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Old 09-20-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
Wylde Horses
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Default RS owners that have driven modded WRXs...

Crib notes: Can a WRX be cheaply modded to have a similar low end to the 2.5 RS?

I'm planning to pick up an impreza as a daily driver/wintercar. I test drove both a WRX and a 2.5 RS, and the RS was far better for just driving around town. The story is the same one that's been posted so many times over: the low end torque in the WRX was just abominable but it really started hauling at 4k+. So I've been looking for a '00 - '03 2.5 RS sedan w/ manual transmission, but there has literally been nothing on the market for the past month. If it comes down to it though, I would rather settle for a WRX (manual sedans are a dime a dozen) then buy a new 2.5 RS. I've looked at a few dynographs of WRXs vs. RS' to compare torque curves and it's no surprise the stock WRX is a gutless wonder down low - ~100 ft-pds at 2krpm and rapidly dropping compared to a steady ~120 ft-pds in the RS (not to mention the torque multiplication of the shorter gears in the RS). What I've found though is that with a few mods (catless uppipe/downpipe, accessport, maybe intercooler hoses as well) the torque curves rises to roughly equal the RS' 120 ft-pds at 2k, though it is still arcing downwards quite rapidly.

Now for some reason I'm just not that keen on spending more for a car that is less streetable, and then spending still more to make it streetable, But seeing as winter is coming and I don't want to drive the mustang in the snow for another year, my options are becomming limited, so my question is this: To those that have driven both cars, in your opinion can a WRX be modded fairly cheaply ($1400 USD or less) to be as streetable as the RS (IE a much more usable torque curve from 1500 - 2500 rpm)?

Thanks in advance for your opinions (except those "WRX is teh win" jackasses). I am going to crosspost this over in the turbo 2.0 forums to get their impressions as well.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
I test drove both a WRX and a 2.5 RS, and the RS was far better for just driving around town. The story is the same one that's been posted so many times over: the low end torque in the WRX was just abominable but it really started hauling at 4k+
For some reason, that does not compute with my little brain. If you just want low end torque for "driving around town", what's the posted speed limit in your town? How fast to you actually have to accelerate to merge into traffic? I mean, by that logic, probably 80% of the cars on the road don't meet your standards of an around town car.

Maybe you should take that WRX for another spin, and see how long you actually spend below 2-2.5k, and ask yourself how long you do spend 3K+ where the RS lacks a fairly significant component.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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if you want a fast car, DON'T BUY AN RS. my rs is great, but i love it for its handling, AWD, and fuel usage.

RS's are slow.


if you're looking for a 'streetable' car, go for an RS, but comparing a turbocharged WRX to a car with a motor from the legacy outback is just not something one can do easily.

if you ever want to be able to accelerate fast(relatively) above 5mph, the RS just won't do it.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
if you want a fast car, DON'T BUY AN RS. my rs is great, but i love it for its handling, AWD, and fuel usage.

RS's are slow.


if you're looking for a 'streetable' car, go for an RS, but comparing a turbocharged WRX to a car with a motor from the legacy outback is just not something one can do easily.

if you ever want to be able to accelerate fast(relatively) above 5mph, the RS just won't do it.
That's the thing, I don't want another fast car. I have my 'stang which can rip most WRXs a new hole by the end of the 1/4. I'm just looking for a streetable daily driver, but finding a used RS seems to be nearly impossible. That's why I'm looking for a WRX as a possible substitute.

fireball: I'll tell you what, 80% of the cars on the road don't have 2.0 litre displacement engines with 8:1 compression ratios which end up yielding a whole lot less torque then the 2.5 from ~2700 RPM on down, stock for stock. I don't know about you, but unless I'm accelerating hard (read merging onto the freeway) I'm most likely to be revving no higher then 3k.

I realize the RS doesn't have the punch up top that the WRX does, but that's not what I'm after. It has enough power to get me around town, and the curve is extremely smooth. I'm assuming you haven't driven a stock RS and WRX back to back - the difference is night and day.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:41 PM   #5
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WRX and RS get similar Mileage only thing you get is you don't have to put premium in the RS
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:48 PM   #6
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There is a very very simple fix to this issue. If you get a Cobb Accessport, which you can even get for a completely stock WRX, it will spool up much lower and make more boost in 1st gear. I have driven all three a fair bit. I own a modded 2.5RS. My ex has a WRX wagon, as do several friends. The Accessport makes the WRX's turbo spool up much lower and you have partial boost starting around 2500rpms and pretty full boost by 3200rpms or so. A stage I AP gives you around 250hp, IIRC. If you want the stage II down the road, just buy a turbo-back exhaust, download the map from their site and you are around 275horses. IMHO, an AP should be the first mod ANY new WRX owner makes to their car. And for your $1400 budget, you can get an Accessport and a TBE if you shop smart...
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:52 PM   #7
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what? get the WRX.
my friend has a stage 4+ wrx and its still "streetable"... thought it didn't though a fit when it got ****ty gas. i like my rs. but thats becuaes i don't have the $tank for a WRX. my dream car is a stage 2 wrx wagon m/t. if you want, by the wrx and if you don't like it i will trade you for my 04 rs
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:22 PM   #8
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A turbo car will never have the throttle response that N/A cars have. Which is why the RS feels so much better around town.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:27 PM   #9
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The WRX can drink a lot of fuel if you are heavy on the throttle. RS is much more forgiving on harder useage fuel mileage wise. I've owned both... still miss my WRX.
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
fireball: I'll tell you what, 80% of the cars on the road don't have 2.0 litre displacement engines with 8:1 compression ratios which end up yielding a whole lot less torque then the 2.5 from ~2700 RPM on down, stock for stock. I don't know about you, but unless I'm accelerating hard (read merging onto the freeway) I'm most likely to be revving no higher then 3k.
I don't get it, if you aren't accelerating hard, what do you need the torque difference for? I can see the need for power pre-turbo if you want to race the car around, and will be doing a lot of low speed starts, but on the street, the WRX has more pull than any other small engine car I've driven.

Shift RPMs aren't really a universal thing, either. I mean, if you bought an S2000, would you be shifting at 3k all the time? Listen to the other guys techincal advice ... IMO, thinking a 2.5 is more streetable means you're looking at the WRX all wrong.
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Old 09-20-2004, 03:18 PM   #11
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I get about 23 MPG in my stage 2 WRX no matter how aggressively I drive it. The premium fuel costs a little more, but it's worth it.
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Old 09-20-2004, 05:50 PM   #12
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My friends 04 WRX has a stage 2 with AcessPort and it just now has comparative low range power to my TS, except with worse throttle response. My TS is better for simple cruising point a to b stuff IMO, although it's not particularly difficult to drive his car either. Plus I get 27 mpg on average and can run side by side with his stage 2 from a roll with less than $1000 in mods.

The NA sounds like crap with an open exhaust where the WRX is niiice.

As far as "see how long you actually spend below 2-2.5k"... almost everywhere I go is below that. I shift at 1700-2000 around town, only on the highway where I have to pull 3000-3500 simply because I don't have any more gears do I get over that. I guess if you have a WRX though you're used to having to rev it up to find the power
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Old 09-20-2004, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HndaTch627
WRX and RS get similar Mileage only thing you get is you don't have to put premium in the RS
that's why i said usage, not milage
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Old 09-21-2004, 01:07 AM   #14
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How long have you been looking for an RS? 30 days? I luv my RS. Actually this is my 2nd one... Its 'slightly' modded. So it handles great, gets acceptable gas mileage, has very appealing styling. Plus it surprises the hell out of those driving Porsches, BMWs or any other 'trendy' type of car which may be double the value of mine. When I'm either glued to their arse, or passing them during a spirited drive...

Take your time, find an RS.... Specifically a 2000-2001 RS. Try to avoid the 02-05 RS'

Chris.
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyChris
Try to avoid the 02-05 RS'
Why is that?
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:44 AM   #16
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I dont know about you but the 04-05 has a better body style
They dont have those ugly bug lights
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Old 09-21-2004, 09:08 AM   #17
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GC > Bugeyes > Crosseyes

I still miss my '03 RS

But I do love my '04 WRX

If you can find a '00-'01 RS, that's your best bet for speed, mostly because they are 300lbs. lighter. I couldn't find one for a reasonable price, so I bought an '03.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:09 AM   #18
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If you want low end torque high end power and AWD. Why don't you look and the new Legacy GT? 250/250 feels really nice. It's not very much more then the WRX cost wise either....or you could get a forester XT and swap in a WRX suspension and have a killer sleeper.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STiJard
If you can find a '00-'01 RS, that's your best bet for speed, mostly because they are 300lbs. lighter. I couldn't find one for a reasonable price, so I bought an '03.
But the 02+ has a chassis that's around 250% stiffer
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasona
But the 02+ has a chassis that's around 250% stiffer
marketing and crash test safety. A number of tuners will tell you that if you trick out the suspension on both a GC and a GD, the GC is gonna handle better. The weight difference really does matter at the extreme. That stiffer chassis drivel only really matters if you compare bone stock to bone stock...
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:09 PM   #21
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I completely understand what was meant by shifting before 3k rpm's in the rs. You do that in the wrx and you are just getting into boost. The difference is night and day when comparing stock to stock, I agree. I usually get it up to 3800-4000 rpm before I shift. And the rs does have a very mild "kick" at 4k rpm which is mildly exiting I suppose.

You have to define normal street driving I guess.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratt_finkel
A turbo car will never have the throttle response that N/A cars have. Which is why the RS feels so much better around town.
i have one of each... and that's just not a true statement

true a stock wrx is very laggy... but it's gonna kill an NA RS after 2nd gear

and yes the RS is a low-end-torque-monster - but it's not a fast car - there is nothing after 2nd gear...

all that being said...
you'd be AMAZED what a few go fast mods (exhaust, suspension) + www.ecutek.com can do.... (or any proper ecu reflash) ask some of the guys in the 2.0 or tuning forum

ecu reflashes are CHEAP in comparison to dropping a turbo into your RS

and they completely change the car...
Jamie
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyChris
How long have you been looking for an RS? 30 days? I luv my RS. Actually this is my 2nd one... Its 'slightly' modded. So it handles great, gets acceptable gas mileage, has very appealing styling. Plus it surprises the hell out of those driving Porsches, BMWs or any other 'trendy' type of car which may be double the value of mine. When I'm either glued to their arse, or passing them during a spirited drive...

Take your time, find an RS.... Specifically a 2000-2001 RS. Try to avoid the 02-05 RS'

Chris.

You can pass in your rs?... hmm, damn I know I can't even cutin and out to traffic when im late for work anymore... god damn slow 2.5!!!!!
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Old 09-22-2004, 05:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessesTalon
You can pass in your rs?... hmm, damn I know I can't even cutin and out to traffic when im late for work anymore... god damn slow 2.5!!!!!
Have you tried downshifting to pass? Mine seems to work just fine.
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Old 09-22-2004, 05:05 PM   #25
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I had no trouble passing a bozo with a Camaro who nailed the gas when I tried to get around him. Is your RS an automatic?
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