David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Subaru WRX project car
Apr 4, 2008

Before leaving for the school, we figured we should test fit some tires and wheels. We used these Nittos and Rotas for a tire test with our ‘07 WRX, and they fit the new car just fine. The rears looked a little close, but camber gain worked in our favor.
We stopped at the Russo and Steele classic car auction in Hollywood, Fla., on the way down. We parked in their special Subaru section.
Throw on some numbers, and it looks like a race car. Yeah, it probably needs some stiffer dampers.
The first day’s course contained a wagon wheel. It was brutal on the outside-front tire. We weren’t the only ones to strike some cords.
Even though we only had two sets of tires with us, we did this a lot during the weekend. A rough surface and limited amount of negative camber meant we had to monitor tire life and move tires around to maximize things.
Car does look cool, though. Despite the body roll, it carves nicely.
Here’s why we love autocrossing wagons: They’re easy to pack.

The WRX made its competition debut last weekend—okay, it was an autocross school, but the same stresses apply. In fact, we made a few dozen runs over the course of two days so the car got a serious workout.

We ran the car during the Evolution Performance Driving School in Fort Myers, Fla. The only mods were a set of shaved 225/45R17 Nitto NT01 tires mounted on 17x7.5-inch Rota SDR wheels leftover from a past tire test.

Things we learned:

  • There was plenty of body roll, but the car was still quite composed and easy to control.
  • There’s more low-down power than our old ‘07 WRX.
  • The new shifter position is nice.
  • The car needs more negative camber up front. We corded an outside-front tire. (The surface was super-abrasive, however, and others did the same.)
  • Final tire pressures were in the 45 psi range.
  • Thanks to camber gain, the rear tires cleared the fender lips.
  • We turned the same times with and without the stability control engaged.
  • We should have used our CG-Lock, as a few times we almost slid out of our seat.
  • Brake modulation, even with the stock pads, was nice.
  • Typical Stock-class mods—shocks, front bar and an alignment—should make a huge difference. Do we head there or take a stab at E Street Prepared?
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View comments on the GRM forums
Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
5/14/08 7:51 a.m.

Gotta love a car that hauls... stuff.

nderwater PowerDork
7/11/08 12:58 p.m.

This car and the project MCS are both hatches and about as quick in a straight line. The Mini is a tighter squeeze, but a more potent out-of-the-box autocross weapon. Which makes the better daily driver? Which is more fun on the street?

filmjr New Reader
12/8/08 3:44 p.m.

Haven't had a chance to drive an '09 WRX, but I hear they're significantly stiffer and angrier. I own a 2005 that I love, but it does take a level of driving skill far beyond mine to keep the engine winding like a sportbike so you don't lose boost.

Can't wait for an update on this project car.

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