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This is a discussion on Are we getting left behind? within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; After reading through my Road and Track magazines and seeing lots of TV car commercials, I'm noticing more and more ...

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    Cheeky Bastage! spirited09wrx's Avatar
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    Are we getting left behind?

    After reading through my Road and Track magazines and seeing lots of TV car commercials, I'm noticing more and more that cars from the "Econo-box" companies are producing cars with higher hp turbocharged engines. Examples being: Hyundai Sonata (274hp/269lb-ft twin scroll 4-cylinder) and Kia Optima (274hp/269lb-ft turbocharged 4-cylinder).
    I know that they don't have awd and aren't rally inspired, etc, but with infotainment systems, nicer interiors, rear view cameras, heated front [I]and[I] rear seats, automatic climate control and gas mileage that is 15 and 25% (city/hwy) higher than the wrx, I ask the question again...Are we getting left behind?
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The weaknesses of the Impreza have not been completely addressed but OTOH every new Impreza improves upon the older ones. The main weakness now is the price, especially combined with high maintenance costs, disgraceful service intervals, mediocre fuel economy, and high parts cost.
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    The Default One SeattleJeremy's Avatar
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    Econo-box generally describes B (subcompact) and C (compact) segment cars with not very many options (Scion xB comes to mind). The it's been hard to put the word Econo-Box with the Impreza sense the 04's, with their expanded options list over the bugeye, became available.

    The Sonata or Optima are mid size cars. In the same class as the Legacy, Camry, Accord, Fusion and Malibu.
    The Sonata and Optima are built on the same platform (although they are build in different manufacturing plants), and are brand new with all the latest technology for optimizing fuel economy. 6-speed automatic, Direct injection, really low aerodynamic drag.

    The Impreza models are saddled with ancient 5MT and 4AT (except the STI), and all have AWD.

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    Would Never, Ever Say Something Bad About an Admin's Mom SonicWagon's Avatar
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    In the next couple years 2013 maybe,
    Impreza WRX will be 295hp Direct injected 6MT.
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    Registered User 06scoobyrex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicWagon View Post
    In the next couple years 2013 maybe,
    Impreza WRX will be 295hp Direct injected 6MT.
    What kind of power improvement will the sti see?
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    I've twice driven the new 2.0T Sonata. And while it is fairly quick, it doesn't feel any faster than my old maxima with the 3.0L V6, and feels nowhere near as fast as my 09 wrx. The Sonata is actually a VERY nice car, and the stock suspension is pretty good - much less body lean in corners than my 09 wrx had stock. That said, it still drives like a Camry/Accord and is not very "sharp".

    In short, it's a GREAT car if you're looking for a commuter or family midsize. It does everything the Accord/Camry does, and some things better. But it is not "fun to drive" nor does it feel the least bit agile. It is not a car I'd have much fun in on a winding country road.

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    Registered User mudferret's Avatar
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    Yes, yes we are. Especially the flagship STI. It's been essentially the same car since the '04 MY, only the sheet metal and other minor components have changed. The WRX has gotten 2 power bumps during that time. I think Subaru would be better served introducing new models all at once, i.e. don't change the sheet metal one year, the engine 4 years later, followed by a much needed sheet metal update, an interior update somewhere in between those, repeat. A completely refreshed body style should get a bump in power, or something else to set it apart from previous generations.

    I'm a big fan of the STI, from an 04 through an 11, but if you look at the big picture, the car hasn't really evolved that much.

    The next STI revision better have 400 chp, and the next WRX better have 300.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudferret View Post

    The next STI revision better have 500 chp, and the next WRX better have 400.
    fixed...

    I do agree though it seems as if other manufacturers are moving forward with more HP, but subaru isn't really a straightline "muscle car" performer. they are loved for the utility and handling before the power. you have to weigh your prioritys and decide which is more impoortant. If I didn't care about the utility and handling I would be in a brand new 5.0 mustang. that thing hauls ass! but instead I am looking at a WRX because I want it to be good in the snow and be able to go up in the mountains and have some fun.

    my .02

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    i think we all witnessed (and some were probably a large part of) the backlash that occurred when subaru watered down the 08 model to make it more palatable to the masses. The WRX and the STI are very niche models that are build for a very specific and small portion of the car buying population. I dont think that we are being left behind at all, i just think that other brands are figuring out ways to make their boring cookie cutter sedans stand out a bit more in the sea of medicrity that is the mid-size car segment. the horsepower and torque #'s are jumping, and the fuel efficiency is improving, but those are all still family cars.

    i do agree however, that the sti needs a serious bump in power, and they need to do something about the gearing to ensure that the WRX is not faster than the STI 0-60. I know obviously that the sti is faster past 0-60, but in reality, that's really the # that is publicized the most and its what most non-enthusiast car buyers use to judge how "fast" a car is.

    that was more like .04 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonicWagon View Post
    In the next couple years 2013 maybe,
    Impreza WRX will be 295hp Direct injected 6MT.
    Given Subaru's poor reputation with engine innovation, I most certainly will not own the first generation of Subaru's "Next Gen" motor technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by 06scoobyrex View Post
    What kind of power improvement will the sti see?
    It is possible that they may merge the two models. Or the STi will receive the next-gen TPH (Turbo Parallel Hybrid - Subaru B5-TPH - Subaru Concept Cars) architecture to compete with Mitsubishi's confirmed hybrid Evo XI EVO Hybrid??
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I see no need for 400+ HP Imprezas, and that's just as well since they're neither realistic nor appropriate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbya rx View Post
    i think we all witnessed (and some were probably a large part of) the backlash that occurred when subaru watered down the 08 model to make it more palatable to the masses. The WRX and the STI are very niche models that are build for a very specific and small portion of the car buying population. I dont think that we are being left behind at all, i just think that other brands are figuring out ways to make their boring cookie cutter sedans stand out a bit more in the sea of medicrity that is the mid-size car segment. the horsepower and torque #'s are jumping, and the fuel efficiency is improving, but those are all still family cars.

    i do agree however, that the sti needs a serious bump in power, and they need to do something about the gearing to ensure that the WRX is not faster than the STI 0-60. I know obviously that the sti is faster past 0-60, but in reality, that's really the # that is publicized the most and its what most non-enthusiast car buyers use to judge how "fast" a car is.

    that was more like .04 cents.
    Its also the number that matters more to those of us that live where the highway on-ramps dont have acceleration lanes. 0-60 or 25-60 are very important in some places.
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    The Fruit mangostick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I see no need for 400+ HP Imprezas, and that's just as well since they're neither realistic nor appropriate.
    As much fun as that would be, it would be an insurance and liability nightmare. I agree.. definitely not realistic and certainly not appropriate.
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    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirited09wrx View Post
    Are we getting left behind?
    Yes. All Subaru ever claims as an exclusive or special is Symmetrical AWD. While it is a good system for traction it takes a couple of MPGs off of a comparable FWD / RWD car. Placing the engine forward of the front axle detracts from the handing ability of our cars. This can be addressed with careful suspension mods, but out of the showroom there is a lot to be desired.

    The Hyundai engine (DI w/turbo) is the future. They beat Toyota, Honda and Nissan to the DI turbo punch. Better fuel economy along with more power. Don't expect this from Subaru anytime soon, or a significant boost in power ... especially from the STi. Car magazines point out that the WRX is as fast as the STi in real world power. With the premium one pays for an STi, this should not be the case.

    Subaru did not do well in Car & Driver's Lightning Lap 5. Lightning Lap 2011 Once again, the EVO beats up on the STi. Granted this is track competition, but underscores the Subaru handling weaknesses.

    A V6 Mustang beat both the WRX and STi. From the article:

    You may be saying to no one in particular, “Didn’t you guys bring a WRX last year?” Yes, we did, but since then, Subaru revamped its entry-level speed freak so much that we felt it warranted another go. The 2011 Impreza WRX sedan dons STI sheetmetal, and all models get some suspension tweaks, slightly larger tires, and a wider track. The net result is a 0.1-second gain, for a lap time of 3:16.5.
    As with most cars in LL1, braking confidence in the WRX weighed heavy on the driver’s mind. One hot lap’s worth of  braking in the Subie generated enough heat to cause the pedal to go soft and, ultimately, away. The WRX’s updates didn’t help it in the handling department, either. The car plowed through most corners, be they slow or fast. In the winding sector four, the WRX repeatedly drifted off line. A small throttle correction normally repairs this kind of problem, but we kept fighting understeer with throttle, steering, and even brake inputs. And in the slow-speed sector one [see track map, p. 7], the WRX was 0.2 second behind the STI and 0.3 second aft of the most recent WRX we had at VIR. The updated WRX may be a hair quicker, but we wouldn’t call this major progress.

    Compared with its non-STI little brother, the WRX STI is slower down the front straight—122.0 mph to the WRX’s 123.4—and has less lateral grip in Turn One, posting 0.84 g  versus 0.89. And while it’s not the broom that the base WRX turned out to be, it does push through corners. So why does the STI, at 3:13.8, lap VIR 2.7 seconds faster than the WRX? The lead occurs mainly through the winding sections of the track, where the STI’s tighter chassis and fade-free brakes mean drivers can solve handling dilemmas instantaneously and carry more speed with less body roll.
    Unlike the WRX, the STI’s brake pedal didn’t throw a tantrum and drop to the floor. It returned excellent feel and control and kept the brakes on the good side of ABS intervention for optimal speed reduction.
    As with its WRX sibling, understeer is the STI’s dominant chassis trait, despite the STI’s trick center differential that automatically sends torque to the axle that can use it best. The center-diff control lets the driver add additional yaw via the throttle if so desired, but this does nothing to help the STI’s semi-vague turn-in. The shifter does not like to be hurried; when a shift is rushed, the clutch reengagement sends a shuddering thud (thuddering shud?) through the car. While the STI is a better track toy than the WRX, the stopwatch favors Mitsubishi’s STI-fighting Evo.

    In the arena of four-wheel-drive pocket rockets, there is one fight that seemingly won’t die: STI versus Evo. We have always said that the Evo comes into its own on the track, and the SE variant—all the MR Edition’s go-fast bits without the added weight of cosmetic bolt-ons—puts an exclamation point on that statement.
    The SE’s 3:10.6-second lap is 3.2 seconds quicker than the STI’s. It’s fleeter than the STI through all sectors but the second—where it’s a dead heat—and it’s faster down the front straight (124.2 mph versus 122.0). The Evo also has better sightlines over the dash, which helps you place it on track. Both cars exhibit the kind of understeer a big-rig driver might find comforting, but the Evo has slightly sharper turn-in. Whereas the STI continues to plow through a corner, the Evo’s torque-vectoring wizardry one-ups the STI as it can split torque side-to-side—not just fore-and-aft—and produce magical results. Trail brake or use the throttle; either way, the Evo will rotate progressively, the hallmark of a fine chassis.
    Another clear advantage is the Evo’s dual-clutch automated manual. It allows for effective left-foot braking, shaving fractions of a second during every brake application, and denies any chance of mismatched revs on a downshift. Resident Evo lobbyist Michael Austin claimed that the car would be quicker if the transmission were left in automatic mode. Skeptical, we humored him. Much to our chagrin, it was quicker. Flicked to S-Sport, the tranny shifts exactly on the redline and downshifts just as we would. It’s almost telepathic. Austin’s subsequent gloating was short-lived but well deserved. The Evo is the pocket-rocket champ at VIR.

    Taking the LL1 crown this year and tying the class-record time of 3:12.5 was Ford’s 305-hp V-6 Mustang. We have little doubt that it could have unseated the co–class-champ 2006 Nissan 350Z Track if the Ford hadn’t been equipped with a 114-mph governor, which the car banged into for more than 15 seconds per lap. Yet despite the interference of the electric anchor, the new V-6–powered car still managed to beat last year’s 315-hp V-8 Mustang by 0.8 second.

    We might have found our minds wandering on the speed-limited straights, but the Mustang had no problem holding our attention in the corners. Equipped with the Performance package, which adds 255/40R-19 Pirelli P Zero rubber and a firmer, track-friendly chassis, the car swept through the rest of the track with an ease that masked its 3513-pound curb weight and solid rear axle. Under trail braking—braking past the point of turning into a corner—the easily modulated binders enabled impressive front-end grip as the Mustang tucked into tight, low-speed corners with the nimbleness of a much lighter car. A cinch to balance through the middle of a corner, the chassis tends toward neutrality and is only disturbed by big, foolish control inputs.
    Even though effort through the leather-wrapped wheel is light and doesn’t increase much in response to cornering loads, the steering is resolutely accurate and faithful. Some initial roll compliance made the Mustang feel slightly disconnected, but the stability of its chassis makes sport of the downhill corners before the straightaway (sector five) and the uphill esses. The seats could use more support, and the V-6 lacks the torque and sound of the 5.0-liter V-8, but this model sacrifices nothing when it comes to handling.
    Last edited by Sasquatch; 01-10-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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    Registered User drummerboy's Avatar
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    I think Subaru does need to step it up. The overall power and drivetrain hasn't changed much and the price isn't so competitive especially up here in Canada. I don't see why they can't release a 330-350 hp STi, and 300 hp WRX with a 6-speed. Here in Canada an STi starts at $39k base all the way up to $43k, and the WRX in the mid $30,000 (rip off? yes). At these price points, the least they can do is put the power up to similarly spec'd 6-cylinders. The interior could use higher quality materials too.
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