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Old 05-15-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
Tainen
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2001 e46 330i sport
13 SWP BRZ

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Update: Drive and impressions on the nameless performance axleback and high flow catted downpipe:


Dyno vid!



After Nameless Performance did an axleback exhaust(cold start, wait til 1 minute to hear it at idle):





Picked up my SWP BRZ Limited MT6 yesterday. After driving it for 50 miles, here are my first impressions, pics, and a video.


First Impressions of the BRZ-
Driving:
First off, let me state my previous car ownership experiences. 89 prelude, 03 WRX, 91 prelude, 08 Impreza, 330i sport, and have driven various M3s, Lotus Esprit twin turbo, STIs, various 3 series, and others. So my opinion will obviously be based off of these experiences.

The car handles better than any STI or WRX that I have ever driven or ridden in. I don’t say that lightly, either- the car doesn't even feel like it's even playing by the same rules compared to my modded out WRX (which had eibach springs, perrin sway bars, kartboy endlinks). It feels honestly, to me, like a poor man’s Lotus Elise, or comparable to a buddy’s Boxster. The steering is tight and relatively heavy, and you can feel the road in the pedals and the wheel. It’s overall fairly stiff suspension, and it communicates the road to you rather well- and I cringed when I started coming up on a stretch of really poorly repaired pavement that only covered one side of the lane. Well- it handled it like a champ and was very smooth. I was shocked. That must be the sign of a good suspension design, because most of the suspensions I’ve felt are either 1) incredibly stiff in all circumstances or 2) standard commuter car boat like suspension. This was different. Firm on small bumps and imperfections, and then… it glided over a nasty series of patchwork asphalt for a hundred meters.

The braking feels amazing. I was really, really surprised here- it feels better than my stoptech stage 2 setup I had on the WRX (SS brake lines, motul fluid, aggressive pads and rotors). I’m sure they will fade on a track, but the feel and engagement is some of the best I’ve ever felt on a completely stock car. Very little dead travel.

Acceleration- Well, here we are, the dreaded downfall of the car according to the innernets. J I actually feel like it’s pretty quick, from my experience so far. You can tell the car really WANTS to get up past 4k RPM, and I’ve gotten up past there a few times so far, but not too deep. I can feel the torque dip, 3500-4000rpm feels a little low on torque compared to the rest of the power band, but it still accelerates in that range just fine. The MPH numbers tick up relatively fast, but because you can’t feel that torque, it feels like you’re going fairly slow. I don’t mind that torque dip so much, because two reasons: 1) when I’m on the track, I won’t be in that range of the power band 2) at lower, cruising RPMs, you have pretty much all of your torque. The car likes to cruise at around 2500 rpm, and you’ve got all your torque there. I actually felt pretty good about being in 6th gear on the freeway, and the car didn’t feel slow, and I was able to move around people with reasonable acceleration without downshifting. It also helps because the car is so light- you can feel it’s lightness, because the car does like to accelerate and does it easily. The motor doesn’t labor overall, the car doesn’t really bat an eye at freeway curves or curvy backroads. There’s a pretty specific section of 405 here that’s known to slow traffic down to about 40 mph because of how steep the curves are, and I gotta say. It felt like I wasn’t even turning at all. I thought my WRX was a champ, but man. This is another level entirely.

The car feels like it slows down time for me. It’s not crazy fast, but it does like to accelerate, and the handling is so good that it doesn’t break much of a sweat, so it slows down time a little bit. That excites me, because I know that’s the proper way to improve your driving- the better you drive, the slower it feels. This feels like a car that you can really spend a LOT of time learning how to drive correctly on a track, and find lots of extra seconds every lapping session. I thought long and hard about buying an M3, but I know that it would be a different experience in this regard- it’d be harder to find extra seconds on a track, because it’s got so much more power and traction. The car loves to carry momentum, and it just asks to be pushed around corners- plus it’s such a breeze, that it’s not scary in the least to drive it hard, like that M3.

Coming from an AWD and FWD background, I can tell you it feels weird to have such a balanced car- I’m used to managing all the weight up front, and what that feels like at the limit- so now that the rear end feels as heavy as the front end, I’m going to haveto get used to that and what it feels like. That clearly means the overall lateral grip and handling characteristics are better, but that’s why I bought the car- to truly learn how to drive a RWD car properly. J

Color/exterior:
The SWP looks truly beautiful in the light. I have it sitting next to my 330i in Aspen White as you can see in a few of the pictures, and it's a good comparison- I was initially worried the car would look a little beige, as some people had mentioned that when the SWP was first seen on this car. Well I can tell you, it doesn't look beige at all, it's a very nice clean white. It strikes a tone between the satin and the pearl, depending on lighting type and strength.

The looks of the car are growing on me a lot. I'd seen one before in person- a red one, but this limited looks quite a bit better imo, and not just because it's mine. haha. It looks a lot more sexy in person, with it's small stature and pronounced curves. The rear spoiler looks really, really good in person imo. Far smaller than I thought it was from the pictures. The front integrated lip looks really, really aggressive in person- in the pics it doesn’t do it justice.

Interior:
The leathers and soft touch surfaces are nice. I definitely feel like the Limited trim is worth the extra money- the dash layout, buttons, switches, and dials all look quite a bit better than the premium imo. If you want a track beater or cheap sports car, go with the FR-S or BRZ Premium, but if you’re going to put the car in the garage and bring it out on sunny days only and make it your 3rd weekend car, then the limited makes more sense. The limited interior feels pretty upscale for the most part. Far better than pretty much any other Subaru interior I’ve seen (haven’t seen the Legacy GT interiors up close). The seats are… amazing. Best interior feature by my vote. J

Biggest complaint so far: The head unit. I paired the car to my phone via Bluetooth last night, and went for a cruise. The only song selection options you have via the head unit are forward, backward, and next album. That’s it. Zero folder or artist navigation. I haveto navigate my albums from my phone (windows phone) mostly, which is disappointing- I’d rather keep the phone in my pocket and just let the car handle everything, since I don’t like using my phone while in the car. The windows phone voice texting is pretty nifty though- I can receive and send text messages through the sound system with ease. Oh the garbage song/station navigation also applies to XM satellite radio too. I haven’t used the GPS nav yet, no need… I didn’t even really want that feature. J I’d love to see how the iphone integration works, to see if it’s worth looking into an iphone to make the features work better. But if song selection nav sucks even on the iphone integration, then it’s no bother. With the zune software on the windows phone I can listen to almost any album in existence streamed thru the 3g connection and then thru Bluetooth into the car without having to download it, buy it, or anything. I’d hate to give that up.

walk-around video

Pics














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Last edited by Tainen; 06-01-2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: added axleback vid
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
chanomatik
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Having a Windows Phone that doesn't agree with my 2011 WRX very well it's interesting to see how the BRZ's unit deals with it since I'm sure it's the same unit found in the current Impreza and 2012 WRX/STI. It's made me consider getting an iPhone or Android just for mainstream purposes, otherwise I love the phone. Might be remedied this summer with the new Windows Phone OS. *shrug*

Regardless, excellent write-up and thanks for the pics! Some guys in Alaska will definitely appreciate the feedback about the crappy sections of road you endured!
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:32 PM   #3
Dominator
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Nice review. Great looking car, I love the white. Glad to hear it's a true white too, I hate the cream colored pearls. They always look dingy and yellowed. Can't wait to pick one of these up used in a few years.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
Mavrik
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I pre-ordered back on the first of march for the same thing. satin white, 6spd manual limited. expecting mine by the end of the month. Looks SWEET!
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
Calamity Jesus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOMIN8R View Post
Nice review. Great looking car, I love the white. Glad to hear it's a true white too, I hate the cream colored pearls. They always look dingy and yellowed. Can't wait to pick one of these up used in a few years.
It's still a pearl white. It might have blue flake instead of gold which makes it look brighter.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
chanomatik
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I'm curious to know what future "mods" you have planned? Tint, shift knob, wheels, tires, exhaust (something larger since you noticed how small USDM BRZ's are), etc. etc.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
Tainen
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2001 e46 330i sport
13 SWP BRZ

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within 24 hours mods:
Clear bra entire hood, fenders, bumpers, various other locations
mild window tint

within 7 days mods:
full exhaust system all the way back
strut bars
SS brake lines
intake


the 7 days list isn't up to me, it's up to the company and what they finalize for development with my car.

6-12 months:
Enkei NT03m+ in hyper black with some good rubber for autocross/track
Springs, either RCE or Eibach
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
chanomatik
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Nice! Will you be updating this thread or will you make a separate one in the member's area that you will continually update?
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
Tainen
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13 SWP BRZ

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I duplicated this thread in the members forum and saved the 2nd post for the "upgrades" section.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
chanomatik
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Roger that. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #11
KC
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Serious question... do the brakes feel mushy already that you need SS brake lines... right now? Or, are you doing them for a reason other than to say "SS brake lines"?

--kC
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:55 PM   #12
industrial
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I'm guessing a sponsor is installing them probably to test fitment. The OP gave his car up to be a guinea pig for some free/cheap parts, I'd do the same if 99% of the shops weren't on the opposite coast. From everything I've read about the brakes, sounds like all I'll ever need is fluid, pads and tires for the occasional HPDE.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:34 PM   #13
Suby*Doo
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models. Deal with it

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Same brakes that were used on the 11-12 wrx I think. If it can stop that car, this should be no problem. I don't remember what vendor, but one said that they put new fluid and lines in and it felt amazing.

Pictures of the key fob please since it's keyless entry
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:54 PM   #14
Tainen
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The brakes and brake feel is really amazing. It doesn't need SS lines at all, and like Industrial said, it's a part fitment test

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Old 05-16-2012, 06:23 AM   #15
Deslock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tainen View Post
Biggest complaint so far: The head unit. I paired the car to my phone via Bluetooth last night, and went for a cruise. The only song selection options you have via the head unit are forward, backward, and next album. That’s it. Zero folder or artist navigation. I haveto navigate my albums from my phone (windows phone) mostly, which is disappointing- I’d rather keep the phone in my pocket and just let the car handle everything, since I don’t like using my phone while in the car. The windows phone voice texting is pretty nifty though- I can receive and send text messages through the sound system with ease. Oh the garbage song/station navigation also applies to XM satellite radio too. I haven’t used the GPS nav yet, no need… I didn’t even really want that feature. J I’d love to see how the iphone integration works, to see if it’s worth looking into an iphone to make the features work better. But if song selection nav sucks even on the iphone integration, then it’s no bother. With the zune software on the windows phone I can listen to almost any album in existence streamed thru the 3g connection and then thru Bluetooth into the car without having to download it, buy it, or anything. I’d hate to give that up.
Thanks for the detailed write-up and congrats.

Have you tried using voice commands to control audio playback? The rumor is that this is the same head unit as what's in the Forester. According to page 300 of the Forester headunit PDF, you should be able to navigate folders over bluetooth (or when connecting non-iOS devices over USB). Also, page 301 shows the following voice playback commands with an iPod (and thus iPhone) via USB:
  • Next track, Track up
  • Previous track, Track down
  • Next folder or Folder up
  • Previous folder, Folder down
  • Show list
  • Artist <Artist Name>
  • Genre <Genre Name>
  • Playlist <Playlist Name>
  • Shuffle
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #16
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Man, that white is gorgeous. Congrats.


Must...not...be...tempted.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
Calamity Jesus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tainen View Post
Biggest complaint so far: The head unit. I paired the car to my phone via Bluetooth last night, and went for a cruise. The only song selection options you have via the head unit are forward, backward, and next album. That’s it. Zero folder or artist navigation. I haveto navigate my albums from my phone (windows phone) mostly, which is disappointing- I’d rather keep the phone in my pocket and just let the car handle everything, since I don’t like using my phone while in the car. The windows phone voice texting is pretty nifty though- I can receive and send text messages through the sound system with ease.
I don't think there's a bluetooth protocol that will let you stream A2DP and select songs. Have you actually seen a head unit that does this?

Does the Windows phone let you select songs by voice the same way you voice txt?

BTW: Bluetooth streaming compresses music down and generally makes it sound pretty awful. I only recommend using it for talk shows.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:51 PM   #18
Tainen
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haven't tried that yet. Thanks for the info
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #19
skatery1989
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Why don't you invest in a iPhone
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:53 PM   #20
dompower
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the reinforcement in the engine bay are stock?
look..


cusco sell it for 450$!!!! :O



BTW very nice car!! cant wait to get mine!! (around june 20th)
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:53 PM   #21
Tainen
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Well- windows phone has the zune software, which lets you have unlimited music for 10/mo. pretty good price model, much cheaper than paying a dollar a song, and you can stream it all thru the cloud, from phone, pc, or xbox... it'd be pretty tough to give that feature up (one of many good features no one else has)

and yes, those reinforcements are stock. They don't seem like they do much, since they don't even attach to the strut mounts.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:00 AM   #22
Tainen
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #23
industrial
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Thanks for the vid. It will be nice to compare the exhaust sounds after you get your exhaust done. I hope it sounds like the auto factory one!
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:44 PM   #24
fukamoto
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Spotify on iPhone is unlimited for 10/mo.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:22 PM   #25
quentinberg007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
I don't think there's a bluetooth protocol that will let you stream A2DP and select songs. Have you actually seen a head unit that does this?

Does the Windows phone let you select songs by voice the same way you voice txt?

BTW: Bluetooth streaming compresses music down and generally makes it sound pretty awful. I only recommend using it for talk shows.
I've been pretty impressed with the streaming quality from my iphone 4 to my 4Runner over bluetooth streaming. Low quality rips (128mbps mp3, for example) do sound bad, but higher quality music files translate quite well over my iPhone and 4Runner. Dunno, how, but it does.

Tainen - Congrats! Looks fantastic!!!
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