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Old 20th October 2008, 10:59   #1
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Lightbulb Evo IX or WRX STi PPP? - as requested (archives)

Who is a better spinner – Muralitharan or Shane Warne? Is photo misspelt as foto or vice versa? Similarly, many more questions germinate never-ending debates. I believe the answers to these and pretty much anything in the world have a slight degree of preference involved or liking that makes one defend them.

Umm… for instance, I, preferred veggie pizza on a thin n’ crispy base from Dominos whereas my friend D2 preferred a meaty pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner last night. He wanted the pizza with extra olives and meat on it whereas I wanted light cheese, extra-chilly flakes and oregano. Well, it is the same in the cosmos of cars.

There are so many categories of cars available in the market. Both I and my friend (also a car reviewer) D2 believe in the existence of a set of cars manufactured for the married who still haven’t uninstalled the youthful irresponsibility in them to drive quickly on a school-run. Yes, I am re-starting the never-ended debate on which of these cars is better: ‘07 Evo IX MR or the WRX STi.

The Doctor, a member of Brosreview barged in to recommend GTR34 and the Supra be added as well. But, then you see, I had to about-turn him to the door as practicality was something those two cars didn’t serve. It is hard; close to impossible to get those cars insured. And, they have two doors less. Well, it is not to be forgotten that both the Evo and the WRX STi were designed for rallying aka speeeeed in all terrains!!! So, here is how the argument started.

I have always loved the Evos’ and will continue to despite D2s’ repeatedly annoying though avid attempts to convince me that the STis’ are better. We both were fortunate enough to have a go with both these cars but we had 1440 minutes to wait until then. Hence, we thought we verbally fence our standings. So, we set off with the similarities; AWD(All-wheel drive), 4 door, turbo-charged 4 cylinder intercooled engine, 6spd man., 0-60mph in under 5 secs, red-lined at 7X1000rpm, acceleration faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S.

Concisely, since the STi has a throttle sensor and a better weight distribution its’ info. processing system chip is “believed” to help it handle better than the Evo with both throttle and steering-wheel angle censors (Swan reports). In connection, the STi has an overall better 4WD system than the Evo in sending torque in a right manner (Swan Reports).

The STi has major torque thrown to the hind tyres leaving the front tyres
to do what they are meant to do; steer. The Evo on the other hand distributes the torque to all the tyres in different ratios making it hard to handle.

I was then in for some more disappointment; the STi had a heart of 2457 cubic capacity thumping 300bhp at 6000rpm compared to Evos’ 1997cc, 276bhp at 6500rpm. I then rambled from cars to dinner to skip furthermore (if any) letdowns.

Oops, I forgot to mention yet another similarity; both these cars have consistently added English letters following their prime name; Mitsubishi Evolution MR Edition FQ300 and Subaru Impreza WRX STi PPP (Prodrive Performance Pack). (We chose these models as these are in the closest match)

One look is what it takes to comment that neither of these cars is handsome. They aren’t George Clooney or Richard Gere; they are more like Vin Diesel or Paul Walker. But, they send a handful of signals that magnet you to propel it. Both these rally cars hold you in their rally-like sporty bucket seats as you are ready to set-off.

YES, the Evo has gained some weight but NO, ironically the sumo wrestler is fast. It is quick despite the comparatively longer turbo-lag during up-shifts than STis’. But, then it all evens up to STis’ disappointing understeer which I have personally diagnosed in all its’ predecessors.

To skip the understeer in an STi, you need to treat it like a dog; let the leashed dog pull you towards where it wants to go, then later you remind it of its’ master by forcibly pulling it towards you aka drift it!!! Seriously speaking: If you want to turn right in style and speed, turn the car left and with a very small gap turn right and the STi shall dance in control through the turn. What happens if you simply turn right in speed? Hmmm…. You will still dance, like a skater out of control on the wrong side of the road.

The Evo, on the other hand is one of the easiest car after feather-light Exige I have experienced so far. It is so easy that you can place your middle finger on the steering and execute a hair-pin more than 140kph as everyone else feel embarrassed with your middle-finger reacting. The car at times also turns into a tripod but will never ever leave the road; just like a car on tram-lines.

The sturdy suspension in the STi makes it a better car on hard-terrains or gravel. There is where they really outrun the Evo. It is also quicker on straights and thus in a ½ mile drag it beats the Evo. D2 as was quite happy with this. But, then I snubbed him by saying that his car carried a post-box looking hood-scoop with it. And, the jewellery; goldenness wheel rims implied that it wasn’t a boys’ toy. He then retaliated that the STi had a better interior and mileage. With mild turns in a circuit, the STi will beat the Evo. But, as the turns get deeper the understeer pulls you back, the driver in the Evo will pass by yelling, “U r a bus” (Subaru read in Arabic Style).

If you love driving with effortless excitement, buy an Evo. If you love driving with effortful excitement, buy a STi. If you want to glide through, buy an Evo. If you want to slide through, buy a STi. Both the cars are EQUALLY good and we seriously mean this. It just depends on whether you want 97% or 99% low-fat milk in your coffee; trust us, it is that close.

Another car needs a mention in this review. Audi RS4: This car is like kartoffelsalat in a plate of sushi. The Audi RS4 was the one that introduced AWD into rallying. So, technically, if the RS4 weren’t made the samurais wouldn’t get a chance to exhibit their skills.

You must have already figured it out that it is very hard to recommend either of the two to anyone. After we recorded our details, we test-drove each other’s car. And, we honestly ended up loving both of them. But, we still defended our cars. So, you see it is up to you to decide what you want from your car.

According to me, if you want an over-all car filled with laid-back peppiness and sporty-looks (unlike D2) then go for the Evo; I bet the tri-diamonds will make you feel like a 10 year old. If you know who Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Peter Sohlberg is and you prefer a fast car which makes you work for excitement and more towards the daily-usage (better boot-space)and can live with its’ hideous headlamps (unlike me), post-boxish looks then go for united stars’ STi.

But, then the STi lovers must be on their toes as the 2008 model is a hatchback. The alteration to an awful Kia-like looking car is being done to smudge off the understeer that I reckon will be useless. And, the Evo lovers can decide on their taste. The new one is more Italian in styling with an Audi-like front-grill, the sides of a Romeo and back side looking like a botox-filled Integra S.

There will also be a new entry by the Honda Type-R which I reckon MAY not fit into the bunch as it is a FWD (Front-wheel drive) apart from being underpowered. The Supra is a RWD(rear-wheel drive) and the GTR34 (AWD) both which were suggested are equally good as the above mentioned cars in terms of handling but are faster; guys, I just complicated your decision.

In addition to this, there are some fresh road rules due implementation that hike the rates on supercars, prohibits insurance for sport tuner-cars and limits the top speed of turbo-fitted cars. This is done due to the whopping 51% increase in accident rates affiliated with such cars. I have mentioned this earlier and I continue to; why don’t speed freaks pay few bucks and do a quick lap round a racetrack rather than putting everything at stake on traffic-filled roads? Yes, I understand the excitement thingy, but do not at the expense of others lives.

Hmm… this kinda helps me conclude this debate without being determinate in any way that if you want to push the two rally cars to the limit you need to do something before or after you get the car… OWN A RACE TRACK.

(Evo IX photos from Perth Motor Show)
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