Ok so my brother kindly lent me his car whilst I'm in the UK. It's a VW Corrado VR6 limited 'Storm' edition (whatever that means). It's FWD with a 2.9 V6 190hp engine. Dynoed at 202hp, and it's stock. A friend of mine also lent me his 2002 TT Roadster 225hp which said 'ABT' on the back instead of 'TT'. No idea what kind of tuning it's at but it's at roughly 250bhp so he says. Either way, I have some fun cars to drive whilst I'm here in London till the 29th.
Anyway, I didn't pit these car against each other, but I thought I would give an unbiased (believe it or not) comparison against each car.
1.) Audi TT.
This is a SWEET little car. Very sweet. I'd never been quite sure of it but driving around in it with the hood down is the THE biggest chick magnet. The interior is very 'metal' inside although the metal or aluminium (whatever it is) gear-knob scratches REALLY easily. (covered in them) I'm 6'6" and my head popped over the windscreen so I'm not sure how I would do with the top down. It was odd having some of vision through the windscreen, and some of it over the top.
Driving it was fun. The brakes are very hard and took some getting used to since a slight dab on them brings you to a halt rather fast. It rides very firm so all those wussies amongst you might want to look elsewhere. Much firmer ride than a stock WRX. Gearbox and clutch have their plusses and minuses. Firstly the 6MT is a joy to shift. Absolute joy. Not notchy at all unlike the STi short shifter in my WRX. Buttery smooth shifts. Some of the finest I've ever shifted infact, and it's short. It felt almost as short as the STi short shift. Very nice. The clutch however, I didn't like as much as the WRX clutch. This I think is funny since everyone seems to moan about the clutch in the WRX. Whilst, I don't think the WRX clutch is perfect, I prefer it to the TT clutch because you can 'feel' the bite point so much more easily in the WRX. The TT clutch felt a little 'mushy' with not much feedback to the driver about how high or low the clutch is.
Practicality of course goes to the WRX. Seating position goes to the WRX too. Much more comfy seats. Handling is a close one. I didn't get to drive the TT to the limits, but it 'felt' more RWD biased compared to the WRX when cornering. I'm not sure if I was imagining things or not, but it just felt more like a RWD car!
Acceleration-wise, I honestly felt like the turbo didn't kick in as much compared to the WRX. The WRX just FEELS faster and more punchy than the TT. Not sure of exact 0-60 figures for the TT 225, but it felt a little slower and less 'raaaaaar!!' than the WRX.
Anyway, nice car if you're not too tall!
2.) VW Corrado VR6
I think this car is an SLC in the States. (Sports Luxury Coupé) but I could be wrong, so correct me if necessary.
Anyway, this car I like the least of the 3. Now it's a little unfair since this a car from 1995, but heck, I'm including it. If Car and Driver can pit a $25k WRX against a $40k S4 and BMW 330Xi, I can pit a 2002 TT and 2003 WRX against a 1995 Corrado.
So, this is the car that was considered the finest handling FWD vehicle in its class. Coo.
So, this is easily the more uncomfortable driver out of the 3. The seating position is very low and there's not much view out of the back window. Actual driving it was nice, although I was irritated by the pedal placement. VW placed the clutch too far to the left so my size 13 US trainers didn't fit in between the clutch and car materials to rest my foot. So I either had to hover my foot over the clutch or put my foot on the floor infront of the clutch. UGH! Not good. The 5MT was smooth to shift, although not as smooth as the 6MT from the TT. Smoother shifts, although MUCH longer, than the WRX. Clutch, like the TT, felt a little mushy.
Acceleration is nice. I've heard numbers from 6.4 - 7.4 to 60 for this car, so it's not too shabby in that region, although nothing on the WRX it felt. However, the V6 engine note is gorgeous. Truly delightful at 6000rpm. (Redline is 6500)
My few real problems are these though. No LSD really kills it. Powerful FWD with no LSD = ack! I had a problem too with heavy acceleration in 1st and 2nd gear. It literally felt like too much power to the front wheels and the steering wheel would pull in random directions under WOT. It was a REALLY disturbing occurence and it would do it every time, albeit only under WOT. Still, not good. I love the fact that you can WOT the WRX and not worry about 'wheel drift.'
Overall, the Corrado can't touch the TT and WRX. It certainly felt much older than the two newbies. However, it's certainly not a bad car. Between the WRX and the TT though it's not really a contest. Different cars for a different buying personality. Both excellent and highly recommended.
Ooer, I rambled. I'll stop now. I'm off to take my buddy's Skyline GT-R for a drive. And no, I'm not kidding.