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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

16 February 2003

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GT-R Is God!

I've just joined your site and one of the first articles I read was "Grading the GTR". After reading it, I was totally disgusted and regret ever joining. You guys are nothing more than ignorant boofhead Aussies. It is shameful that you do not get your facts right. Let me point out where you guys went wrong...

First you wrote, "STi Imprezas, Evolution Lancers and the forgotten ST205 Group A GT-Four Celica all have the same peak power - but with much less weight to lug around". Wrong - the GTR has more power than is advertised!

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Then you wrote, "Against the stopwatch, the test R33 GT-R (heaviest of all GT-Rs) accelerated to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, while the R32 left it for dead in 5.6 seconds. They're fast - but definitely not supercar times. Both cars were launched with a swift clutch release at around 3500-4000 rpm'".

You guys obviously don't know how to launch a GTR to get the best time do you? It has to be launched at or above 7000 rpm! It will do 0 - 100 km/h in around 4.7 sec - quite a substantial difference to the times that you guys got!

Then you went on to complain about its handling. Do you guys know that the R33 was the first production car to lap the famous Nurburg ring in under 8 minutes? Pretty shit handling, hey?

And when I thought the worst was over, you couldn't even guess the size of the brakes right - "The front uses twin-pot calipers, while the rears are basic single potters". They're 4 pot fronts and twin pots rear!

Finally, a GTR is a pure sports machine. It was built for enthusiasts that appreciate its technology; if you want an everyday car get a Camry. Oh yeah, and, you can't compare a STi to a GTR, especially with the sh&* gearbox on the Rex!


To address your points;

1- The factory quoted power outputs are the same for the Evo, STi and GT-R. In all likelihood, the GT-R is a bit more powerful than 206kW, but speak to anyone into Jap-spec Evos and STis and they'll tell you how conservative their power figures are as well. There's not much between them; the weight difference between these models probably has equally big affect on performance.

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2 - Launch at or above 7000 rpm!? Do you own a GT-R and pay - out of your own pocket - for driveline and other failures? Maybe you have shares in a clutch company. We launched our test cars at near their peak torque rpm since we didn't want to of return them on the back of a flatbed truck - a bit of mechanical sympathy was necessary.

3 - We discussed handling thoroughly in the story. Sure, the R33 GT-R might lap a racetrack in record time - but that doesn't count for anything on the street. You don't always have a smooth, grippy surface free of bumps and holes and complete with run-off gravel traps. You also don't have to take into account the car that might be coming the other way around the corner partially on the wrong side of the road. The ability to deal with these circumstances is what makes a fast road car.

We know of many GT-R owners that despise their handling - one bloke told us his Pulsar GTi-R handles better than his GT-R. You also appear to have overlooked how we commented on the major differences in handling between R32 and R33 GT-R models - in the way in which the torque split affects their power-on handling they are completely different. If Nissan got it right with the R32 GT-R, why is the R33 set up so differently from factory?

4 - You're right in regard to the brakes. The front does use 4-pot calipers and rear uses twin-pots - we've now fixed this.

5 - As we said in the story - the GT-R is a dedicated sportscar (simply because it's not great at much else!).

6 -Yep, quick Subies (up until the current 6-speed) do have weak gearboxes - but at least they don't shatter ceramic turbine wheels like a GT-R!

All cars have strengths and weaknesses - and the GT-R is no different. In fact, we feel that its reputation is better than the reality. For example, in the same heavy-hitter class as the GT-R we'd rather have the sequential twin-turbo Toyota Supra RZ.

A Dog For Your Mitsubishi

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In regard to one reader's question about EVO 3 dog boxes, in the USA will soon have a 'box for DSMs and pre-IV EVOs. I hope this is useful.

Charles Moss

Can't See the Trees...

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As a Mitsubishi Challenger driver I was incensed to read the pathetic and uninformed BOY RACER comments by Julian Edgar about this vehicle. I can absolutely assert that the comments by this idiot are in almost every case wrong, misleading and deceptive. They are demonstrative of those that would come from some hoon petrol-head that thinks a four-wheel-drive vehicle should constitute some sort of racecar. Journalists like him do a massive disservice and should be weeded out as their comments mislead the motoring public as to what vehicles should and shouldn't do. I could go on and on about his ludicrous comments about the aerodynamic efficiency of a work vehicle and so on but it is not worth wasting my time pointing out the defective thinking by this buffoon. Please do not use this idiot's reviews on your web site again as they certainly degrade its quality.


Can See the Whole Forest!

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I own and love a 2003 Forester XS and agree wholeheartedly with your positive test in the recent issue. My only question as to its accuracy is about the statement that the X model has a limited slip rear diff. It is my understanding that only the XS has the limited slip rear diff in Canada. If that's also the case in Australia, that would explain the Forester getting stuck with a single rear wheel spinning in your test. Does that make sense? This is my first exposure to AWD. I think your review was excellent, and really described the car's features and characteristics well.

David Tritchler

We're glad you liked the test.

For certain, all Australian-delivered Foresters are equipped with a viscous rear LSD - check out the technical description on the Subaru Australia website (at

The situation described - where one of the rear wheels and the opposite front wheel were spinning - is a limitation of viscous-coupled drive system. Unlike a 'proper' 4 x 4, there's no mechanical lock to engage the same amount of drive to all four wheels.

Wire Me Up

I read the article "TempScreen: Part 4 - Building a Custom Temperature Display" and was so impressed that I decided to build such a display myself. There is one thing that is unclear to me from the article: how to connect the probe to the circuit. Most probes terminate with a two-pronged plug, how does it connect to the circuit? Thanks and keep up the good work.

Avner Bronfeld

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As quoted; "'s absolutely vital that only K-Type thermocouple extension cable is used to extend the thermocouple lead. If you extend the cable using normal copper cable, major errors will be introduced into the measurement! The probe that we bought was one that had been made up by the company for a customer who had then never picked it up - so it was very cheap! However, it came with only a very short lead and so we also bought 3 metres of K-Type extension cable and the right plugs and sockets to allow the extension to be wired back to the TempScreen."

From there...

"I used a PC-board terminal block to take the thermocouple input wires, with the pins of the blocks wired to Pins 1 and 14 of the chip."

In other words, you'll need to buy a K-type thermocouple extension cable with the appropriate connector to hook onto the end of the thermocouple cable, and then terminate the lengthened cable end straight into a terminal block on the PCB.

I hope that helps - let us know how you go!

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