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Old 04-23-2003, 02:40 AM   #1
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Default How competitive is the current STi platform?

It looks like the STi has it's work cut out for it in the WRC. Time and time again the peugeots and the focuses match or outperform the Impreza. Much of this has to with drivers of course, but it seems to me the sleeker, shorter, more rounded cars represent the next generation of rally car design. This said, do you expect a massive consumer STi redesign anytime soon to coencide with Subaru's plans of a B11S concept car, and a sleek SAAB 9-2 joint venture with GM? I can't help but think in two years our beloved STi might become antiquated sooner than we wish.
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Old 04-23-2003, 05:04 AM   #2
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I also dont see any consumer versions of the Focus or Peugot Rally cars around here anywhere... Do you?
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:32 PM   #3
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I don't think the B11S is going to be the replacement of the STi. B11S will be postioned as their high-end product and STi below it.

So you'll see WRX, STi and B11S ranging from 227 to 400 hp and similarly with the same price range 25K to 40K.

My 2 cents...
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:50 AM   #4
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Originally posted by Kostamojen
I also dont see any consumer versions of the Focus or Peugot Rally cars around here anywhere... Do you?
Agreed...it's wrc itself that has changed. Mitsu and Scoobi are essentially still running modified stock cars, while the Frenchies and Ford are basically running pure race cars. Wrx's and Evos still dominate Group - N. That said, maybe Subaru will follow Mitsu's lead and base a new WRC rally car on the smaller Justy.
(note: I believe in WRC the cars all have the same weight anyway)
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Old 04-24-2003, 03:15 AM   #5
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Honestly, while the Subaru WRC car has more in common with an STi than a Focus WRC has with its production counterpart, ever since Group A was superseded by WRC, the actual production car doesn't really have that much to do with the performance of the actual car, except as stated earlier, with dimensions. There is no longer a homologation requirement beyond making a certain number of RACE cars, vs. Group A where the race cars had to be based on production cars that had the same displacement, engine type, and driveline configuration as a street cars.

The WRC class was created so that companies like Ford and Peugeot could join without the expense and risk of creating a production 2.0L turbo awd car to sell to meet homologation rules. As a result, we see a bunch of cars and the competition is better. Though sadly, those of us who love the turbo awd cars have fewer to choose from.

The main rules governing the similarity between a WRC car and its roadgoing counterpart are the dimensions of the wheelbase and body, and some other things like the glass. Also, spoilers cannot stick out beyond the bumpers on the stock car upon which the WRC car is based. The new 03 Focus WRC is based on the American Focus simply because the longer bumpers allowed them to get the aero that they wanted.

So to answer your question, when the regulations allow you to change the floorpan and complete drivetrain of the car, it's hard to say convincingly that the performance of the stock car is in any way representative of how the race car will perform. Look at mitsubishi. In Japan, the stock Evo VII is considered to be a more hardcore sports car than the WRX and a neck and neck competitor for the STi. In the WRC they did not do well last year and aren't even competing this year as they sort things out for 2004.

Incidentally I see that you drive a 1998 Mustang, a car based on the FOX-4 platform, which in turn is based on the late 1970's ford fairmont. I'd say that just because something isn't the latest and greatest doesn't mean it can't be competitive
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:15 AM   #6
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I strongly suspect that Subaru will not shift from the Impreza in WRC given the sales success they have had. It's been a return to the old saying, "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday." I can't see Subaru switching to a car that they don't sell in North America. Not after all the success they've had with the WRX.

In addition, WRC is talking about moving away from tarmac rallies, where the Fords and Pugs have the biggest advantage.
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:45 AM   #7
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It would not surprise me if Subaru just redesigned the Impreza to more closely resemble the likes of Peugot in the next couple of years. I believe that they would still have an Impreza in WRC and, as a result, still have Impreza WRX and STi models available, just under a very different body. Not because of any rules in particular, just because of the tradition that Imprezas have had in WRC and the ability to, as someone already said, race on Sunday, sell on Monday.

However, at this point, nothing would surprise me, honestly. I just hope that, if I'm correct, I can get an Impreza STi before a body change.
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally posted by ShockWave
In addition, WRC is talking about moving away from tarmac rallies, where the Fords and Pugs have the biggest advantage.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Focus did poorly on tarmac. Of course, we have yet to see how the new Focus will do.
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