our project car garage and if you want one as well, you'd better start making plans. Only 5,000 will be available to North America per year and though the exact price is another pearl reserved for the official press launch, Mazda officials tell us it will be under $25k. We heard rumors that it should be significantly less than that; somewhere just north of the GTI and Civic Si prices. Right out of the box, you simply can't compare those to the Mazdaspeed3, it really is that good. The only real contender should be Dodge's 300bhp Caliber SRT-4 and we're already licking our chops for that cage match. Only after those two do battle will we know for sure which sport compact truly is at the top of the food chain. But until we drive one, our money is on this apex predator.


2007 Mazdaspeed 3 - Hood Duct View








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Old 11-17-2006, 10:51 AM   #3
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lol at the hood duct

put a freaking hood scoop on.

and then make the car rwd
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Agreed about the RWD.

I cannot, cannot, cannot STAND FWD cars. I will never buy one. Yes, I know that torque-steer and understeer have been calmed down in the recent years by engineering fixes, but it's still there in some form or another. But the design of the FWD is inherently very wrong.

So this car may be really good and all that, but I think these guys are forgetting that it's FWD!!!
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:02 PM   #5
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What is point of having all that hp when you can't use it all the time?

To combat the former, the PCM dials back the amount of power available in first and second gear by recalibrating the engine, reducing the throttle angle, and/or adjusting boost pressure. A steering angle sensor assists with uneven tire load, by telling the PCM to reduce power in similar fashion when it senses a sharp or abrupt steering angle input. It's a complicated system that some might distrust, until the very first time they go for a drive.

How much hp do you really have access to in 1st and second, or when you are driving hard on some twisty back roads? You'll never know, not even a dyno could tell you how much hp the computer is pulling. But if you want to do a highway roll up to speeds that will get your licencse revoked, you are all good!!
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:26 PM   #6
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All of you FWD whiners... one question:

Ever driven an Integra Type R or a Mazdaspeed Protege?

... yeah. Thats what I thought.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0bman View Post
All of you FWD whiners... one question:

Ever driven an Integra Type R or a Mazdaspeed Protege?

... yeah. Thats what I thought.

I've owned a GS-R and driven a MSP. I loved them both. There is something very special about a car that will go where you point it.


and if you've never driven a FWD to the point of a 4 wheel drift, then you haven't driven one fast enough.


there aint nothing wrong with FWD. it all comes to a matter of preference and fashion.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Crunch View Post
lol at the hood duct

put a freaking hood scoop on.
It'd be cool if an aftermarket hood comes out that can use the 04/5 STi hood scoop.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemani View Post
It'd be cool if an aftermarket hood comes out that can use the 04/5 STi hood scoop.

it wouldnt be cool itd be tacky
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid_Roo View Post
I've owned a GS-R and driven a MSP. I loved them both. There is something very special about a car that will go where you point it.


and if you've never driven a FWD to the point of a 4 wheel drift, then you haven't driven one fast enough.


there aint nothing wrong with FWD. it all comes to a matter of preference and fashion.
Not really.

Those cars are exceptionally well enginered, but they are overcoming a technical limitiation.

I belive from an engineering stand point the potential for speed goes something like this:
mid engine - AWD
rear engine - AWD
front engien - AWD
mid engine - RWD
rear engine - RWD
front -RWD
front - FWD

Frontwheel drive shifts too much weight off the wheels when accelerating and too much onto the front when braking. Needs more traction to have the same ability to corner and accelerate.

That said a well enginered FWD car (ITR, B13 SE-R, MS protegee) can absolutely own on a poorly engineered RWD (80s stang).
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post
That said a well enginered FWD car (ITR, B13 SE-R, MS protegee) can absolutely own on a poorly engineered RWD (80s stang).
Glad you included the B13 SE-R. When set-up properly those cars can handle like they're on rails!!! That's all Mike Kojima at SCC races...
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:48 PM   #12
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Dude, this article came out like 3 months ago. That said, I'd like one, just for fun!
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post
That said a well enginered FWD car (ITR, B13 SE-R, MS protegee) can absolutely own on a poorly engineered RWD (80s stang).
I think we're kind of making the same point FWD in itself is definitely an inherit weakness. HOWEVER, completely thrashing a car b/c it's FWD is as unfair as touting a car b/c it's RWD. V6 Mustangs are RWD, aren't they? OH... that's makes them teh awesome!

Ha.

It's all about the entire equation, not where the power goes. Sport Compact Car, and those in the know, are putting this car up there as having that equation balanced.
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:14 PM   #14
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Not really.

Those cars are exceptionally well enginered, but they are overcoming a technical limitiation.
.....

That said a well enginered FWD car (ITR, B13 SE-R, MS protegee) can absolutely own on a poorly engineered RWD (80s stang).


for 99% of Drivers, there aint nothing wrong with FWD.

for 100% of drivers on public roads, there aint nothing wrong with FWD.


all the bais that people have against it for cars that they drive on the street is purely personal and subjective. But in reality, someone with reasonable coordination and proper driver's education can drive a FWD in any road condition and not kill themselves.
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:17 PM   #15
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I have a feeling that half the people here think their car handles well because it can hold an 50mph on-ramp at 70mph. My RS feels like it handles well until you start to push it... then is it understeer, understeer, and understeer. Subaru can't tune a good street suspension for ****, IMO. It either takes bumps and such well and handles floaty (WRX), or handles well and makes you piss blood (STi). The MINI Cooper S has way less body roll and far more precise handling than a WRX and actually takes bumps and such better.

~~Quentin
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:47 PM   #16
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I autox an '88 crx si in STS2--always has the fastest time on street tires against the M3s, Evos, and yes, GASP! STis.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:16 PM   #17
hhcchen
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how come no one said that looks like 08 impreza...???
but only saying the 08 impreza looks like a mazda...
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:19 PM   #18
STi Hopefully
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That tiny duct is to cool down the battery, you can see the edge of the intercooler duct on the bottom left corner of the picture.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:37 PM   #19
dodiox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0bman View Post
All of you FWD whiners... one question:

Ever driven an Integra Type R or a Mazdaspeed Protege?

... yeah. Thats what I thought.
yeah in the rain! they slip!
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:17 PM   #20
Garwin
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Originally Posted by hhcchen View Post
how come no one said that looks like 08 impreza...???
but only saying the 08 impreza looks like a mazda...
No ****, Sherlock.

The Mazda came before the Subaru so, pray tell me, which looks like which?
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:33 PM   #21
jikhead
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hmmm...I got this edition in the mail like 3 months ago.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:07 AM   #22
EBWRC#1
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Now ...I see, this is the new f4st3r!!!!
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:35 AM   #23
Impreza01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid_Roo View Post
for 99% of Drivers, there aint nothing wrong with FWD.
It's true that there is nothing wrong with FWD for majority of drivers.

Quote:
for 100% of drivers on public roads, there aint nothing wrong with FWD.
Tell that to the snowy state drivers.

Quote:
all the bais that people have against it for cars that they drive on the street is purely personal and subjective.
Wait, I track my car and also drive it on the street. I hate FWD and all the track instructors spoke of it disapprovingly. They also drive the cars they track on the street too. True, the feeling is personal and subjective, but it doesn't mean it's no less important to an enthusiast (the likely bunch to drive this car).


Quote:
But in reality, someone with reasonable coordination and proper driver's education can drive a FWD in any road condition and not kill themselves.
That's 100% true. It's the driver's responsibility. They drive the car; the car doesn't drive them.

I think FWD is still somewhat of a shame for a car like this. The reason is not because it's inherently FWD, but this is a car many people will probably use on the track. FWD has bad corner exit capabilities because the traction needs to be divided between the acceleration and turning. However, FWD has great corner entry because the rear wheels don't have drive shafts and axles, so they make rotational changes much easier than RWD and AWD and follow the car at turn-in. FWD cars will eat up the front tires faster though since everything relies on the front wheels. For this reason, I really hate FWD, and I hate the fact FWD is not as easy to manipulate for different driving techniques. All of the aforementioned is for performance-oriented cars, not the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry type of cars.
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:05 AM   #24
upnygimp
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You guys go ahead and tell these people that FWD sucks. No really- I want you to go up to them in the winners circle, and say "Your FWD car is so inferior to a RWD/AWD car, the only reason you must have won was pure luck."

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Old 11-18-2006, 04:24 PM   #25
b4437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upnygimp View Post
You guys go ahead and tell these people that FWD sucks. No really- I want you to go up to them in the winners circle, and say "Your FWD car is so inferior to a RWD/AWD car, the only reason you must have won was pure luck."

fwd sucks and ya'll won cause of luck. i will never buy a fwd car. i'll take the sx4 and awd.
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