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FOLLOWING THE RECENT release of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8 MR (AW, Feb. 23), Subaru wasted little time in firing the next shot in the battle of the world’s fastest evolving sports cars with the release of its rally special Impreza WRX STi.

At first glance it might appear little has changed in the 2005 STi, but that would be a mistake. On the exterior, a slightly wider rear fender, which is cleanly incorporated into the rear bumper, allows Subaru to increase wheel width from 7.5 inches to 8.0 inches, shod now with 235 rubber (up from 225). On the Japan-market model we tested, an aggressive lightweight rear spoiler, borrowed from the Japan-only Spec C racing version of the STi, sits on the aluminum trunk lid.

Inside, it is clear Subaru has taken seriously some of the complaints about the STi’s spartan accommodations. The center console has been redesigned and borrows heavily from the new Legacy. There is a new leather-clad steering wheel, and materials and layout are much improved.

Substantial work has gone into providing the driver with increased agility and feedback. Larger front and rear strut bars take care of chassis stiffening, while a larger-diameter front-hub bearing and a redesigned steering-damper valve add a welcome increase in communication through the steering wheel. Rear suspension links are now aluminum, saving a few pounds.

But the most important addition is a yaw-rate sensor that works in conjunction with the active center differential and the new helical front differential to provide increased cornering grip and reduced understeer.

Out on the road the improvements are instantly noticeable. With the center differential set on automatic, the grip is truly phenomenal. Aggressive prods of the throttle instantly break traction at the rear, allowing the car to set up for satisfyingly fast corner exits, no doubt thanks to the yaw-rate sensor. Understeer is still present at the limit, but that limit is now well beyond the normal Impreza range. In the 280-hp Japan-spec car, torque is marginally increased (303 lb-ft at 4400 rpm) thanks to a larger intercooler and freer-flowing exhaust. Power figures remain the same for the U.S.-spec car, 300 hp and 300 lb-ft.

Full Story HERE

 
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I wonder if GM has plans for one of these "super little sports cars" itself. When I was living in New Mexico my '02 Z28 got beat by a Mitsu Evo. When I was lined up at the line I thought it was a joke. He beat me off the line (AWD) helped him, and with the turbo pulled a low 13 second pass. My best that day was a 15.015 (bear in mind that is at 5000 ft. elevation and self-aspirated vehicles (like the Z28) really take a hit at elevation. I could probably pull a low 13 second pass myself at, or near, sea-level. It was embarrasing getting beat by a Mitsu, you know, and I'm driving a Chevrolet Z28. <_<

I hope, if GM brings back the Camaro, that it can compete.
 

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thus the beuty of AWD, I doubt Gm will make one as it doesn't have the platform or the parts, but I think they do partly own subaru if im not mistaken...
 

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Yup, GM has part-ownership in Subaru. In fact the WRX is being badge-engineered for Saab as the 9-2X.

I can imagine a Cobalt SS A-spec. Supercharged 2.4L Ecotec. 300 horsepower. (yes, the Ecotec CAN handle it!) All-wheel-drive (borrowed from Subie and adapted to the Delta platform) 18" tires, big-*** brakes, six-speed gearbox, Recaro seats, $27,995.

You know you want it.
 

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Originally posted by jwrebholz@Jul 15 2004, 10:43 PM
Yup, GM has part-ownership in Subaru. In fact the WRX is being badge-engineered for Saab as the 9-2X.

I can imagine a Cobalt SS A-spec. Supercharged 2.4L Ecotec. 300 horsepower. (yes, the Ecotec CAN handle it!) All-wheel-drive (borrowed from Subie and adapted to the Delta platform) 18" tires, big-*** brakes, six-speed gearbox, Recaro seats, $27,995.

You know you want it.
Wow just the thought makes me drool. The Ecotec can handle MUCH more than 300 HP as well. Just thing of the possibilities..........
 

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There was a question on one of the Mustang Forums : "What should I buy the new 2005 Mustang GT or the WRX STI?"
I was shocked because almost all of the Mustang "fans" pointed at Subaru saying : "it's a great performer" "It's AWD"etc.
 

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Originally posted by New_Mexico_Sunset_on_Rt66@Jul 15 2004, 05:58 PM
  my '02 Z28 got beat by a Mitsu Evo. When I was lined up at the line I thought it was a joke. He beat me off the line (AWD) helped him, and with the turbo pulled a low 13 second pass. My best that day was a 15.015 (bear in mind that is at 5000 ft. elevation and self-aspirated vehicles (like the Z28) really take a hit at elevation. I could probably pull a low 13 second pass myself at, or near,  sea-level. It was embarrasing getting beat by a Mitsu, you know, and I'm driving a Chevrolet Z28.  <_<

And this unfortunate reality pans out with the spirit of the new naming conventions for the forum's membership. Everyone knows that a good-running four banger can toast alot of V-8s. And it's quite symbolic, because alot of the V-8s on the forum are of the low-compression ilk ... emissions-control-plagued lumps with retarded timing, running on five cylinders with alot of blow-by.
 
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