Saturday, September 02, 2006


Well, it's been sooo long since I've written anything... sorry about that if you've been following my blog. Mainly because I've been lazy and I have been fairly busy. I've done a lot of things since February but the latest thing automotive I've done is attend the Mitsubishi VS Subaru Day at Englishtown which happened to coincide with Mazda's ZOOMZOOMLive press event.

I've recently become the owner of a brand new 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX. Pics of that later since it's pretty much rained non-stop since I've gotten the car...

So since I got the car, I wanted to see what other people were running with on the new '06s with the 2.5L engine. It was rainy and dreary, there really wasn't any drag racing going on and many people didn't show.

Thankfully, me and my friends were able to enjoy ourselves with some flogging of Mazdas that didn't belong to us. On the timed autocross course, I overstepped the boundaries of the worn tires and slick parking lot asphalt and killed cones galore with some oversteer. They "clipped" my tag... two clips and they toss you. I was trying to show my friend just how fast you can really drive... whoops! The dry condition target time was 44.5 seconds for the course, and at the rate I was driving, I was on target for around a 41-42 second run... till I spun and stalled on the second to last corner. I still managed to run a 50.

On the Englishtown road course there were two vehicles available to drive, the RX-8 and the MX-5 (aka Miata) which I have pictures of. We drove the RX-8 first and I pansied it because I was overly concerned about increasing rain, severely worn tires, and unfamiliarity with the course. But, no such qualms from my friends Greg and Ralphy... I dared them to try to break the traction control with some clutch kicking. (Clutch kicking basically uses the gearbox to suddenly lock the rear tires and thus initiate a drift) OMGWTF... they clutch kicked the living crap out of the RX8! I'm surprised that the traction control was able to reign in some of those manuevers. Even with the electronic aids on, they STILL managed to kick the tail out! It was one helluva ride! Surprisingly enough, we ALL short shifted the car... the rev limiter on that car is past 9000rpms... only Greg got past 9k but he didn't hit the limiter!

I took the Miata out first as well, but this time, I knew the course better as well as the amount of traction I had available. Braking good, cornering good... scared my friend and could have went faster if not for down cone in the driving line in a chicane. I still went fast enough on the second section of the course to bounce off the limiter on the back straight for a good 2-3 seconds. My friend Greg was asking "what's that??" "Oh! That's the rev limiter in second!" It was a 6 speed so it wasn't that fast. My friend also manage to bump against the limiter on the back straight but he overcooked the technical section before the straight.

The RX-8 is a nice car... good grand tourer in factory trim, but not really powerful enough to be a true sports coupe... mebbe a "sporty" coupe. Balance was good but you can definitely feel the extra weight in comparison to the nimble and planted Miata.

It really is too bad that Mazda didn't release the Miata folding hardtop sooner. The MX-5 as they call it, is an wonderful driving car. Very communicative, balanced, agile, and not too harsh at all. It's a bit toned down compared to the older ones and that makes it that much easier to drive without being tiring. I probably would have bought one for myself... the WRX is more of a practical 4 door.

Sep 1, 2006 - 7 Photos


Post a Comment

<< Home