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Old 09-24-2008, 01:52 PM   #1
Dave D.
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Default Full 2009 WRX road test Road and Track

At the risk of double posting, I am posting this link which was in "non-Subaru news" here, as it really is a Subie topic on this forum:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=7103

0-60 5.1 sec, 13.8 sec @ 101mph 1/4 mile!
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Last edited by Dave D.; 09-24-2008 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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Color me surprised. Good for Chevy. Very bland car. I'm not sure if there is a dealer option on the lsd for the cobalt or not, I didn't see one on chevy.com...which I would think would be mandatory.
Good to see the wrx is up there and the rallyart isn't quite as hot as was hoped.
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:55 PM   #3
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From everything I've read about the Cobalt SS, it's an amazing car for the money. One mag quote I read said "this isn't just a good handling front wheel drive car, this is a good handling car... period." There were a couple of people who brought out SS's to the SCCA autocross nationals and did VERY well with them. With the 2.0 turbo motor from the solstice in it, it's a great package. I was not surprised at all to see it at the top of this test.

I was happy to see how well the WRX did! Just goes to show what's possible with very little work.. and that yes, we were right- if a WRX was tuned like an MS3 is, the WRX would kick its ass!

And another thing- the WRX got the best fuel economy out of all the cars! 22mpg combined. The ralliart got 17.... yiiiikes.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:05 PM   #4
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The trap is 13.8 at 101. The 0-60 was with a redline launch
The Cobalt test didnt have the LSD but there is one optional for $4XX
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remowgn View Post
There were a couple of people who brought out SS's to the SCCA autocross nationals and did VERY well with them. With the 2.0 turbo motor from the solstice in it, it's a great package. I was not surprised at all to see it at the top of this test.

I was happy to see how well the WRX did! Just goes to show what's possible with very little work.. and that yes, we were right- if a WRX was tuned like an MS3 is, the WRX would kick its ass!

And another thing- the WRX got the best fuel economy out of all the cars! 22mpg combined. The ralliart got 17.... yiiiikes.
+1 I saw Dietz win the Finale in his Cobalt SS turbo in the wet (over Feinburg in Kraus' WRX)! Those turbo SS's are definitely an amazing performance bargain.

I'm also glad to see the WRX do so well in this test. I did catch the following in their write-up:
Quote:
And although the WRX didn't win any outright handling categories, such as the slalom or skidpad, it posted the best time around the autocross, beating the Cobalt SS by 0.16 sec.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiketkd View Post
I'm also glad to see the WRX do so well in this test. I did catch the following in their write-up:
Quote:
Quote:
And although the WRX didn't win any outright handling categories, such as the slalom or skidpad, it posted the best time around the autocross, beating the Cobalt SS by 0.16 sec.
which is the most important aspect to me. plus, even know the new wrx isn't the best looking car ever, it KILLS the cobalt in that department. not to mention that as performance increases (and with enthusiast-focused cars like these that's usually the case) the fwd will lose traction while the wrx soldiers on.

09 WRX FTMFW!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
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I hate to risk sounding like a Subie fanboy, but Road & Track has been reeking of "I got paid off by Chevrolet" lately.

I felt this way ever since I bought the Road and Track Magazine with "The Fast and the Frugal" article. Yeah, the Cobalt SS beats out an Audi, Nismo 350Z, Corvette Z51, Lotus Elise, and S2000...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=6881

After reading it and looking over their competition algorithm it felt to me like they ran the tests first then figured out what they had to do to the algorithm to get a Cobalt win. At any rate, I thought it was weak.

And now this...the Cobalt puts down more torque (similar hp), weighs less, runs a faster slalom and skidpad, and doesn't suffer from brake fade like the WRX supposedly does around the track. The WRX still edges it out in a 0.5 mi Prosolo run and they don't even include that in the performance based rating...Frankly the performance points could be based upon quartermile and the Prosolo lap alone and I would be more satisfied with this test.

Then these asshats go through and give it a flawless victory in regard to driving excitement, engine, gearbox, steering, brakes, and handling. Hmmm...if it's so great why didn't it win where it counts, 1320 and autox?

I swear, ever since I read that "Fast and Frugal" article I haven't been able to take these guys seriously.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
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The Cobalt SS trapped at 104, 3mph faster then the next car, that's in the test.
The Cobalt SS tested didn't include the optional LSD and was still right on the heels of the WRX in the autox, that's in the test.

It's one hell of a car, the numbers aren't being manipulated so that it would be #1...it is #1 and at 5k cheaper.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/assets/d...risonchart.pdf

1/4
cobalt - 13.9 at 104mph
wrx - 13.8 at 101mph

0-60
cobalt - 5.4
wrx - 5.1

a brutal but necessary redline launch in the wrx gets it out a head early

by 0-70 the two are even, from 80 on the Cobalt is picking up time

0-120
cobalt - 18.6
wrx - 19.8

stopping from 80mph
cobalt - 214ft
wrx - 221ft

laterl accel
cobalt - .92g
wrx - .87g

slalom
cobalt - 70mph
wrx - 67mph


and this is the cobalt without the LSD....the WRX clearly isn't #1
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:22 PM   #9
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The cobalt had no LSD which in this cars case makes a huge diffrence. If it did it would of beaten the rex on the autocross, but it just cant put the power down the way the rex can.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:29 PM   #10
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sometimes a FWD LSD doesn't help... sometimes it even makes things worse... even more understeer, so I wouldn't think you'd automatically get improvement in anything with an lsd... other than straightline traction
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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Cobalt FTW!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #12
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:41 PM   #13
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I own a 08 ss and trust me a cobalt without one does not stop spinning coming out of a corner, but mine with the lsd does a much better job of pulling out of the tight turns at the auto course
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:45 PM   #14
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Wow, that's a really really significant improvement for the rex.

There are officially a good number of great cheap cars out there now. MS3/WRX/SS. Don't think you should be ashamed at driving any of them...
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshJWilliams View Post
I hate to risk sounding like a Subie fanboy, but Road & Track has been reeking of "I got paid off by Chevrolet" lately.

I felt this way ever since I bought the Road and Track Magazine with "The Fast and the Frugal" article. Yeah, the Cobalt SS beats out an Audi, Nismo 350Z, Corvette Z51, Lotus Elise, and S2000...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=6881

After reading it and looking over their competition algorithm it felt to me like they ran the tests first then figured out what they had to do to the algorithm to get a Cobalt win. At any rate, I thought it was weak.
Even if they did, it's because they genuinely thought it should win the test. I doubt they actually did it this way- I personally know someone on the R&T staff and have some insight into how they go about doing their testing. Everyone on the staff has their own opinions about vehicles, and they don't throw softballs. They obviously can't continuously slam auto makers or they won't get cars from them any more... but I guarantee there is not the conspiracy that you see there.

Quote:
And now this...the Cobalt puts down more torque (similar hp), weighs less, runs a faster slalom and skidpad, and doesn't suffer from brake fade like the WRX supposedly does around the track. The WRX still edges it out in a 0.5 mi Prosolo run and they don't even include that in the performance based rating...Frankly the performance points could be based upon quartermile and the Prosolo lap alone and I would be more satisfied with this test.

Then these asshats go through and give it a flawless victory in regard to driving excitement, engine, gearbox, steering, brakes, and handling. Hmmm...if it's so great why didn't it win where it counts, 1320 and autox?

I swear, ever since I read that "Fast and Frugal" article I haven't been able to take these guys seriously.
The things you mention as "wins" for the cobalt are intangibles. Magazine racing can't account for that. There's no quantitative measure for how "good" steering, shifting, or even the feel of an engine. That's where the x-factor comes in, and they all sit around and decide which car actually won the test. And I can tell you for a fact that there's no "but we got these nice pen and pencil sets from Chevrolet" going on in those conversations.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:38 PM   #16
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Great, if the Cobalt with LSD runs a faster lap time than GM should have sent it. There is no "well it probably would have". You win or you lose. It's not a difficult concept.

And the car is not 5k cheaper (Cobalt SS 22,995 MSRP, WRX 24,995 MSRP). To further reinforce this, I just bought an 09 WRX for 26.XXX out the door with 1k in options...do the maths...

This article really didn't bother me as much as the Fast and Frugal article. I thought that one was pathetic. If you don't understand what I meant by the algorithm being funny you should go look at it and judge for yourself (again, better than the 350Z, Vette, Elise, and S2k which can be had used for 20k and dominates A stock). This article bothered me mostly because it was the second time I have read about these guys circle jerking over the Cobalt in the past 2 months when the results to me indicated that it should not really be the competition winner.

"A brutal but necessary redline launch in the wrx gets it out a head early..." So what, are you implying that the fact that they are hard launching the Subie means it shouldn't really count...? LMFAO...
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:43 PM   #17
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I personally never drove an SS but I'm not surprised. I don't understand why people keep thinking american cars all suck. In this case the looks and the finish look are downright ugly as sin, but who cares if you're into pure good driving time? Personally I'd still get the WRX cause it's not much more expensive and is much more nicer.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:48 PM   #18
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Cobalt SS is in the employee pricing deal they have going on. So, if you can find a no option coupe then it will cost less than $19K and only about $20K for the sedan.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshJWilliams View Post
Great, if the Cobalt with LSD runs a faster lap time than GM should have sent it. There is no "well it probably would have". You win or you lose. It's not a difficult concept.

And the car is not 5k cheaper (Cobalt SS 22,995 MSRP, WRX 24,995 MSRP). To further reinforce this, I just bought an 09 WRX for 26.XXX out the door with 1k in options...do the maths...

This article really didn't bother me as much as the Fast and Frugal article. I thought that one was pathetic. If you don't understand what I meant by the algorithm being funny you should go look at it and judge for yourself (again, better than the 350Z, Vette, Elise, and S2k which can be had used for 20k and dominates A stock). This article bothered me mostly because it was the second time I have read about these guys circle jerking over the Cobalt in the past 2 months when the results to me indicated that it should not really be the competition winner.

"A brutal but necessary redline launch in the wrx gets it out a head early..." So what, are you implying that the fact that they are hard launching the Subie means it shouldn't really count...? LMFAO...
Man dood you're post reeks of hurt. So what if they said that? Maybe it did maybe it didn't. Wouldn't be the first cheap undesirable car of it's time to do that(ae92?). Like you said you already ordered your 09 WRX so who cares if the SS is better performance wise.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave D. View Post
At the risk of double posting, I am posting this link which was in "non-Subaru news" here, as it really is a Subie topic on this forum:

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=7103

0-60 5.1 sec, 13.8 sec @ 101mph 1/4 mile!
this supports my guess that the new wrx has the LGT's engine and turbo. Road and track tested the LGT at 5.1 and 13.7 @ 99.2 mph, Although the wrx has a slightly higher trap speed - the LGT also weighs a bit more.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshJWilliams View Post
Great, if the Cobalt with LSD runs a faster lap time than GM should have sent it. There is no "well it probably would have". You win or you lose. It's not a difficult concept.

And the car is not 5k cheaper (Cobalt SS 22,995 MSRP, WRX 24,995 MSRP). To further reinforce this, I just bought an 09 WRX for 26.XXX out the door with 1k in options...do the maths...

"A brutal but necessary redline launch in the wrx gets it out a head early..." So what, are you implying that the fact that they are hard launching the Subie means it shouldn't really count...? LMFAO...

If anything stinks in this thread, it's your fanboisim and self justification for your purchase.

The 5k cheaper came from the MSRP's listed in the article for the vehicles as tested. I'm sure the Cobalt can be had below MSRP as well. In the end the Cobalt is still cheaper (and faster)

Anybody with any seat time in a WRX knows that you don't redline launch it, not if you want to drive it home in one piece.

I'm implying that I could care less about the number because it's not real world. R&T can clutch dump the hell out of the car becuase they didn't buy it and aren't keeping it. They'll abuse it and give it back.

The cobalt was .1 seconds slower in the 1/4mile without a "brutal" awd launch.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshJWilliams View Post
Great, if the Cobalt with LSD runs a faster lap time than GM should have sent it. There is no "well it probably would have". You win or you lose. It's not a difficult concept.

And the car is not 5k cheaper (Cobalt SS 22,995 MSRP, WRX 24,995 MSRP). To further reinforce this, I just bought an 09 WRX for 26.XXX out the door with 1k in options...do the maths...

This article really didn't bother me as much as the Fast and Frugal article. I thought that one was pathetic. If you don't understand what I meant by the algorithm being funny you should go look at it and judge for yourself (again, better than the 350Z, Vette, Elise, and S2k which can be had used for 20k and dominates A stock). This article bothered me mostly because it was the second time I have read about these guys circle jerking over the Cobalt in the past 2 months when the results to me indicated that it should not really be the competition winner.
The problem is, it's not a review of used cars. Car magazines by and large review new cars. Lots of folks here have complained for years about the RE92 tires that the WRX (up until this year) came with- and rightly so. But it's simply not fair to give one car an advantage, be it different tires, or depreciation from being lightly used. Given the parameters of the test, I can see why the cobalt won. And yes, I read the article. And yes, like I said- maybe they did adjust it. And yes, I believe that this is completely fair if they believe that it really was the true winner of the test. The question was not "what is the best bang for the buck car", it was "what is the best bang for the buck *new* car".

And as far as the scores go- It would be ridiculous for them to write an article where the majority of the testers agreed that it was the best car but their completely arbitrary test posted a different result. It just makes no sense at all.

Quote:
"A brutal but necessary redline launch in the wrx gets it out a head early..." So what, are you implying that the fact that they are hard launching the Subie means it shouldn't really count...? LMFAO...
Is this your first subaru? (Honest question.) It's not that the launch shouldn't count, it's that it is very, very rough on the car. If you were to own all 4 cars for a year, and launch each of them daily with the method used in the article, something on the WRX would break first- guaranteed. You just can't regularly drive the car in the way that gets you the best numbers, and it's definitely good to point that out in the article.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:26 PM   #23
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Wow the SS did great. However, my stomach still turns when I see one. They are ugly with the fake Corvette-ish APC looking rear end and obvious rental car lines. BTW, is the SS even manufactured in America? I don't know but many "American" cars are not even made in USA, what about the SS?

ANd I put $1000 on the WRX killing a SS in the weather I typically drive in here in the Pacific NW. AWD has it's place. And big power FWD only belongs on dry roads.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #24
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^ lol, you get the advantage on the launch in the wet, that's about it
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:54 PM   #25
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We can all see that the SS and WRX are close out on the track - but the SS won't get me through snowy winters on the Tug Hill Plateau in the Adirondacks - I'll take Subaru's reliability over Chevy anyday - worth the extra 2k.
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