More on Rexes Rails
Your WRX on Rails series Impreza WRX Handling - Part One is an amazing collection of articles for those of us
with older style WRXs (I
have a WRX engine but
my car didn't
start as a WRX, if that counts). Do you have any
plans of doing a similar series on the newer body style? Now that it's been out for five or so years it seems the process would be pretty well
known to suspension
tuners such as Whiteline.
I do track days with a guy that has a ‘04 WRX wagon with STi springs and
a H-brace. It's perfectly neutral right now (which is great),
but we would love to see what new swaybars and
bushes could do to increase the performance.
Also, you don't really have any articles discussing the importance of chassis
bracing. Perhaps one can
come up in the future? I was able to get an extra 10mph with the combo of new polyurethane
bushes and a basic front lower chassis brace on
my Aveo (Barina
in Australia). Yes it's still slow, but the
cornering speed is almost as fast as my modified Subaru.
We aren’t planning a similar series with the older WRX but much of the same
suspension theory applies. Certainly, talk to Whiteline re improving your friend’s ’04
wagon – new swaybars should be high on the list. And, thanks, we’ll have a think about
what we might be able to do re chassis bracing.
Undertray Stay or Go?
In the article Modifying Under-Car Airflow Part 2 did you remove the covers from the engine and power split
device when you fitted the new undertray or were they let in place?
They were left in place.
Big Cube Small Cars Overlooked
What happened to your articles on Small Cars with Big Cubes - Part One? You left out the two small cars with big
cubes - I own a V6 Capri
and a six-cylinder Cortina.
You also left out two of the smallest cars with the biggest
cubes - the Basil Green Ford Capri Perana and the Alfa Romeo
converted Giocattolo. I think a third part to the series is needed.
Well pointed out re the Capri and Cortina – close rivals (in terms of
size/weight) to the LC/LJ and LH/LX Torana. Limited production cars are probably
in a different category!
More Orphans and Unloved
Your Performance Buying - Orphans and Unloved is great!
My current favourite
is the Citroen Xantia Activa TCT - a decent competitor to the Audi
A4 and BMW 320 in its day
with active hydraulic suspension giving an
incredible combination of highway comfort and B-road agility. On the skidpad, it pulls
0.94-1.0g which is better than the Honda NSX or BMW M3...
The car was not a commercial success as it
was underpowered (108kW from a 2-litre turbo four), overpriced (AUD$46,990), without a "prestige" brand and with steep depreciation.
mean that good examples now can be found at
Tuned to 150kW or thereabouts,
the Xantia Activa TCT
becomes a very effective way to travel quickly, comfortably and unobtrusively.
For those that *really* want to tinker, the high pressure
hydraulicsopen up a whole
new arena of possibilities. One possibility for the truly demented is to transplant the Xantia's active suspension
and turbo into an old
Citroen DS...Keep up the good work!
High Performance Reading
My attention was called to an editorial you published originally in '99 - From the Editor. In it, you express disappointment
that there are no novels that "incorporate
high performance cars in the storyline." May I direct your attention to the Benjamin Garrick
series. These books - the third is
about to be published -
have a detailed, accurate thread of high performance and,
by arrangement with Roush Racing and the US
National Guard True
Champions Foundation, a contest is being offered.
The winner will receive a VIP trip to a NASCAR race.
More on Bikes v Cars
Re Julian Edgar’s opinion bikes slower than
cars Driving Emotion?...
I have driven high speed sports cars, rally cars, 4WD and also
highpowered bikes over 20
years. Motorbikes continuously for that period. I also lived in Brisbane for a few years and know
some of the roads Julian
refers to. My personal opinion
is - given a known road with no oncoming
traffic and knowledge of
no oil on the surface - a
decent bike/rider would eat a car.
But take this into account; a minor slide on a bike easily translates into
being on the wrong side of the road and becoming a hood ornament, whereas a
minor slide in a 4 wheeled vehicle is more manageable for the average
mug. Additionally, on the
roads in the Hinterland,
one needs to allow for the
drongo coming the other way in a car that loses it and wipes you out so you need to slow up a bit
to give you room to stop.
I could put you in contact with any number of riders up that way
that would leave you
behind and any number that you could round up. Depends on the rider and the day.
Thanks for the article on turbo diesel cars - Diesel Discovery - Part One. Having driven numerous turbo diesel cars in the UK I think they are a great solution to rising fuel
prices and give very usable performance due to the torque delivery at low to medium
revs - not to mention
producing generally lower emissions than petrol engines ofequivalent performance. However, I spotted a couple of things in
Firstly, when the Peugeot 306 turbo diesel was new it was clocked as running 0-60mph (96.5 km/h) in British road tests in around 11.2 seconds.The performance of the 405 turbo diesel was similar. These figures were not significantly improved on by
the later HDI engine, although the latter yielded better fuel economy compared with the earlier engine and was on
boost from around 1500rpm whereas
the old model didn't get going until around 2250rpm. Apparently,
however, there is more
scope for tuning the earlier engine which uses a larger turbocharger
capable of flowing more air for higher power
applications. There are also many retailers in the UK selling chips to increase the power of turbodiesel cars.
Secondly, I was under the impression the Mercedes 300 turbodiesel was a five or six-cylinder engine rather than a four
as you state. I also think
the Mercedes C250D produced more than 173Nm of torque. Perhaps you meant
Ben GarsideNew Zealand
Thanks for the informative email. And, yes, you’re
right – the Merc E300 turbo diesel runs a six-cylinder (not a four) and the torque output for the C250 turbo diesel is
280Nm. Article now fixed.