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Old 03-29-2001, 10:50 AM   #1
Subie Gal
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Wink WRX ride and drive - Scottsdale AZ

The WRX ride and drive is to be hosted by Subaru of America - from March (?) to May of this year - the ride and drive is located in Scottsdale AZ at the Firebird Raceway.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend this last week - March 27-28 - as part of the SIPP... which most of you are familiar with.

The ride and drive consisted of an introduction to the product line, accessory line, engine and suspension components of the WRX. After a 1 day class/seminar/intro to the vehicle - we were allowed to test and drive the cars themselves.

Basically we were involved in 4 differenct activities at the Firebird Raceway. My day went like this...

Activity 1 -
ride along w/a UK professional driver. There were several driver/instructors on hand, great guys! Most all of them were Rally drivers in the UK!! yeah baby!!! I loved them all!! hehehe anyway....
The ride along was a 1 lap experience in a stock WRX fitted w/BBS accessory wheels and tires. That 1 lap was - quick, fast, furious and fun!! Someday I'll be able to drive like that....

Activity 2 -
we got to take 1 hot lap on a different track in a WRX w/an instructor by our side. Of couse, I love to toss the car sideways and i got a wee bit too sideways on a left hander that really tightened!! I found a wee bit patch of dirt! just a wee bit!
*steve shimp masterfully driving the WRX around the bend i got eaten up on! *

Later in the afternoon, we got a 2nd shot at this track, and, now being familiar with it, I had no worries in getting the car up near 100mph in the straight.

Activity 3 -
was a street drive. We were to take the WRX out at legal speeds *yeah right* on a 14 mile loop.

Activity 4 -


pro solo competition... (yes.. they were too terrified to hold a Rallyx competition... hehehe they all heard i was coming and changed it to tarmac! LOL!)
I was well off the pace, but had a good drive and nice chat with my instructor.

My overall views/feelings etc...
the WRX -
very nice car, chassis is well improved - yet stock suspension is still lacking a bit and allows for a bit much body roll for performance driving. Street, the car is probably one of the best in it's class. Nearly untouchable.

After 5000 rpms the boost dies out - but 1-3 are fantastic - as long as you are in a 5 speed. I drove an Auto for comparison and honestly, there is so much turbo lag, i cannot recommend that car to anyone. My RS would be miles away by the time that WRX got going.

The Event -
Another high class, well organised event put on by Subaru. My sincere thanks to our hosts and instructors ;o) - well run, informative and worth the vacation time I used up!!!

more Pics and all that good stuff on my site...
www.subiegal.com
follow link from updates from main page...

cya!
Jamie www.subiegal.com


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Old 03-29-2001, 10:53 AM   #2
bratmantlz
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Unhappy

you see nothing like that ever happens here in my state damnit... it sucks here that looks so fun, if i had the means to be able to do that i would....
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Old 03-29-2001, 10:56 AM   #3
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Post

I'll have my pics and content on the NESIC site later.

I am just too tired to pull it off my camera and get it together at this point.

I got some good stuff though.

The ride and drive was great, I've had a chance to drive the car prior to going, but I didn't have a chance to push it and really get a feel for it till the ride and drive.

As Jamie stated, they hosted classes for the dealers and us going over all the attributes of the car.

As far as the course time goes, SOA had differnt situations setup to show the different strong points of the car.

I'll have pics avail later.
till then.
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:05 AM   #4
8Complex

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I need to scam a way into becoming a "professional driver".

I don't suppose you guys got to really flog the cars, did you? I know I would be sideways in every corner if they said it was ok.
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:24 AM   #5
Fish
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we were decently able to "flog" the cars..

along the straight on the road course we were reaching 90-100mph speed..

and even the best we did, wasn't even close to the "flogging" that the rally drivers were able to dish out..

they were evil to the cars, the tires were chunking all over the place. but it was a blast to ride along for.
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:47 AM   #6
8Complex

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Sweet!

SOA, if you're listening, I want to volunteer (yes, that means for free) to be one of your featured drivers next time you do an event. I'm sure I can very nearly keep up with the rally drivers on tarmac. Just email me if you're interested.
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:57 AM   #7
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Where's the moderator --- shouldn't this be in the WRX forum!?!?!?



And Jamie didn't mention who won the ProSolo competition (ahem ahem)...
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:58 AM   #8
slidewaysmike
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Yes, and here is a photo of the 60 some odd WRXs all under cover. Waiting to be abused. I think I am just going to show up there everyday and bug them so much that they let me ride along with one of the rally drivers.



Mike
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Old 03-29-2001, 11:59 AM   #9
Force[FED]
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The Ride and Drive held for the WRX is exactly what SoA needs for the dealers to REALLY understand what the WRX is all about. Most people at the dealers are NOT rally fans, so their knowledge of the history and the cars capabilities are zero to none. This quick and dirty program gives them some in-class technical info, as well as a great video explaining the WRC history for Subaru. And of course driving the cars will make them even more enthusiastic to sell the cars.

I had a great time (of course), but the best part of the trip for me was the hot lap with the rally driver behind the wheel. Oh my...I only wish I had 10% of Andy's ("you can DOOO it") driving talent. Not only was I blown away by what the WRX could do with some 17" tires and brake pad upgrades (unknown), but at how he could handle the car so perfectly. Simply amazing, and a real treat. I now know that I will probably never be able to reach my WRX's full potential as a driver, even at stock power levels.

Pictures and info soon to come on forcefed4.com

Kevin
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Old 03-29-2001, 01:52 PM   #10
AlphaDog
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I disagree with the assertion that the boost "dies" after 5000 RPM. During my test drives, the car pulls hard for as far up the RPM range as you want (I did up to about 5900). I'm not saying that it necessarily builds, but it doesn't drop either (at least you can't feel it happen if it does).

Nick, I'm curious to know how much you've dropped on your ride, if that's not being too personal. If it is, just tell me to shove it.

-Dog
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Old 03-30-2001, 12:22 AM   #11
ANZAC_1915
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I was expecting the sales/rallying presentation to be the worst thing of the trip and it turned out to be really good.

I think it will really help dealers understand the type of customers they'll be getting for the WRX.

Best moment of the trip for me was high fiving the instructor when I got within 6 hundredths of his best time.

Glenn
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Old 03-30-2001, 12:37 AM   #12
Subie Gal
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Wink




yeah Glenn.. ya kicked arse... like THAT was a big surprise! i called it.. I did! me! i told everyone... watch Glenn... watch Glenn!! hehehehe

ok.. nuff coffee already!!
it was a great opportunity... very fortunate to have been there...

j. www.subiegal.com
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Old 03-30-2001, 12:43 AM   #13
Nick
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Cool

Well I personally liked in order of most to least...

1) The Ride along with the professional drive - These guys were nuts... and thanks to Andy I know know and have experienced a rally maneuver called a Scandinavian Flick, on tarmac, and on hot tires! It was a real eye opener!

2) The Street Drive - It was a great chance to feel the car in a nice everyday situation, without this the Ride and Drive would have been useless. I did manage to get the car up to 110 on the highway for a little... It was smooth sailing all the way up there.

3) Auto-X - just plain fun, but I need more practice, and I got to see what kind of a piece of poo the Auto is... it's really sad... and I pity anyone who bought one by accident.

4) Track Lap - It was fun... but personally my driving skills aren't that good... so I was a little afraid to push the car too hard. Especially when the instructor is sitting right next to you gripping about you upshifting when your just passing 4,000 RPM... silly Brit!!!

Overall... I really liked the WRX. The auto is laughable... but the MT is really pretty nice. It's not as easily beaten on as the RS though. The RS just seems to always push more and more and want to go faster. The WRX just kind of seems to creep there deceptively fast.

I compared earlier today my car at 5psi with the minnam kit as being much faster than the stock WRX. It's just a different kind of ride though. The WRX is much smoother... the RS with, or even without, a turbo just performs differently. The RS has grunt, the WRX has finesse. The RS feels like it always wants to go faster while the WRX just creeps there without you knowing it.

Bottom line, if I didn't own an turbo'd RS I would most definitely get myself a WRX. However I am already at a state of tune on my car that has pushed it well beyond what the WRX, and possibly even an STi flavor, can do!

The only other little thing... is for me... the stock car wouldn't be quite fast enough. I would want to tinker... and I would lost my warranty... so in both situations I would have lost my warranty anyway. At least this way I have the cool old body style! I'm proud to have the same styling characteristics as the 22B, P1, RB5, etc...

-Nick
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Old 03-30-2001, 12:45 AM   #14
Weasel 555
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Xcellent reading about your xploits in arizona.....congrats to glenn also.....
xtremely jealous!!!!
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Old 03-30-2001, 02:41 AM   #15
Kostamojen
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Interesting... No wagons???
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Old 03-30-2001, 02:45 AM   #16
Force[FED]
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They had some wagons on display, but none were involved in ANY of the driving areas. Very odd. I wanted to drive one to compare it to my sedan, but no such luck.

I thought this was probably the biggest problem about the whole gig. Especially since there really is a huge niche of people that love the WRX wagons (sport wagons in general are popular now).

Kevin
www.forcefed4.com
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Old 03-30-2001, 04:56 AM   #17
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AlphaDog ~~ The WRX definitely does start wheezing above 5500 RPMs or so. On the hot lap course there was a fairly long straight where you could wind out the car a little and this was very apparent. I'm sure that with some intake and/or exhaust changes this would easily change (exhaust first).

Very impressed with the new Impreza. Steering is excellent, turn-in is excellent, balance is remarkable. Worlds better than the last generation Impreza.

I agree with Jamie, though, do NOT go with the automatic in the WRX. UGH! Very annoying and disappointing. The automatic mated to the 2.5L in the RS is most likely a MUCH better option.

Steve
http://www.forcefed4.com/

PS. "Masterfully" does not really describe my driving, Jamie. But thanks!
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Old 03-30-2001, 04:57 AM   #18
webkris
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Cool

I was also lucky to attend, and will have pics, and a full details on our site tonight. Driving impressions, etc.

The highlights of my day include:

Hearing the wailing of tires drifting sideways at 60MPH on pavement for about 5 seconds, as the rally driver drifts the entire last corner. "Where's the line for that ride?!?"

Passing the "suggested" braking zone at 80MPH in 4th gear. Waiting a few seconds, and then having the instructor tell me to brake. They were all pretty comfortable with us once they saw we knew how to control the car, and that we had some experience in the field of tossing a car into a corner at 60MPH. "Those breaking cones are pretty conservitive, right??" - "Yeah - we want people to stop way before they lose control, but you guys were doing fine."

Watching the reaction of the dealers after I ran a 25.5 second "practice run" on the little autocross they had, and a 24.7 second "timed run". The best times so far by this group of dealers was like 27.2 . Then Jim followed right behind me with a 25.0 run.

More later on http://drive.to/yourlimits
- Kris


Lots of WRX's hitting the streets of AZ.

[This message has been edited by webkris (edited March 30, 2001).]
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Old 03-30-2001, 06:47 AM   #19
gumball
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ya'll are sooooo lucky! dang thanks for the pics and info!!!
lotsa body roll in Pic 1 though or just the shot angle
WRX looks like a baby GS400 in some of the pics, pretty sweet.
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Old 03-30-2001, 06:57 AM   #20
Nick
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AlphaDog:
I think Steve can agree with me... we have both spent a healty chunk of change on our cars... but I still truly believe that the RS with a turbo has much more potential than the WRX.

I would actually do out the math, but it would be waaaay to depressing. Let's say... after a new tranny I probably could have afforded to get a new S4.

-Nick
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Old 03-30-2001, 07:33 AM   #21
ANZAC_1915
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The blue WRX I drove on the small track loop was definitely underpowered compared to my car and the red car I used on the street drive. My WRX runs out of puff at about 5800 or 6000 ish.

Glenn
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Old 03-30-2001, 01:32 PM   #22
mprezme
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should of told u was coming subaie gal, i would of caught of with you, and let u ride my GT ...anyway nice
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Old 03-30-2001, 04:36 PM   #23
johnfelstead
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Have a Nice Day?

Hey, just realised no rear wings on the cars!

Thats so not right on a WRX!!!!!!

Get with the program SOA!!
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Old 03-30-2001, 06:52 PM   #24
ANZAC_1915
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Actually, that's a good thing. There is a wing shortage, so they saved them all for customer cars!!

Way to go SOA!
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Old 03-30-2001, 08:40 PM   #25
Subie Gal
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Wink



another piccy... yeah guys.. 35mm - and a scanner will do ya wonders eh?

steve... what kinda camera are you using?

again... what a great opportunity!! thanks to SOA and all who were involved in this...

j.
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