Blue Monday Golf R32 vs WRX STi vs Lancer EVO — Volkswagen Golf R32

8 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Blue Monday Golf R32 vs WRX STi vs Lancer EVO — Volkswagen Golf R32 отключены
Volkswagen Golf R32

Blue Monday — R32 vs. WRX STi vs. Lancer EVO

By by: Jamie Vondruska

Jun 16, 15:52

This is a damn time to be a car enthusiast. Let’s it, there are so many desirable on the market right now that choosing one can be difficult. You want a car? How about the new Nissan or the new Mazda RX-8? A sports GT The Infiniti G35 or Audi TT or Porsche could all fit the bill. Want a hot No problem… how about a Mini S or a Ford Focus SVT or a 20th GTI or an Acura RSX Type S or a Honda Si or a Dodge Neon SRT-4 or a… you get the picture. There are a bewildering of great cars on the market for people like us.

Two cars in have always been fruit to those of us in North The Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Evolution, two Rally bred sedans impressive credentials. I can remember reading the British magazine Car after the Subaru WRX STI 22B — one of the greats. This car had it all – big horsepower, big big brakes, great handling, for 4, all-wheel-drive and a racing pedigree to go it. Unfortunately those of us on this of the pond would have to sit on the once again and watch the of the world play. Until

Bowing to pressure and a resurgent compact car market here in the Subaru released the Impreza WRX with 225hp, all-wheel-drive, handling and a competitive price. immediately circulated that would respond with not a Lancer product but also top of the line Evolution model. started the Subie rumor flowing in hopes that would go all the way and offer the WRX STI in North With fingers crossed we to see what would happen.

In of 2003 Mitsubishi answered the first, introducing the 271hp Evolution at the Los Angeles Auto Enthusiasts started celebrating Before the party was over and than a week later, went one farther and not only the WRX STI model at the North American Auto Show, but also in a 2.5l engine with and 300 lbs/ft. of torque that is to this market. Yikes!

In the of all this, Volkswagen is winding the 4th generation Golf lineup and a special R32 version of the Golf a 241hp 3.2l V6, all-wheel-drive, big big brakes and host of other minded features. Intended to be the of the Golf lineup, the R32 looked to be yet German market only we wouldn’t see here in the U.S. at the same North American Auto Show that the WRX STI was announced at, Volkswagen very put an R32 on the show floor and officially it would be for sale within a Suddenly car enthusiasts choices even more difficult.

As is with car enthusiasts, debates over whether the EVO or STI is the better One is purported to be slightly better the other with quite a bit power. Could the Volkswagen R32 compete enthusiasts asked? all these cars hovering the $30,000 mark, all with power and all-wheel-drive it was too easy not to them. However it was also at least in the case of the R32 that it had a slightly different mission the other two cars. The R32 is based on an V6 Golf and has no connections to any currently Volkswagen rally program. It is a hatchback whereas the STi and EVO are sedans. In the R32 has a proper competitive place the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA and the Ford RS – two cars not sold here. in America the Golf R32 will be so the nearest vehicles to compare it to are the STI and But can it compete? Maybe the better is should it? The answer lies

As fate would have it, the and stars aligned and we were to not only arrange to get all three together, but all of them arrived in (cue the Twilight Zone please). You think anyone these three cars You betcha… we could barely get out of a gas parking lot without being by questions most of them to know which is better. Our Which ever one you like the

Our goal here is not to rehash or quarter mile times… already been done to What we wanted to see is how these cars behave both on the and on the track. We wanted to determine differences if any exist between and help sort out the pluses and of each car. In the end there are differences in how these cars go their daily business but at the time we are also talking little nuances in their The ultimate decision will down to what you personally and what your personal are. With that in let’s get started…

Volkswagen R32

Here in the U.S. when you put and performance in the same sentence you think GTI. However you find any GTI badges on the R32. The R32 is the of the 4th generation Golf platform while looking much conservative parked next to the STI and packs a ton of significant improvements the skin.

First, the most difference between the standard and the Golf R32 comes with a glance at the exterior. The front has been completely remolded and 3 large mesh air inlets a lower overall profile, side skirts have added to the sides of the car and a redesigned valence that incorporates two 3 exhaust tips rounds off the elements. Other significant include a 20mm lower than the standard German GTI, 18-inch OZ alloy wearing 225/40ZR-18 Michelin Sport rubber. Rounding off are subtle R32 badges front and


The 32 in the R32 designation represents the displacement of the VR6 engine under the hood. version of VW’s VR6 engine is the found in their new Touareg This 3.2l offers a output of 241hp (177kw) at and a max output of 236 lb-ft (320Nm) 2800 – 3200rpm. Both the and torque curves are very on the R32 providing nice low-end and sweet high-RPM sounds.

is routed to the ground through an six-speed transmission and a Haldex coupling for all-wheel-drive. The Haldex is an electronically controlled system is touted for its ability to detect and go to full lockup quicker most all-wheel-drive systems. speed of detection and lockup the Haldex coupling to remain when not needed and operate as a drive car eliminating most of the friction commonly lost in all-wheel-drive setups.

Backing up the and driveline, the R32 receives 13.1 front ventilated and 10.1 rear ventilated disc topped off with blue coated calipers. Volkswagen has the R32’s anti-lock braking toward the performance end of the spectrum as ensuring minimal interference. out the ABS system is Volkswagen’s Electronic Program or ESP for short. ESP utilizes a of yaw sensors, wheel slip and steering wheel input to determine if a slip condition is (like understeer or oversteer) and brake an individual wheel to for the problem. Like all VW’s with ESP, the system can be via a dash mounted switch.

The suspension consists of MacPherson and lower wishbones on the front while the rear sports of a independent forged dual-link arm. The struts and springs are factory sourced from HR and (although they are stamped Racing) and provide a firm, ride for the aggressive driver. In the R32 features larger diameter bars to provide an even ride. This suspension is one of the aggressive ever offered on a car from Volkswagen and it is impressive.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (8)

The Lancer Evolution (or Evo as it’s on the streets) has been a long car in the States. Used as a platform for Rally for a number of years, as as the preferred street rally car in one shouldn’t be surprised. Mitsubushi to show the Evo VII (7th generation at U.S. auto shows and it apparent that we may finally see the Evo here. The steady debate was how much Mitsubishi would the Lancer Evolution when it did get

www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/features/ayc.asp.

Despite lacking the differential setup of the other cousins, the car remains a supreme The front suspension consists of struts with inverted as well as forged aluminum control arms, stabilizer bar and strut tower. The rear consists of a multi-link wishbone with forged aluminum and a cast aluminum cross-member and bar. The car also features a quick-ratio steering rack at taking 2.1 turns lock to The Evo is connected to the pavement by a set of 17×8 wheels shod in 235/45R-17 Advan A-046 rubber designed for this car.

great rubber and big power, brakes are a necessity and the Evo is no slouch in department. The Evo features Brembo that include 12.5 front discs and 11.8 rear discs. These impressive stopping power, modulation and little to no fade repeated hard stops.

on to the Evo’s interior you’ll the Recaro seats are just perfect in size and design a nice compromise in comfort and Overall the interior has a cheap to it that belies the Lancer’s The dash does have a design that flows door to door and everything is you would expect to find it. The one fault though are the gauges are small, difficult to see due to poor and are even worse at night, when compared to the other two

Subaru Impreza WRX STi

While had its heyday through the first of the Detroit Auto Show, it was put off with the announcement of the Subaru WRX STi. Simply put, shocked the market by bringing a car never expected.

The first was the announcement of the 2.5 liter horizontally-opposed turbo. This is a far cry from the 2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder throughout the world. Subaru has a better mix to satisfy the American a little more displacement to that little bit of extra particularly down low in the RPMs. means a lot less perceived lag to complain about. It’s there, but it is an improvement over the WRX under 3000 rpm. The new provides a tremendous 300hp at and a stump-pulling 300 lb-ft of torque at The motor is also one of the first production cars to use Subaru’s Valve Control System

The second shock was that the car have not only a front and limited slip differential but that the center differential be a Driver Controlled Center (DCCD). This electronically differential setup allows the to either allow the car control the or permit the driver to set the differential to either a full lock or to a 35 front / 65 rear bias, a wide range of driving feel.

The STi also comes a sport-tuned fully independent featuring coil springs and struts. The front also aluminum-alloy lower L-arms liquid filled rear and stabilizer bar while the rear inverted struts with links and a stabilizer bar. The car is to 17×7.5 BBS alloys shod 225/45R17 Bridgestone RE070 (again unique to this

On the braking side of the equation the STi Brembo 4-pot calipers 12.7 inch rotors up and vented 12.3 inch in back with twin calipers. Fade is nonexistent in our and the brakes are very easy to

Of course, the one thing many were seemingly waiting for was the of the bug-eyed Impreza. The STi received the new for its appearance to the states and provides a and meaner appearance than its predecessor. While some, our Subdriven guys, grew to the bug-eyed look, the redesign is a improvement. To improve air-flow to the a new, more aggressive scoop (read: huge) was on the STi model.

On The Street

Raise hand if you like to drive a car every day. Okay, some of these cars are the for race cars (or namely cars), they aren’t like driving a full out car on the street. The EVO and STI are however brash, and leave little doubt as to intentions – be forewarned. They are a LOT of fun to drive. But where do you draw the where comfort ends and fun begins?

For most of us, the drive by getting in the car and sitting down. All of cars are extremely accommodating to minded drivers. All three can seat 4 people, albeit the R32 be a bit cramped in the rear seat and be best suited to children or trips with adults. is actually a potential blessing in as the R32 has only 2 doors. Let your take their own car for a change.

sitting in any of these cars, can make a great difference in We had a wide variety of drivers in during our test and most all the different seats comfortable. A few complained about the fitment in the R32 and found the STi’s side a little on the weak side. The Recaros seem provided the blend of snugness and comfort the least amount of complaints). The STi look to be very comfortable, but our is that Subaru made a little less aggressive for our to accommodate American’s lard We suspect drivers would likely be more at home in the R32 and seats whereas those in the STi our larger test driver a bit

Adjusting the seats in all the vehicles easy and quick. Both the STi and R32 had adjustments that made it to get into a comfortable driving However, some of our testers the Evo’s seat adjustment cumbersome. The STi and the R32 get additional credit for height adjustment in addition to and aft movement.

Two of these cars are sedans, so what about friends in the backseat? Mitsubishi put a more consideration in rear passenger accommodations by providing an arm rest and cup holders. The Mitsubishi has more room in the rear however the extremely flat leaves a bit to be desired. The Subaru’s bench was more contoured and supported, but space is at a premium to the Evo.

From the driver’s the first and most obvious and minuses with each of the laid in their dashboard The Mitsubishi suffers the most in contest with cheaper plastics and a gauge cluster suffers from poor and size. Both the R32 and STi faired The R32 had a clean and easy to read with a layout that was and pleasing to the eye. In fact, the dash and interior shined of a not seen in the manufacturing process of the Subaru and Mitsubishi – real aluminum accents instead of pieces painted to look metal. This is of course, the luxury of the R32 stands out. If you plush performance, this is it’s at. In the STi turning on the gauge for the first time will put a on your face as the needles from one end to the other and a bright red glow sets in. The backlit provided unmatched visibility the day and night. The gauge cluster is what makes the Subaru out while the rest of the dash very similar to a standard WRX occasional bits of red stitching remains nice and simple.

Once under way you can start to sort out the differences in how these produce their power. The EVO little power in the lower rev but once the turbo spools up to of boost the car rockets forward. is quite uncharacteristic given the company in this test. normally aspirated and with low end torque the R32 simply pulls and in a nice strong linear The R32 engine is less frenetic the other two cars and begs you to hot rod it the corners. This is accentuated by a unique and wonderful stock note. The Evo and STi are remarkably quiet in with the Evo having just a of exhaust tuning around The STi falls somewhere between the R32 and low-end powercurve, giving a amount of torque down low with a great turbo up high that is more than the Evo.

Volkswagen Golf R32

While experimenting with the power, start to notice the quirks (or thereof) in the gear boxes of all cars. The Volkswagen suffered the poorest clutch engagement due to an overly light clutch and a response. Our test car served as an show car with thousands of sitting in it playing racecar with the clutch and shifter reportedly left it with a clutch takeup. This clutch takeup resulted in difficulty in getting underway often resulting in a jerky The three other R32’s we driven didn’t exhibit behavior, so we chalk it up to this car and its past history.

Rowing the gears on the Volkswagen is similar to the as both offer short-ratio 6 requiring a third shift hitting 60mph. The gearing on cars feels appropriate and in with the engines, permitting you to in the powerband as long as needed and it even more fun to string out the The 6-speed on the R32 in general felt and not overly notchy or loud, the only complaint being the odd action.

On the STi, the 6-speed to be an improvement over the stock offered in the standard WRX model. The shows no sign of weakness or that became a frequent with WRX owners. However the felt sloppy compared to the two cars with longer exaggerating the problem. The shifter in the STi tall, perhaps to facilitate the stalk needed for the reverse (you pull up on a part of the to get into reverse), but either way down the shaft will solve the problem.

The Evo was the only car in the to have a 5-speed. The 5-speed enough spacing to facilitate shifting, but also forced you to the car further in order to stay the powerband. While the 5-speed seem to exhibit any quirks normal driving it was by far the tightest in the group with very throws between gears. driving tended to cause grinds between gears, 4th to 5th as well as 1st to 2nd. Hopefully was simply a glitch with our test car.

Out on the road it to be difficult to stay below the speed limits forcing you to off before your eccentric car the attention of the local law enforcement. The R32 the stealth award in this since the other two sport big stickers and even gold wheels. If flashiness is not your cup of you may want to apply elsewhere.

As earlier, the Evo and STi might just as be homologated street cars as are brash, noisy and transmit bump and pebble directly to ear drums. The R32 offers significantly sound dampening and does a job of removing a significant portion of noises but allows enough of the note to come through you of what lurks under the The Evo and STi feel more rigid the R32 owing to newer platforms but to transmit more road than the R32. The Evo provides a mix with a stiff chassis provides a tolerable mixture of noise and vibration with comfort. The STi seemed to be the noisiest car of the with tire noise was apparent at even slower

So obviously, if you want comfort and the R32 is the comfort king in this The STi and Evo are kissing cousins in comparison the Evo edging out the STi for comfort and performance on the So how do these cars compare on the

Performance Comparison

How we did it:

Nearly that will review cars has, or will, them to a race track to their performance. This is the venue you can safely explore the of these cars and really how they behave when hard. We packed up all three and headed down to The Tire in South Bend, Indiana. Rack moved to new digs year that included a new warehouse and headquarters building with a small roadcourse and for testing purposes. The course we ran day was identical to the layout used in The Rack’s tire comparison and consisted of a slalom test, left and right-hand turns, high-speed sweepers and included one lap a 200ft. diamter skid pad all for time.

We also did independent pad testing on the wet skid pad to not only

The early consensus before all the was that the R32 didn’t stand a against the more powerful Evo and We also really didn’t what to expect between the Evo and STi one is more powerful than the yet most U.S. magazines the slower car higher. We conducted of each of the vehicles and tire were set to factory specifications. All were stock as they are by the manufacturer, the only odd-ball the R32 which was a German-specification model. assures us the U.S. spec will be mechanically identical.

In our walk arounds, Tire main tire testers Rasteter and John Woody pointed out that the both the Evo and STi had uniquely designed for those and that they were compound rubber that has a short life-span but rewards in levels of grip. The R32 rode on Pilot Sport high-performance tires that make a street tire with wear characteristics but typically do as well on the track. They the R32 would be about a second the other two cars based on alone.

The first thing to out is that each of these is a lot of fun to drive. We are talking about a of cars with impressive that put them in the top 10% of drivers period. However all three are different in how they behave on the and you ultimately can’t judge any of cars purely on paper. For the R32 is down nearly 60hp to the STi and is quite a bit slower in timed runs as reported in most It also had the weakest tires in group, yet it managed to come a second of the other two cars in the laps.

Another interesting was in initial impressions. Most felt the Evo felt flatter on the and was more controlled at the limit to the STi. The STi seemed to exhibit a bit of bodyroll, dive and squat in to the other two cars with the R32 the most streetable/trackable suspension All three cars resolutely at the limit, however the R32 responded to input more proactively the others in the group. Lifting off the on the skid pad caused nearly no in the STi, caused the nose to the line a bit more in the Evo and actually the rear end of the R32 to step out in a controlled The R32’s stock suspension we might add) actually had the neutral setup allowing the to balance the car on throttle more than the other two. said the drive-by-wire throttle in the German cars is not as easy to as the traditional cable throttles in the Evo or the throttle in the STi. So a number of had a hard time modulating the in the R32 which made things a bit jumpy on the skid pad where R32 was sensitive to throttle input.

Between the Evo and the STi the Evo had less overall dive and squat and felt composed at the limits. Overall it was to drive quickly and also to explore the limits and even go the limits. The Subaru in contrast loose and slightly out of control with the intense rush of that can really make it intimidating. However, if you continue to those limits and can become with the ensuing chaos, the STi reward you with faster lap

So as you probably guessed, the STi and Evo must been close. In fact, were extremely close. lap times resulted in the STi taking the best time by 1/10th of a (in the hands of one of a Vortex staffers no The Evo and STi came within less 1/100th on the top 10 averaged times. perhaps to the comfort level felt in the Evo over the STi at the limts, the times closed the gap between the two The drivers that were to put their faith in the STi were with slightly faster lap (although still only by a of a second).

The R32 obviously couldn’t up to the STi and Evo, especially with the tires as it was very easy to them after getting out of the two cars. The R32’s best fell within 7 to 8/10ths of a of the STi and Evo’s best times (in the of one of The Tire Rack testers), the R32’s top 10 average was about a off. Given better the R32 probably could have right in the thick of it according to The Rack. It still doesn’t the power of the STi and Evo, but it has quite a true track suspension from the dealership owing to the fact that it was only to be a street car whereas the STi and Evo might be off-road in a rally cross.

about grip? On the dry skidpad, the STi and Evo pulled a best .99g the Evo just edging out the STi on the top ten average a .97g versus .96g. The R32 was back (but still with a skidpad measurement of and an average skidpad of .93g. the R32 exhibited the best overall handling for the skidpad, tires to be a restriction yet again.

On the wet skid pad we our best to upset these trying everything from foot braking to severe with more turn-in and simply stayed glued in or just pushed into In fact during photography we one of our Subdriven staffers that to get the rear end out on the STi (something he is quite at). He eventually had to give the car a flick and heavy duty on to get it out there.

In the slalom the STi turned the time by 1/10th of a second the Evo with the R32 following next of a second later.

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