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Old 06-15-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
573
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Default 2015 WRX auto-x impressions

I took my wrx to an auto-x last weekend and figured I'd share my thoughts since I haven't seen a lot of discussion on 2015's yet.

I see this thread becoming a place where people can talk about which driving techniques these cars reward with good times and what effects modifications to the car itself have.

To keep the discussion meaningful, use data when it's available and accompany subjective reports with relevant info on your background(past experience, previous vehicles, etc.) for context.

Here's my fastest run, which also happened to be the FTD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE-U0UcLP0s

I have been autocrossing casually since 08 and most of my recent experience is in an auto-x/track day oriented ls1 swapped Miata. The WRX is my daily driver and I don't have big plans for it.

The good:
-Steady state grip is great.
-Transient steering response is good for a decently large sedan.
-The electronic torque vectoring seems to help. I did one run with the system off and then turned it back on. If you're the type who immediately turns off driver aids upon getting into a car, you should at least give this one a chance.


The not necessarily bad but could be improved:
-The car felt a bit soft and floaty in the tighter sections of the course. That's at least in part due to the stock tires. The roll stiffness felt as though it improved as the tires warmed up and the pressure increased. The chalk I applied to the sidewalls after the first run supports this as on subsequent runs it wasn't rubbed away from parts of the sidewall that had obviously contacted the pavement on the first run.
-Turbo lag. It's not very noticeable in normal driving, but becomes very noticeable when you need power to get out of a tight turn. To give you an idea of what I mean, I did a few of runs with times varying by no more than a few tenths. Then on the next run, I started left foot braking to build boost earlier in the turns. Without changing my lines, I dropped an entire second and my left foot braking skills have lots of room for improvement. Simply getting on the gas earlier in a turn doesn't cut it with this car as the onset of power is progressive and caused me to push wide of the apex if I applied the throttle early enough to have power just after the apex.
-Understeer. It'll push a lot if you let it. I found smoothing turns and doing a larger proportion of my braking before turn-in to be very important. Enter a turn too quickly or too abruptly and the car won't yaw.


Basically every fault I've cited is something that an engineer intentionally worked into the car.
-For the tires, they have NVH and ride quality targets to meet. Have different priorities? Get different tires. Wider wheels would firm things up too.
-The lack of torque down low is harder to explain. Probably something to do with fuel economy and smoothness. I suspect that there's a decent bit of room for improvement and that changing the calibration will help.
-The understeer protects average drivers from their own inexperience and the safety guys and legal department are grateful for that. Making the car more neutral could be as simple as changing the alignment settings.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
hekler
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wow great review.....looking forward to hearing what else you encounter
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 573 View Post
Basically every fault I've cited is something that an engineer intentionally worked into the car.
Sounds like some kool aid. I think physics & price point has more to do with the short comings.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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I had a similar experience to you in when I autocrossed my WRX. For frame of reference I've been autocrossing for over 8 years now, in a variety of cars from an old MKIII supra to a couple of miatas to most recently (and most of the time) an STX prepped BRZ.

Good:
Nice having power after autocrossing miatae and a BRZ.
Torque vectoring is great - helps me make turns I shouldn't
More grip than expected from stock tires
Steering is tight, easy to control body.

Bad:
It's fat
Brakes feel only okay
Body roll after full on sweepers or during slaloms
Slaloms take a little setup due to size of car
Turbo lag

I think it would do the job if I were in One-Car mode but I'd still rather be in something like a BRZ or Miata.

The car is actually incredibly competent, and still very fun to drive - I imagine in STX trim this car would be fantastic - perhaps the car to have in STX, even more so than the twins? I'd love to see some sibling rivalry - BRZ/FRS vs WRX (vs the bmws and the RX-8 I guess...)
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iLuveKetchup View Post
Sounds like some kool aid. I think physics & price point has more to do with the short comings.
They're only shortcomings to a small subset of consumers. To most, they're features. The reality is that most of these cars will never see an auto-x course. Subaru wouldn't be a very good business if they jacked up the price to accommodate parts that are of little value to their broader market or compromised the vehicle too much towards the interests of serious performance enthusiasts.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:42 PM   #6
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Total noob in experience (first time ever running @ tracks ever), but I ran my '15 STi this weekend at two autocross days. Won novice class on the timed day, placed 27th or 29th (or something) out of 70ish cars overall on PAX, would've finished around 4th I think in Street (non-novice).

Take everything that was said earlier about the WRX and cross off the issues with the slaloms, brakes and floatiness. The suspension/diff/brake changes appear to have a huge impact on the car in stock form and you pay the price for A stock vs D (is '15 WRX still D?) stock. That being said, the car was still plowing all over the place if you were on the throttle anywhere near apex on wider sweeping turns - had to brake HARD in and add throttle at about 15-20% after apex gradually to prevent some serious front end wash. This does not want to drive at all like a rear wheel drive car when pushed near the limit.

I did mess with tire pressure a bunch and found that the best setup I could get on the stock tires was actually 37psi front/35psi rear (hot). It corrected some of the understeery plow and let the tail get a tiny bit happy in slaloms. C-diff auto appeared to also outdo c-diff auto- which surprised me, but I suppose it's rational.

Overall, I got a solid 15 laps in over two days so I had enough time to mess around with the setup. Also, the reviews of the brake vectoring are 100% accurate - definitely noticeable and not intrusive like traction control. Give it a try.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:21 PM   #7
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Ive ran my car a bunch in the mountains and have done 2 autox events so far. Completely stock 2015 wrx minus a pitch stop mount right now.

I pulled 1st in novice my first event and 2nd in my second event (street tire with DS index).

Ive only done autox a few times in my 2011 wrx so I can't give any detailed comments.

Im currently building my car for STX, while still being street friendly (8k spring rates). Ill be using the stock wheels/tires for track/autox until they are ate up before I buy a dedicated wheel/tire set-up.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:23 PM   #8
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Video of first event.

***** This is on Conti DW tires which are horrible for autox. The stock tires did much much better in my second event.*****

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Old 06-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #9
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Saw this on another site I frequent...



To me, it appears that it still wallows like the heft that it is.

--kC
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
Saw this on another site I frequent... To me, it appears that it still wallows like the heft that it is. --kC
They are on coils and I'm pretty sure conti DW tires.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:20 PM   #11
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My co-driver who has tons of D Street GR WRX seat time drove one locally (rustyshacklefords's car). He thinks it has less roll, a lot less turbo lag, and overall should easily beat the GR's once shocks are out for it and you get it dialed in. We shall see.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:46 PM   #12
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The real question is can it run close to the Audi TT in DS.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:51 PM   #13
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I'd be willing to try if I didn't like Pro Solos so much as I'm going to replace my TT after it is sold with something. The TT is on our watch list naturally as are other cars. We'll see what happens at nationals before that classing discussion gets serious. No need to send us letters either.

Last edited by ABQautoxer; 06-17-2014 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post

To me, it appears that it still wallows like the heft that it is.

--kC
IDK, a sub-3200 lb. car is hardly "hefty" compared to the majority of cars of similar purpose nowadays. And to think I was briefly considering a 2015 Mustang at 3700+ lbs.

It is interesting that those with more platform experience come away with a completely different impression than those new to it......not directed at kC.

My car will be in within 2 weeks and we'll see how things go at Wilmington against Feinberg.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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I was noticing the same thing Wayne.

Tom
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:07 PM   #16
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Off topic, but why'd ya give up on the TT? Not a good daily? You can PM if you want, just curious.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:14 PM   #17
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One personal reason unrelated to the car itself at all, the other being DS is dead at Pros. Watching Jim run all those Pros and Tours against small fields or in bump looked boring so we moved to STX and its always a huge class. I have no regrets there, better to be trophy fodder in a big class. The TT is a neat car and I actually prefer a lot of it over the WRX except utility and potential cost of upkeep. I'm rather surprised they aren't more popular though I know they would never be WRX popular.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQautoxer View Post
My co-driver who has tons of D Street GR WRX seat time drove one locally (rustyshacklefords's car). He thinks it has less roll, a lot less turbo lag, and overall should easily beat the GR's once shocks are out for it and you get it dialed in. We shall see.
Pretty spot on, also I have noticed it is very heat sensitive and feels to pull power pretty quickly.

Last edited by rustyshackelford; 06-17-2014 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Wrong quote
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyshackelford View Post
Pretty spot on, also I have noticed it is very heat sensitive and feels to pull power pretty quickly.
FWIW, you never do the things we did with the GR. Do you even own a bottle sprayer? :P
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #20
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Is it pretty obvious when the engine is backing off due to heat? I'm running my WRX for the first time this weekend and have never ran a turbo.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:48 PM   #21
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Yes, it's painfully obvious. Tom I do indeed own a sprayer, it just rarely remembers to come along for the ride to the event haha. We borrowed one and sprayed the crap out of it between runs and it wasn't an issue at all.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:49 PM   #22
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #23
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Ran my 2015 in the wet this weekend and took a JCW Mini by .4 on a 61s course. Car felt really solid.

With traction control full on the car was super well behaved, on understeer could lift off the throttle and on over steer could flick the steering and the car would come back instantly without bouncing around.

Slaloms didn't seem to be an issue for me, set up your speed turn in early and the car didn't complain. Would roll a little but would settle back down before you had to make the next turn.

The gearing is a little strange. Had an element right after the start that I wanted to run 1st through but it doesn't have the legs. Ended up short shifting and there was still plenty of torque. Being wet the short gearing on 2nd never came up or came close to being an issue. The layouts I see locally I doubt it will ever be an issue.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:03 PM   #24
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Default Stock class autox - alignment question

I take delivery of a 15 WRX and intend to autox. Anybody tried any alignment changes that work? Can we get any negative camber out of the front? Are there factory "crash bolts" available that will help?
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:10 PM   #25
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You should be able to get -1.5 to -2 camber up front with the factory "crash" bolts. No rear adjustment. Set toe front and rear to preference.
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