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Old 07-24-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 291558
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ithaca, NY
2010 Impreza 2.5GT

Default Driving "Active AWD" for handling

Anybody else here with a 2008 automatic WRX or 2009/2010 Impreza 2.5GT ever try playing around with driving style to get better handling out of the front-biased "Active AWD" system?

Or has anybody driven the 2008 WRX in both manual and automatic trims? Is there a noticeable handling difference resulting from the vastly different AWD systems and their ways of splitting power front/rear?

It's a crying shame the automatic WRX lost VTD in 2008, but I'm trying to make the most of the AWD system I have in my 2010 2.5 GT (which I consider an '08 automatic WRX with a different badge on the back). I have the STI springs, which take some slop out of the handling, but they are at best a mild improvement over stock.

My understanding is that Active AWD responds to throttle position and steering angle, in addition to just reacting to slippage. So in theory, it should send more power to the rear whenever the car is cornering. But can you get it to send more still?

I've read some professional reviews stating that you can feel the power shifting around, but I have to admit I'm not sure I can -- or at least I don't know what I'm looking for. Maybe I do feel it but it's too seamless. I really wish the car had an AWD gauge like Acura's sh-awd.

My "WRX" definitely doesn't bite into corners the way my 2006 manual WRX did, although I suspect that's more a function of the sloppy suspension tuning than the front/rear power distribution of the AWD system.

I would say the car doesn't feel like it "wants" to be cornered hard, but if I push it, it'll generally deliver. That performance DNA is there -- it just has to be coaxed out. Which takes some of the fun out of spirited driving, but at least I know the car well enough to have confidence that it'll take what I dish out, within reason. Maybe some of that coaxing has to do with getting the AWD system to send more power rearward?

I do feel like if I apply throttle while cornering -- keeping the tranny in manual mode to avoid kickdowns -- the car will tuck more aggressively into the turn, a decidedly non-front-biased sensation. But maybe it's placebo. Anybody else have experience with anything like that?
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