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Old 05-27-2003, 11:41 PM   #1
iturk
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Default WRX STi vs. Audi S4 Impression

My brother just picked up his blue WRX STi today and I got the chance to drive it for 20 miles under 4K rpms and under 65 mph around some twisties.

I currently own a high 12 sec '01 Audi S4 (250 awhp/325 awtq) and an '03 469 crank hp/516 crank tq E55 AMG. I also have owned a 12 sec '93 Rx7 and a 10 sec 705rwhp '94 Supra.

My point is I have a lot of expereince in comparing this car and want to say to this board that you guys got yourself a steal with this car.

Besides a Z06, a 911TT, and the E55 AMG there isn't much of anything this car will lose to in a straight line or in the twistes and I figure 5K in bolt ons should yeild high 11s/low 12's.

Hands down stock for stock it felt like it handled better than all the cars above and on par with the '93 RX7 which tested out at 0.99g's. The beauty is the AWD which adds to the confidence level when taking twisties.

I thought the car had a good amount of power down low below and up to 4K rpms which is right where I could sense that this car begins to rip. The power curves is exactly opposite to the S4.

In the S4 I make 325 awtq at 2000 rpms all the way to 4000rpms which is where the STi lays down 266 awtq (this issue of sport compact car). I won't compare the stock S4 to this car because there isn't a performance comparion as the STi dominates.

Once over 4K rpms I can only assume that the advantage is all towards the STi as it makes 257 awhp versus my 220 awhp at redline in the S4. The stock S4s lay down 200 awhp/248 awtq. This STi really has like 330-340 hp assuming a 22% drive train loss.

I liked the ride height -- not too low and I though the visibility was decent except for the large head portion of the seat when I would turn my head.

The engineers really kept an eye on weight. Tap the back window...it is thin!!! Tap the roof from the inside of the car...same deal.

The difference between this car and the S4 besides having an extra 50 hp and 8K more in your wallet is mainly 400 lbs of luxury padding that makes the car feel more solid and quiet. The STi is a real track car, the stock S4 isn't until you redo the suspension and put the car on a 200 lb diet which I did.

I think that this cars real competitor is the E46 M3. While the EVO is close I would always prefer more displacement than a little more handling which can always be fixed at less than the cost of expanding displacement in an EVO.

The engine sounds raw and raspsy. I noticed the turbo was fully spooled at 1 bar prior to 4K rpms. I thought the throw was shorter than all the cars mentioned above including my S4 even after I installed a short shifter. Neutral to 1st gear is a very short distance.

I can't get over the sound as it reminds me of a porsche.

All in all this is hands down the best stock car for the money I have seen yet. I have 12K in bolt ons for the S4 and performance wise it is just where this car is today. I am glad to see a company have the balls to make a car like this when the new 350Z, RX7 and soon Supra have been disappointments w/o turbos.

Can't wait too drive it after the break-in!
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Last edited by iturk; 05-28-2003 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 05-27-2003, 11:56 PM   #2
RichQY
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damn man.. you are rich..

thats all i can say right now.
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:02 AM   #3
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thanks for the great review

this post was great read and i am very happy you liked the STI so much
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:35 AM   #4
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Very good comparison.

On the power, it's closer than you think. You are comparing SCC's dynojet numbers with numbers off a dynapak for the S4, which reads lower.

Kevin
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Old 05-28-2003, 03:49 AM   #5
xfactor834
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Great review d00d...

Too bad in CA we gotta deal with greedy bitches for dealerships and their insisting that a $9K markup is "market value".

My balls.

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Old 05-28-2003, 04:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by xfactor834
Great review d00d...

Too bad in CA we gotta deal with greedy bitches for dealerships and their insisting that a $9K markup is "market value".

My balls.

exactly..

Looks like I have to wait a few months...
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Old 05-28-2003, 06:37 AM   #7
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Hey there JT-KGY

slightly off topic.

I am in UK right now..( sigh. miss my rex )
I saw a program called TopGear on TV ( or on the tele , as they call it here)

I saw a comparison between the new v8 S4 and E46 M3. M3 was 1/2 car ahead on the 1/4mile strip. On the twisties it was owned by the S4.

You compared the M3 to the STI. .. How do you compare your S4 to the M3 ?
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:01 AM   #8
DistantTea
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Default my 2 cents

I had an S4 avant and can safely say that I would gladly travel from ohio to california and back without stopping in the S4.... its a luxury car that does wonderful jobs of delivering luxury performance on a grand scale. Not to say I wouldn't mind my S4 having that much extra horsepower, but its chasis and engine delivery greatness in spades if you want to cruise the autobahn at 130 to 155mph and still be able to talk to your passenger.

But I'd rather drive the STi for fun.
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:39 AM   #9
CoOlSlY
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Different cars, different stories.

The only real competitor to the STi is the Evo. Don't want to start back this subject but S4 and STi are different. Z06 and STi are also different. Same thing for a SVT Cobra and a Z06. I deliver 300lb torque at 2000RPM in the Z06, you won't see that in a STi. Look in a close circuit and lap times, you'll see the Z06 will always be faster than the STi.

Anyway, I think people here are not comparing apples and apples but more like pumpkins and apples. Depends what you want to do, speaking of myself, in real life situation, when I'm on the highway, I don't drive at 4k RPM to always be in the good rpm torque range, I drive at 2500rpm and like the feeling of a NA V8. I often do rides of 500-600km to go see my step father and don't have to go back in 3rd gear to have power. The STi is great for the money, I think it's *the* most complete car in this price range that would perform very well on a track compared to almost anything but there's more than just HP and performance in a car or nobody would buy Vette, Mustang, Audi, Porsche, Ferrari,...

Sylvain
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Old 05-28-2003, 11:53 AM   #10
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Good post.

Even tho the EVo has blown the skirts up on many magazine dudes I have been hearing much more praise for the STi from just regular car guys. Of course this is the STi forum but like iturk said its cheaper to improve handling than to bump up power and/or displacement in any car.
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:00 PM   #11
954DRGSR
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Default funny as hell

Quote:
Originally posted by RichQY
damn man.. you are rich..

thats all i can say right now.

Hahaha - that's exactly what I was thinking...
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:07 PM   #12
b0rf
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by flyingace
Hey there JT-KGY

slightly off topic.

I am in UK right now..( sigh. miss my rex )
I saw a program called TopGear on TV ( or on the tele , as they call it here)

I saw a comparison between the new v8 S4 and E46 M3. M3 was 1/2 car ahead on the 1/4mile strip. On the twisties it was owned by the S4.

You compared the M3 to the STI. .. How do you compare your S4 to the M3 ?
Watch the language, i wouldn't call it 'owned'.

It's probably a CLarkson conspiracy...there's no way a car weighing 400lbs more than the E46 M3 and having the same power could beat it on a track by over a second.
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:21 PM   #13
robmarch
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Quote:
Originally posted by b0rf


Watch the language, i wouldn't call it 'owned'.

It's probably a CLarkson conspiracy...there's no way a car weighing 400lbs more than the E46 M3 and having the same power could beat it on a track by over a second.
the evo beats the STi by ~1 second on some tracks, with the same weight but 10% less power. Handling, AWD/RWD, and gearing could make a 1 second difference, right? The M3 may be much better on some other tracks, too.

The M3 is an awesome car, and I'm sure the new S4 will be sweet too. But, the STi gives similar performance without paying the luxury penalty, which is great with me
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:33 PM   #14
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I'm giving my Stage II S4 to my wife (couldn't bear to part with it) and having the STi all to myself........if I ever move up the waiting list that is.

Had the STi been available a couple of years ago, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the S4.
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Old 05-28-2003, 02:12 PM   #15
G-shock
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Thumbs up

Wow, that is an awesom review!!

...finally someone talking with actual experience with very high performance cars as opposed to most of the mag-racers here who talk out of their a$$es...
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:35 PM   #16
Poon
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Thumbs up Oh my Oh My

iturk:

You are rich, like noted by everyone else. What do you do for a living where you can afford all those nice ass cars? And I'll be your personal man b1tch if you buy me an STi , deal?
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Old 06-08-2003, 08:51 PM   #17
SpikeLS1
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Quote:
its cheaper to improve handling than to bump up power and/or displacement in any car.
Sorry guys, I would have to disagree with that statement completely. ESPECIALLY when working on a car yourself in your own garage... and SPECIFICALLY on turbocharged cars... An AFC and boost controller are relatively cheap and EASY to install, and will usually gain 10-15% more hp just from their installation. Computer tweaks are also easy and an net you alot of extra power... A CAI is also an easy 20 minute install and a route to cheap power. Even CAMS on an inline 4 car are not that hard to swap.

Replacing struts and springs, and even swaybars, bushings and rear shocks is a different story can be a huge P.I.T.A. And not exactly cheap either... decent struts/shocks, swaybars and springs for a car like a Z28 (which I am more familiar with than STis and EVOs currently) can easily run $1000... And have you ever replaced the springs on a strut before in your garage?? It is utterly nightmarish, and fairly dangerous even . I would rather swap camshafts again than do anymore strut installs!!

I guess I am just trying to say this: having done a fair number of both, I would much rather spend my time upgrading an engine with bits and pieces than dealing with suspension upgrades and installs!!
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:01 PM   #18
SpikeLS1
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BTW: I would love an Audi S4 as my highway/touring car. I don't fly (a little tiny fear of plunging to my death, flying aint natural for human!! ) so I drive pretty much everywhere, and that means yearly (sometimes quarterly) trips to L.A. and Orlando to visit family. I think the S4 would be an EXCELLENT choice as a highway touring car for AWD fanatics. Gonna have to start saving my pennies for one.
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Old 06-09-2003, 02:51 AM   #19
hatchy
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Keep in mind that he isn't comparing the STI to a stock S4; the S4, in stock form, cannot compare to the level of performance the STI brings to the table stock. I also have a S4 with about 10K of bolt ons, and was seriously considering K04 turbo upgrades if the STI wasn't available here.

Understand that if you go on long drives, the S4 owns the STI. 300 miles in a S4 is a piece of cake, and you'll arrive with a smile on your face and relatively fresh. Whereas, in the STI (I drove 800+ miles in 36 hours in the STI) you will bitch and moan about the road noise, stiff suspensive, the road noise, shortage of creature comforts, the road noise.

I want to know how the E55 compares to the STI. My wife has a C32 and that car is fun to drive stock, and just thinking about 100 more horses, and two extra cylinders makes me grin.
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Old 06-09-2003, 03:11 AM   #20
RichQY
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you won't be "driving" a E55..

thats called pimpin
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Old 06-09-2003, 03:36 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by hatchy
Understand that if you go on long drives, the S4 owns the STI. 300 miles in a S4 is a piece of cake, and you'll arrive with a smile on your face and relatively fresh. Whereas, in the STI (I drove 800+ miles in 36 hours in the STI) you will bitch and moan about the road noise, stiff suspensive, the road noise, shortage of creature comforts, the road noise.
I'm finding this funny since one of the big advantages I'm hoping for with the STi (if the dealer ever calls me to tell me it is here) is the improved comfort and noise level over my current car. In my Miata, a 2 hour trip with earplugs in will leave my ears ringing for an hour after. Above 60mph you might as well turn the stereo off -- you can't hear it. This is with the top up -- top down it is even worse. After a 3 hour trip back from an autocross I'm dying for a car with air conditioning, a seat that doesn't hurt after 2 hours of driving, and less noise! Creature comforts? Try no A/C, no CD player, no power windows, no power seats, no back seats, having to take the spare out just to fit the stuff for an autox weekend in the trunk, etc. Oh yeah -- the throttle response at 80mph leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, the Miata rocks at autocross. Hopefully the STi will be an all around improvement for me (the comfort stuff I'm not worried about, but the autocross performance is still in doubt).
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:57 AM   #22
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It's pretty hard to beat a Miata in autox. Its small, light, and tossable. The STI is still 3200 pounds.

Quote:
Originally posted by WRX_Mundi
I'm finding this funny since one of the big advantages I'm hoping for with the STi (if the dealer ever calls me to tell me it is here) is the improved comfort and noise level over my current car. In my Miata, a 2 hour trip with earplugs in will leave my ears ringing for an hour after. Above 60mph you might as well turn the stereo off -- you can't hear it. This is with the top up -- top down it is even worse. After a 3 hour trip back from an autocross I'm dying for a car with air conditioning, a seat that doesn't hurt after 2 hours of driving, and less noise! Creature comforts? Try no A/C, no CD player, no power windows, no power seats, no back seats, having to take the spare out just to fit the stuff for an autox weekend in the trunk, etc. Oh yeah -- the throttle response at 80mph leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, the Miata rocks at autocross. Hopefully the STi will be an all around improvement for me (the comfort stuff I'm not worried about, but the autocross performance is still in doubt).
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