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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so here's the story: I was at Laguna Seca yesterday and just passed turn 11, on the longest straight, had trouble passing a miata. I was in 3rd until 5500-6000rpm then shifted to 4th and SLOWLY passed the miata (so slowly that the driver gave me a very frustrated second and third point to pass). I knew there wasn't much top end torque but this was embarrassing. So onto my questions:


Should I add a tune, suspension, and power upgrades to my car now (3500 miles) or just cut my losses and get an STI?
Will I have the same high end torque problems with the STI or is it less noticeable?
Is the STI more or less reliable vs. the WRX (considering track use I imagine the STI was better built for that but I can't find any reliable info on that)?

Background info:
If it's going to be ~10% difference I'll keep the WRX for everyday livability and go to lower speed courses.
Since purchasing the car, my wife and I have gotten raises so finances are less of a concern (originally chose the WRX over the STI with overall cost to own in mind - I regret it)
I plan to do 4-6 track days per year - but I don't care about lap times. I want to have just enough power to be able to pass at a reasonable pace when the time comes.
I don't have the tools or the skills to do any mods myself so there will be an added cost to pay a shop to do it.
 

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If the miata was modded ( I am assuming it was) then it really is not that embarrising.

With that said a tune and a downpipe would make a world of difference. You should easily be able to pick up 50 to 60 HP from just that.

*edit, I am so jealous you get to race Laguna whenever you want.
 

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It's a lot more fun passing someone in the braking zone or on the exit of a turn vs on a straight away. Work on braking skills and exit speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He said it was a spec miata so that means he can't add engine mods right?

I was on him for the last 3 turns so when it came to passing it was at the beginning of the straight. I may have been going slower than I was used to coming out of that turn (miata ahead was going slowly) so maybe I should have been in second... Overall I did feel very sluggish coming onto the straights though. So it's not solely about that one instance.


@4evermetal - I run in groups where you can only pass on straights so for now I'll have to stick with the satisfaction I get from catching up in the turns. I do have a lot more to practice though and I agree braking skills and exit speeds can be improved.

@moarboost - there were 2 guys from Florida there this weekend, so you have no excuse not to come out lol.
 

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He said it was a spec miata so that means he can't add engine mods right?

I was on him for the last 3 turns so when it came to passing it was at the beginning of the straight. I may have been going slower than I was used to coming out of that turn (miata ahead was going slowly) so maybe I should have been in second... Overall I did feel very sluggish coming onto the straights though. So it's not solely about that one instance.


@4evermetal - I run in groups where you can only pass on straights so for now I'll have to stick with the satisfaction I get from catching up in the turns. I do have a lot more to practice though and I agree braking skills and exit speeds can be improved.

@moarboost - there were 2 guys from Florida there this weekend, so you have no excuse not to come out lol.

Ah ok so spec miatas are extremely light and that explains this. I would seriously look into at least a tune. MAPerformance offers the AP with thieir OTS tune that is quite good. That alone should put you into STI power territory. Also im from Buffalo, its a pretty good trek to Laguna :p Maybe some day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ah ok so spec miatas are extremely light and that explains this. I would seriously look into at least a tune. MAPerformance offers the AP with thieir OTS tune that is quite good. That alone should put you into STI power territory. Also im from Buffalo, its a pretty good trek to Laguna :p Maybe some day.
Ok yeah light Miata does make sense. Plus he probably assumed I was in a fast car and just didn't lift.

I'll do some reading about the MAPerformance. I've read mixed reviews about COBB so I have had hesitations. Another concern with the extra power is whether the brakes will be able to handle it. I've upgraded the pads to Winmax W5 and they are doing well but I feel like pads can only go so far. They can't completely make up for small brakes and rotors and big brake upgrades, and the bigger wheels to make them fit, are very expensive. I'm probably overthinking this though..

Disclaimer: I hate the stock brakes and am VERY biased against them.
 

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When I first bought my wrx I was all about COBB everything for my car but as the months past and I read more and more about MAPerformance I have changed my mind. If you are a member on NASIOC, there will be tons of information on their products there for you to look into. Ian from MAP is always present and very helpful to everyone. In the coming weeks Ill be getting a AP and the tune from them. I cant comment on the brakes for track duty as I haven't had the wrx to a track yet. I feel that are a little weak for the car though and a lot of member will suggest that new pads make a big difference.
 

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I also was shocked by the lack of power of my 17 wrx given the cars reputation. I've grown to appreciate the car for its other attributes but I still think it's slow. My immediate reaction was to unload it and take a hit. I guess I'm leaning towards modding and keeping but who knows.
 

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If you are racing the car actively you will want to go to a shop that deals with Subarus and have them tune the car for that application. Life is t gran Turismo, your not gonna suck the doors off of everything on the track even if the car is a Miata. Gaining on any car past 100mph isn't going to be a blistering flyby, some tracks require slower vehicles to let others pass for safety reasons and that's why you see it a lot in videos.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are racing the car actively you will want to go to a shop that deals with Subarus and have them tune the car for that application. Life is t gran Turismo, your not gonna suck the doors off of everything on the track even if the car is a Miata. Gaining on any car past 100mph isn't going to be a blistering flyby, some tracks require slower vehicles to let others pass for safety reasons and that's why you see it a lot in videos.

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My run group yesterday was 90% porsches (not exaggerating and most were gt3/gt4 - pretty fun to watch them fly by) so I definitely understand the passing rules lol. I guess it was just the lack of anything at all when I floored it that got me. Even my wife was bugging me telling me to pass even while I was flooring it. There was just no power to put you in the back of the seat no exciting feeling at all really. Maybe I just got caught up in the speed and forgot that my car isn't a serious racecar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I also was shocked by the lack of power of my 17 wrx given the cars reputation. I've grown to appreciate the car for its other attributes but I still think it's slow. My immediate reaction was to unload it and take a hit. I guess I'm leaning towards modding and keeping but who knows.
I'm with you here, the car definitely feels slow. My last car was actually a miata, so the WRX felt like a rocket on the test drive. Whether I go STI or something more track dedicated I'm definitely on the fence between selling and modding. Don't want to spend a bunch of money on modding and still be unhappy.
 

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I'm with you here, the car definitely feels slow. My last car was actually a miata, so the WRX felt like a rocket on the test drive. Whether I go STI or something more track dedicated I'm definitely on the fence between selling and modding. Don't want to spend a bunch of money on modding and still be unhappy.
Yep test drive fooled me too. I it felt really fast for half throttle... Little did I know that was full throttle at half pedal. I wasn't expecting a race car but I thought it would at least put me in my seat at wot. I've had girls in the car with no experience with fast cars say that's it got a "little pep to it" while I'm flooring it. Kind of embarrassing. I'm in the same exact spot... Not wanting to throw good money after bad.
 

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You have two options, bolt on some power, or lighten the car. There are some good gains to be had with simple bolt ons and a tune.

The new fa20f is a far more advanced powerplant than what's in the sti, it will be some time but I would venture it's going to be more than reliable.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You have two options, bolt on some power, or lighten the car. There are some good gains to be had with simple bolt ons and a tune.

The new fa20f is a far more advanced powerplant than what's in the sti, it will be some time but I would venture it's going to be more than reliable.

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Voiding the warranty is really what worries me. I have read a lot of success stories about the tune and exhaust upgrades but I'm not sure if I'm willing to take the risk of losing out on warranty repairs from it.
 

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Taking it on the track poses the exact same risk of a warranty claim denial.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
tbh I think I'm sold on getting rid of the car :( I wanted to be talked out of it but I see myself making excuses and justifying trading it out for something else. Makes me a bit sad though. I really like this car.
 

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I don't get it. You were down on revs and still passed. The Impreza is a van compared to a Miata, yet you still got ahead. Either is a good car but the Subaru is more practical. I'd keep it personally, and I'm saying that as a Miata fan.
 

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tbh I think I'm sold on getting rid of the car :( I wanted to be talked out of it but I see myself making excuses and justifying trading it out for something else. Makes me a bit sad though. I really like this car.
There will always be someone faster.
 
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