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Old 09-26-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
chimchimm5
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Default 08 09 10 STi stock handling characteristics

I got a chance to do a short test drive of a 2009 STi and a 2010 STI w/SPT exhaust package. I've got a few questions to those people who know all Impreza's better. Here are some things I noted:

1) the new sti seems to have quite a bit of turbo lag off the line but gets going after 3k rpms. (I couldn't open up very high on the rpm range due to the new cars)

2) the new sti has very little slop for a stock suspension... lateral weight transfers are almost unnoticeable compared to the stock GD and especially compared to my GG. How did they do this? Are they using stiffer bushing or a smarter design?

3) suspension spring rate feels mild (like SPT pinks for the GD/GG) but is pretty well controlled by the stock struts. What is the spring rate?

4) it's tuned for understeer. It was a little difficult to feel the weight transfers. What are the stock sway bars?

5) I didn't realize they came with Dunlop 245/40/18 tires... pretty fat with the corresponding grip. Would going to 17x8" 05-07 sti wheels help track performance?

6) seats are gobs better than my crappy pignose stock seats, but still no Recaros.

7) car is surprisingly comfortable and relatively quiet... that must be the "lack of edge" people are talking about?
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Last edited by chimchimm5; 09-26-2009 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by chimchimm5 View Post
7) car is surprisingly comfortable and relatively quiet... that must be the "lack of edge" people are talking about?
No, that's probably the rather large amount of body roll the car has compared to the GD STI...
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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No, that's probably the rather large amount of body roll the car has compared to the GD STI...
Is that because of the hatch/wagon body though?
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Would going to 17x8" 05-07 sti wheels help track performance?
Why do you think going smaller and narrower would be better on track? I imagine you're thinking unsprung weight but, I'd take larger tires to a couple lbs more unsprung weight. I think the key reason a new sti is better than the old is being able to mount much wider tires stock.

Stock for Stock the new STI is faster around the Top Gear track than the GD. Body roll or no. The rear suspensions much better. I know it's all personal opinion but, I like the new hatch back look over the GD's too. I don't think body roll hurts the GR as much as it did the GD. First they have more castor in the front and the multi-link rear means that some roll probably doesn't put the tires into positive camber like it would the crappy GD suspension.

I'd love to have an 09 but, I won't track a car I'm making payments on. There no point to me owning one if I'm not going to track it.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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2) I took a drive and thought this too - initial impressions seem like the suspension is very good

3) Spring rates are 217/194 F/R. ~10 lb/in less than the GD in the front. The rears are close to the GD, but the the motion ratio in the rear is quite a bit less than the GD so it's a lower rear wheel rate

4) I think 21mm front 18mm rear

5) Are you asking from a weight perspective?

7) Agree on the surprisingly comfortable part - but at the same time, the suspension felt very firm (felt all bumps in the road) - just the harshness of the impacts isn't there like there were in my wagon.

I didn't get to push the GR that hard in the twisties - but compared to my wagon (ran stock for a while, then ran upgraded sways, then Konis/pinks then Koni/RCE) I thought the suspension felt excellent. Maybe not as firm as immediate as the Koni/RCE, but comparable and it felt much better as a whole.

And other observations, I thought it sounded great and the shifter action is excellent. Quite an improvement over the short-throw 5-spd w/all upgraded bushings.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:52 AM   #6
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In regards to 5) the smaller wheel thing, I'm now not sure what I was thinking other than wheel mass. 245 is huge for stock. It makes me feel like Subaru really is moving the design intent slider towards performance, however wider tires usually point to one thing: getting better performance by brute force of a larger tire.

Anyways, I was overall pretty impressed by the GR, and had I the money and it made sense for the rest of my life I'd trade up. As much as I love my WRX wagon, when I bought it I had no idea how many things I would have to do to it just to make it reasonable to participate in the activities I want.

Interesting on the spring rates (rear motion ratio) and sway bar selections. It looks like rear sway bar would be a must even for someone wanting to keep the GR as-is from the factory.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:24 AM   #7
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No, that's probably the rather large amount of body roll the car has compared to the GD STI...
Body roll is not the only factor one should use to judge a car's handling.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:30 AM   #8
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I sometimes wonder if the people doing things like the "Lightning Lap" to test cars know how to get the most out of AWD cars. My feeling is, to get the best lap times, you can't drive one like a RWD car. On an AWD, that'll just cause it to understeer. Basically, I'm saying that the reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Quote:
245 is huge for stock. It makes me feel like Subaru really is moving the design intent slider towards performance,
I was under the impression you could stick 265's on there without much trouble.
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