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Old 11-27-2001, 05:33 PM   #1
falconfiend
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Question How significant is the low rpm torque (below 3000 rpm) between the WRX & the 2.5 TS?

I posted a question earlier inquiring into the difference between WRX's equipped with either a stick or an auto..... Now I am curious...how significant is the difference between the WRX & the 2.5 TS with regards to hp/torque output below 3000 rpm?
My wife and I are shopping for a car for her to replace her 88 Chevy Nova (gutless 1.6 liter). I chaffeur her around on the weekends as she prefers not to drive on her days off. She is insistant on having an automatic in her car this time. Responses to my last post were pretty split, although the consensus was to go with the stick. Most of the pro stick shift crowd seemed to be road racing purists. Yeah like I can picture my wife throwing the car into a 4 wheel drift as she heel & toes the pedals....rocketing out of the turns on the way to the mini-market. I have to admit I enjoy cars with good power to weight ratios. And I enjoy carving up the twisties. But this is to be primarily a car for my wife. Of course I do want a car with more power & better handling than her current car. I would like to be able to drive in her new car on the weekends.....and not constantly think....."man this $25,000 car is gutless". Remember her current car is a 1.6 liter carbureted....err....normally aspirated to some of you. . And yes.....I am use to vehicles with much larger engines. I have nothing against 4 cylinder engines by any means. My father raced a 65 Mustang and my grandfather raced a 56 Porsche.
I am just trying to make an informed decision before we put ourselves $25,000 dollars further into debt. If anyone can give me some information concerning the hp/torque difference below 3000 rpm between the WRX and the 2.5 TS it would help us quite a bit. I imagine we will probably just have to do test drives to find out. Man.....I really dislike the whole car lot experience! I hope someone can at least give me some specs or something.... Thanks
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Old 11-27-2001, 06:01 PM   #2
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Below 3000 rpm the EJ20 develops just barely less torque than the EJ25 if my memory serves correctly. Once the turbo kicks in, there is no comparison.

Alot of people measure the EJ20's off-boost vs. on-boost acceleration with their "butt dynos" and say "Man this car is gutless below 3000" when it really isn't all that bad. It's just that once the boost hits, the burst of acceleration is incredible. On the other hand, the EJ25 is just smooth linear power (albeit less overall) all the way to redline.

Still, IMHO, the EJ25 is much easier to drive especially if you aren't the type to be totally "tuned in" to the car while driving. Some of us are definitely the "road race purists" and as such our driving style is a bit odd compared to the average motorist (i.e. upright seating position, 2 hands on wheel at all times, no radio, no cell phones, no food/drink, no passengers EVER!, they weigh too much....etc.).
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Old 11-27-2001, 06:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
On the other hand, the EJ25 is just smooth linear power (albeit less overall) all the way to redline.
So true! I had been driving a Mazda 323 1.6l rustbucket which is not a heavy car, but I was really impressed by the power of the Impreza 2.5l. Being able to easily pass in 4th gear near the top of Snoqualmie summit was nice, but the AWD just sticking to the road in the mountains on Hwy 97, etc., was great. I've never driven a car that's so smooth in its power all the way from low to redline+ rpms.
If you look at other posts on this site, most people agreee that Subaru's are not the smoothest clutches, so I'd definitely go for an automatic for your wife. Also, the AWD mechanism is arguably more sophisticated in the AT than the MT. I don't think you'll be bored with the AT -- definitely try it out! (Since the car is not your main drive, also remember that you save about $5k going from the WRX to 2.5l Impreza.)
If you're willing to go to the Puget Sound area for dealers, I can point you to a couple of good salesmen (and some bad ones), but you should be able to get an MY02 Outback Sport for a few hundred $ over invoice + taxes + reg. I assume the same is true for the RS and TS; the WRX might be more.
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Old 11-27-2001, 07:19 PM   #4
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The ej20t (wrx) is no comparison to the ej25 (rs, ts) on low end torque. Untill it hits boost the ej25 has 25% more displacement and has 10.1:1 compression vs 8:1 No comparison. However once the wrx hits boost.... goodbye. For someone who doesnt like to rev their engine, and rarely shifts about 3.5k (less I know the wrx hits boost a bit earlier) the TS or RS is a better car.
Drive both. But the wrx and RS in second gear at 2k and floor it. You'll see until it hits 3k
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Old 11-28-2001, 03:06 AM   #5
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As much as everybody loves the WRX (I'm not opposed to it... I'd love it if I bought one too!) I would have to encourage you to go for an OBS or a RS/TS. Why? Because it's going to be your wife's daily driver, is it not? The power of the 2.0 turbo is great if you like blasting down the freeway, or hanging the tail end out on gravel roads, but it'd be a waste of money in my opinion.
The 2.5l is no dog. It does fine. You can (in theory anyway) run lower octane gas in it. It's got fewer parts to service in the long run. Insurance should be cheaper.

The only people I'd advise to get a WRX are those who really want to have that kind of power. How do I put this? If your wife doesn't really like to drive, and when you say she doesn't like to drive on her days off I'm going to have to assume she doesn't, she doesn't need the extra power. In fact she could get herself into trouble with it. Plenty of people who LOVE driving have already cracked up because of it.
The WRX is a driver's car. Don't waste your money.

If it was going to be your daily driver, and you were (are?) the type of guy, who like me drives for pleasure, I'd say go ahead.

Save your money. Or rather, reduce the debt.

I know that if my significant other was looking to purchase a vehicle, I'd steer her away from the WRX. I would love driving one, but she really wouldn't get more pleasure from it than any other (comperably equipped) car out there. I'd have her save her money. When it was my turn to buy a new car, then I'd go for what *I* want.
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Old 11-28-2001, 09:35 AM   #6
Seamus
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Default OBS or TS probably a better fit for her

I agree with Horatio. Well said.

Certainly, your wife (as well as yourself) should test drive both the WRX and the TS and/or OBS, both in MT and AT forms if she is undecided on the choice of transmission. Even if you hate the general dealership experience, no one should make an investment on any new car without a thorough test drive.

I'm not a Subaru owner yet either, but an Impreza is going to be my next car. I've driven the WRX, both a freind's car and a demo wagon at a dealer, in automatic and 5-speed, and I loved them both, though I'd purchase the 5-speed if I were to buy one myself. It is a terrific car.

I've also driven an OBS with both transmissions. From my own brief test drives, I'd agree the 2.5 liter OBS delivers more usable low RPM torque. When it comes to low rev power, the old saying is true, "There's no substitute for cubic inches". But the OBS runs out of steam when the revs climb a bit, and that is just where the WRX comes into its own and really shines.

That "whoosh" of power as the boost kicks in can be intoxicating, as all the lucky WRX pilots know full well. But you have to "work" the car a bit in order to get the most out of it. The WRX is certainly a "drivers" car. And for someone who really enjoys driving, part of the pleasure is in acquiring the skill to get the most out of the car, knowing that it takes a certain "knack" to get it just right. That's part of the fun. But, from your post, it doesn't sound like the WRX may be the best fit for your wife's driving style.

I'm sure, after even a brief test drive, your wife will feel that the 2.5 liter engine in the TS/OBS is a huge improvement over her old 1.6 liter Nova, no doubt about it. This engine performs well in 5-speed form, and it may be even a better match with an automatic than the WRX, especially if it is to be a "daily driver". Factor in lower purchase price, lower insurance costs and lower fuel costs (if regular gas is used) and you can save a bunch of money buy going with a TS or OBS.

So, bottom line. Your wife should go drive one. If she is satisfied with the power of the TS or OBS, and I'd guess she will be, get one and enjoy the savings over the WRX. Later, you could always add things like an intake, exhaust, maybe the WRX Wagon rear sway bar, etc., if your wife would like to increase performance. But don't steer your wife into a choice that "you" would prefer, or into a choice based on what the enthisiasts on this board would choose for themselves. Man, that will just get you into trouble down the road. The lady should drive what she's happy with, whatever it turns out to be.

For myself, after much going back and forth, I'm going to get a 5-speed OBS. I like the features it offers over the TS. It will be my daily driver and, for me, it has enough power for my needs at the moment I will probably add some mods as time goes by. And financially, it's more within my reach. Plus, I'm going to put the money I saved over the WRX into my savings toward a new Moto Guzzi V11 Sport! We all make our choices

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Old 11-28-2001, 10:34 AM   #7
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I have an auto WRX and if I could do it over again I probably would get the manual.

But I have to let you know that the auto has plenty of low end torque for me, and I used to drive a powerful V6.

On a test drive the auto WRX will not sell you at all. The auto needs to be broken in an warmed up, then the power feels a lot better down low. Of course down low it is no V6 with instant huge torque, but it is pretty good. Once the car is warmed up the response is good, and if you put your foot down a little more you get all the power you want. When I am driving around town I don't need huge power, but I love knowing it is there if I put my foot down.

Sometimes below 1500 rpms it can be pretty bad, but once I am driving I don't notice any lack of power. It just takes off smoothly building power as it goes. It makes 80% of its maximum torque at 2200 rpms (if I remember what SOA said correctly), which means you don't have to wait till 3000 - 3500 for some torque. 80% of 217 is more than you old car probablly had at any rpm.

Of course the 2.5 RS has better down low. I never drove an auto RS so I can't really say. But I think the extras that you get with the WRX make it worth the extra money regardless of transmission or how you drive.
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Old 11-28-2001, 07:47 PM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rev:
It makes 80% of its maximum torque at 2200 rpms (if I remember what SOA said correctly)...
No offense, but I don't think you're remembering correctly. Having spent quite a bit of time behind the wheel of my sister's WRX wagon, I can say without a doubt that the WRX does not make 173ft-lb at 2200rpm. Not a chance. Maybe 3200rpm? I dunno, but that 2200rpm is not right. My 2.5GT tops out at 162ft-lb at 4200rpm, and I know it develops more torque than the WRX at 2200rpm.

As much as the WRX is fun to drive, there's definitely no comparison under 3000rpm. If I bought a WRX I would really have to re-learn how to drive a stick - the low end torque is that pathetic. With my 2.5GT I roll up to stop signs and then accelerate away in 2nd gear, pulling from 1800rpm (or thereabouts) without any problems. Attempt the same manuever with the WRX and the thing just doesn't want to get out of its own way. Even my sister (whose previous car was a 1.8L '97 Jetta 5 speed) says she's had to change her driving habits - in the Jetta (hardly a torque monster) she would stay in 2nd, but with the WRX she shifts down to 1st.

I concur with the above suggestions - get the 2.5TS for your wife. No, it's not as quick as the WRX, but it's still no slouch, and she'll be perfectly happy with it. You'll both be perfectly happy with the thousands of dollars you save.

Just my $0.02....
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Old 11-28-2001, 08:25 PM   #9
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For what you're looking for, get an RS or TS. The WRX is a lot of fun, but it's really a car for the enthusiast type of driver, who enjoys using a stick shift, and shifting frequently. If you don't do that, you will rarely use the additional power. Spend the money you save for a nice vacation, and you will both be happy.
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Old 11-28-2001, 08:30 PM   #10
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Contrary to what others are recommending, I say go with the WRX for the wife. Even if it's "wasted" on her, at least you'd be able to enjoy it on the weekend, or when you guys go out together.

[edit: hummm.. but if she is INSISTING on auto tranny, it may not be too enjoyable for you anyway. Can you talk her into a stick shift? ]

Even though my wife has her daily driver, I drive when we go out at night or weekend. I really dislike her car, the handling, the power, etc. As a result, many a times, I would insist on squeezing the wife and kids into my car (not so bad now with the WRX wagon, but I had a 2000 Eclipse) just so I would enjoy the drive.

As for torque, it is enough. I'm still suffering through the break-in period, so I'm keeping it under 4k rpm. Power feels ok if you are in the right gear. No, I never test drove the RS, so I can't compare the low end torque between the two.

Anyway, that's my 0.02

Last edited by robert99b; 11-28-2001 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 11-29-2001, 04:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xio
Some of us are definitely the "road race purists" and as such our driving style is a bit odd compared to the average motorist (i.e. upright seating position, 2 hands on wheel at all times, no radio, no cell phones, no food/drink, no passengers EVER!, they weigh too much....etc.).
Hmm...thats how I drive! Except I sit "Ganksta style", mostly because my head would rub on the ceiling in my car if I sat upright.
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:20 AM   #12
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OBS all the way... the TS just looks far too cheap to me. OBS has some luxo items and a nicer interior... plus the sexy two tone...
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Old 11-29-2001, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
No offense, but I don't think you're remembering correctly. Having spent quite a bit of time behind the wheel of my sister's WRX wagon, I can say without a doubt that the WRX does not make 173ft-lb at 2200rpm. Not a chance. Maybe 3200rpm? I dunno, but that 2200rpm is not right. My 2.5GT tops out at 162ft-lb at 4200rpm, and I know it develops more torque than the WRX at 2200rpm.
Patrick check out this link which shows the stock WRX's powercurve, it is pretty close to what I said. I forget where I got the info from SOA, but this will do for now.


WRX power curve
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Old 11-29-2001, 02:00 PM   #14
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Look Rev, if you're going to back statements with facts, you can just get the heck out of here!

Glenn Wallace also posted a comparison of the 2.5RS and WRX torque curves, and the difference wasn't as great as people make it out to be. No, you can't just stomp the WRX throttle and have the mojo come on from low revs, though. But the engine revs quickly, and you're in the fun zone before you know it. I just remember having to change my diapers after my WRX test drive. I came out of a Legacy GT wagon, FYI.

Having said that, I LOVE the way the OBS looks. Every time I see one, it turns my head. And if she wants an auto, that's probably an indication that she isn't into all the enthusiast stuff. OBS all the way.

Kevin
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Old 11-29-2001, 10:55 PM   #15
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That graph does ramp up faster than I would have expected. I still gotta throw the BS flag on the 80% @ 2200 claim, though. Those numbers just don't jive with the way the car behaves in my humble opinion.

Whatevah!

Pat
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Old 11-30-2001, 11:12 AM   #16
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Well in your defense Pat, those numbers are not at the wheels which might explain why the numbers don't jive with how the car behaves.
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Old 11-30-2001, 01:40 PM   #17
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So that 2.0l has more torque by 2200 rpm than the 2.5l does total? Isn't 2200 before the turbo spools up?
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Old 11-30-2001, 05:30 PM   #18
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If we say it makes 150 ft/lbs at 2200 that is 69%. Not too bad really. There are some cars that never make that much torque. Of course, it looks like the graph is not from a chassis dyno. Therefore your mileage may vary depending...
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Old 11-30-2001, 08:01 PM   #19
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Ditto the sentiments above. My guess is that after your wife drives the two cars she will be happy with the 2.5. I test drove an RS as a Honda Civic owner. Compared to the Civic's 1.6 the RS had tons more pull. You'll likely have lower operating costs too!

Quote:
in the Jetta (hardly a torque monster) she would stay in 2nd, but with the WRX she shifts down to 1st.
Yes but the stock Audi/VW 1.8 turbo engine has a very flat torque curve that comes on early - I think it is close to it's peak output by ~1800 rpms.
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Old 11-30-2001, 08:23 PM   #20
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Ummm. Why don't you just go test drive both? See for yourself. The 2.5 is geared lower so that might make it feel like it has more torque.... just a guess. I go around corners in 3rd and it pulls pretty hard from a low RPM.
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