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For those with a Subie WRX, how is the low end torque? I'm considering a WRX with an auto tranny, but I'm concerned about the low end torque. I admit that the auto tranny kinda sucks, but this would be a daily driver that the girlfriend also needs to be able to drive. I test drove a 2002 WRX on flat roads and the turbo lag kinda sucked. Is the 2006+ WRX any better? Am I better off getting a non-WRX impreza instead?

I would like something with decent torque when driving up mountain roads, such as those 15-20mph switchback roads. I don't plan to tow anything, but will be hauling 2-3 people + gear. Am I expecting too much from a 4 cylinder?
 

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BitterDave said:
For those with a Subie WRX, how is the low end torque? I'm considering a WRX with an auto tranny, but I'm concerned about the low end torque. I admit that the auto tranny kinda sucks, but this would be a daily driver that the girlfriend also needs to be able to drive. I test drove a 2002 WRX on flat roads and the turbo lag kinda sucked. Is the 2006+ WRX any better? Am I better off getting a non-WRX impreza instead?

I would like something with decent torque when driving up mountain roads, such as those 15-20mph switchback roads. I don't plan to tow anything, but will be hauling 2-3 people + gear. Am I expecting too much from a 4 cylinder?
well, its gonna be better then an NA 4cylinder, but its not gonna be anywhere close to the torque of a V6/V8 unless you modify it.

That lag you're feeling is probably from the tq of that engine being split on 4 wheels. So its gonna lag on the low rpms
 

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BitterDave said:
For those with a Subie WRX, how is the low end torque? I'm considering a WRX with an auto tranny, but I'm concerned about the low end torque. I admit that the auto tranny kinda sucks, but this would be a daily driver that the girlfriend also needs to be able to drive. I test drove a 2002 WRX on flat roads and the turbo lag kinda sucked. Is the 2006+ WRX any better? Am I better off getting a non-WRX impreza instead?

I would like something with decent torque when driving up mountain roads, such as those 15-20mph switchback roads. I don't plan to tow anything, but will be hauling 2-3 people + gear. Am I expecting too much from a 4 cylinder?
If you're getting that much lag you're not driving it correctly. Did you test an auto or a manual? That could also be part of the problem. Cars like the WRX aren't really meant to be equipped with the auto tranny. They have that option, but it's not what the car is meant to have. With the auto you'll likely have issues with it not being in the correct gear and having to spool more often. Whereas you could downshift and add a little gas before the turn with the manual, the auto won't do this, not to mention that the auto isn't a 5spd, so it's not going to be extremely usefull in using the car's powerband. You could teach your girlfrield? It's simply not meant to perform like an "WRX" with the auto.

Otherwise, in 1st gear you are going to get some lag before enough pressure builds up from the exhaust to spin the turbo. The guys that do the 0-60 dashes in 5 seconds do so by reving the engine up as they are releasing the clutch, it puts a lot of wear on the transmission obviously and isn't the best thing to do, although with practice you can do it so that it doesn't kill the car each time.

One way to counter this is to make some fairly minimal modifications to the car. A turbo up-pipe and down-pipe do a lot to cut down on lag, as well as some sort of tuning. Having the turbo spool up faster will cost you more gas obviously, so it's not the way the car comes tuned from the factory, but again as a fairly minor modification you can have a tuner (or there are ways to do it yourself with devices and software) make it spool up faster.

You "can" shift into 3rd at about 20mph, you can do 4th at about 32mph and you can shift into 5th at about 45mph. Just because you "can" doesn't mean you should. When you do this, it starts spinning in the new gear at about 1800rpm. That is NOT going to cause the necessary pressure to spin the turbo fast enough. You should upshift to 3rd around 30mph in the mountains, and 4th probably around 40-45mph. Also the faster you are going, the more pressure is being created, so you can usually make full-boost pressure at lower RPMs in the higher gears, but the effect is not dramatic. If you can create just a few PSI of positive pressure though you can usually climb out of most situations. I have the factory-optional turbo-gauge on mine, so it gives me a good idea of what's going on. With those 15-20mph switchbacks you should be in 2nd going into the turn, but during some turns yesterday I had to downshift to first due to slow traffic nearly stopping in the turns, maybe that's because I understand the RPMs that are needed though? This is with a 5spd tranny obviously.

I just went over a nice tight and twisty mountain range twice yeterday, the 4cyl doesn't lack power, it will leap up those twistys like crazy, especially with the 2009 now having 265hp stock.

Traditionally turbo engines don't make a whole lot of torque on the low end, this is why twin turbos or more advanced turbo setups are out there on some autos. On the other hand, they tend to make a LOT of torque as the RPMs rise, due to the fact that you're putting compressed air and gas in the cylinder, so when it fires it has a lot of force behind it being put out to the crankshaft. The low end-response is yet another thing that a tune(r) could help with.

Off the line from first gear, the NA impreza would go faster for the first 30 feet or so due to the NA aspect of it and slightly greater torque and HP at lower RPM, but that's only in 1st gear, if you're shifting somewhat decently then in any other gear at any other speed the wrx owns it many times over.
 

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I agree with Jayem. I don't see the point of buying a WRX (or any sporty car for that matter) with a slush box. Although some people buy them more for the show rather than the go.The manual tranny lets the driver keep the revs in the boost zone. That being said, the 06 will be better low end torque than an 02 by virtue of 2.5L engine vs 2.0. I know a fellow who had same '02 as mine, but with the Auto tranny. I never drove it, but he claims it "goes like stink". If low rpm torque is what your after, get a diesel
 

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BlackCanoeDog said:
I agree with Jayem. I don't see the point of buying a WRX (or any sporty car for that matter) with a slush box. Although some people buy them more for the show rather than the go.The manual tranny lets the driver keep the revs in the boost zone. That being said, the 06 will be better low end torque than an 02 by virtue of 2.5L engine vs 2.0. I know a fellow who had same '02 as mine, but with the Auto tranny. I never drove it, but he claims it "goes like stink". If low rpm torque is what your after, get a diesel
Good point about the 2.5 vs 2.0.

I was out driving earlier and if he's doing turns at 15mph or below, definitely needs to downshift to 1st, that's almost like stopping in the middle of the turn. :thumbsup:
 

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BlackCanoeDog said:
I agree with Jayem. I don't see the point of buying a WRX (or any sporty car for that matter) with a slush box.
Well, honestly there ARE some highly advanced auto-type tranmissions that do just fine in sportscars. Subaru doesn't use these though, so it doesn't apply.
 

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Jayem said:
Well, honestly there ARE some highly advanced auto-type tranmissions that do just fine in sportscars. Subaru doesn't use these though, so it doesn't apply.
Agreed. the recent dual clutch transmission designs seem to be pretty sweet. those are not your typical automatic though, having actual clutch(s) instead of torque converter
 

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BlackCanoeDog said:
I agree with Jayem. I don't see the point of buying a WRX (or any sporty car for that matter) with a slush box. Although some people buy them more for the show rather than the go.The manual tranny lets the driver keep the revs in the boost zone. That being said, the 06 will be better low end torque than an 02 by virtue of 2.5L engine vs 2.0. I know a fellow who had same '02 as mine, but with the Auto tranny. I never drove it, but he claims it "goes like stink". If low rpm torque is what your after, get a diesel
I agree for the most part, but i'd like to point out that the last time i had to looked at WRX's(been awhile) the fastest street legal one was an auto.

Have you considered a Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed? Its msrp is 23k, it comes with a turbo 4cyl with 280tq, and it beat out the S2000(junk) on a track.
 

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For low end torque and a fun driving experience on twisty steep roads, you can consider something with a low-pressure turbo like the Volvo C30 T5. The turbo starts spooling at 1800 rpm and hits a nice torque plateau at 2500 rpm through to 5500 rpm. Gives good power in everyday driving conditions... without having to keep the engine revs at 4000rpm to feel the power. The torque is almost always available without having to rev high to find it.

The C30 is built on the euro ford focus chassis... the euro ford focus RS is no slouch like it's US counterpart. It has Volvo's T5 turbocharged 5 cylinder engine (227hp, 236TQ) which is fun to drive.

All that said... no AWD yet.
 

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ZQ8Dude said:
I agree for the most part, but i'd like to point out that the last time i had to looked at WRX's(been awhile) the fastest street legal one was an auto.
I have no idea when that was! Top Gun in the Subaru lineup is the Impreza WRX-STI, which doesn't even come with an auto tranny option!
That aside, the auto vs manual question is not about drag race speed. Its more to do with fun factor, driving pleasure of a dialed-in, responsive vehicle.
The auto tranny just doesn't fit the equation imo.
 

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ZQ8Dude said:
I agree for the most part, but i'd like to point out that the last time i had to looked at WRX's(been awhile) the fastest street legal one was an auto.

Have you considered a Mazda 3 Mazdaspeed? Its msrp is 23k, it comes with a turbo 4cyl with 280tq, and it beat out the S2000(junk) on a track.
Strange. Back when auto mags tested the auto wrx they found it to be far slower than the manual, they had to resort to holding the brake while reving the engine (bad for the car) to launch in first, and it was still a lot slower in all situations. It doesn't really make any sense that it could be faster.

The 2009 WRX has 265hp (nice bump up in power).
 

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Jayem said:
Strange. Back when auto mags tested the auto wrx they found it to be far slower than the manual, they had to resort to holding the brake while reving the engine (bad for the car) to launch in first, and it was still a lot slower in all situations. It doesn't really make any sense that it could be faster.

The 2009 WRX has 265hp (nice bump up in power).
I'm not talking stock by any means. In just about every vehicle. The manual w/ the same powerplant will be faster stock. However, you can beef up an auto and make it shifter better then a manual. I have a tuner for my truck that will adjust transmission shift points and whatnot that i've used to tune other trucks. I've ridden in a similar truck to mine, but on 20s w/ a really agressive transmission tune...it felt quicker then my truck.

The problem with the 2009 WRX is that it is puke ugly.

Thats also something no one has brought up and just occured to me, OP, you might wanna be a little cautious if you're gonna buy used. WRX's/EVOs/SRT's all fit in the category of cars that people buy and abuse the living piss out of. I've seen people with these cars at the track doing things i wouldnt do to any car. One incident that stands out in my mind is when a guy had an SRT running 100 shot of nitrous plus slicks, plus a tuner to up the boost. It ran low 11s, he abused the hell of out it, and then said he was gonna bring it back to stock and sell it the week after.

Then many idiots with WRX's will try and do AWD burnouts(as if they really need to heat up the tires if they were using good race tires.)
 

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Comparing a truck to a WRX? Completely different engine types, weight, etc. Yes, there are a lot of things you "can do", but most people don't want to take a huge hit in some other area, such as reliability or huge hit in milege under normal conditions, etc.

AWD burnouts? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to do a burnout with AWD? There are a lot of bad things you can do to a car, but burnouts aren't very common with most AWD platforms. I have never been able to burn out my WRX, it simply "goes forward" instead, and that is during the full-on launch. In fact, it's the tendancy to not burnout that leads to the problem of 5K clutch-slip/drops.
 

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Jayem said:
Comparing a truck to a WRX? Completely different engine types, weight, etc. Yes, there are a lot of things you "can do", but most people don't want to take a huge hit in some other area, such as reliability or huge hit in milege under normal conditions, etc.

AWD burnouts? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to do a burnout with AWD? There are a lot of bad things you can do to a car, but burnouts aren't very common with most AWD platforms. I have never been able to burn out my WRX, it simply "goes forward" instead, and that is during the full-on launch. In fact, it's the tendancy to not burnout that leads to the problem of 5K clutch-slip/drops.
I was comparing transmissions and most transmissions have a pretty decent tune setup where the computer can differentiate from WOT vs. regular driving. So mileage really doesnt get hurt that much if any at all. Even the primitive TH350 has that ability, just without computers.

I'm wondering if you read my post or just glossed over it? :skep: Yes i know how hard it is to do an AWD burnout, but people do them w/ modified WRXs and its extremely abusive to do. And its not all that uncommon to have vehicles put back to stock before they trade them since dealers usually don't give you your money's worth

I'm curious have you been to a racetrack during their local fun runs?? You might wanna try it just for a good laugh. You'll find people doing shockingly stupid things. Last time i was out there i saw 2 muscle cars burnout(bouncing off the redline), and then lose control on the 1-2 shift.
 

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ZQ8Dude said:
I'm wondering if you read my post or just glossed over it? :skep: Yes i know how hard it is to do an AWD burnout, but people do them w/ modified WRXs and its extremely abusive to do. And its not all that uncommon to have vehicles put back to stock before they trade them since dealers usually don't give you your money's worth
Even with a few modifications it doesn't happen. I'd imagine you have to be pushing 350-400hp or so to get close, with the way turbos spool it doesn't really work.

Are you sure you're not talking about modified STIs? With the adjustable torque split it would be far more likely to see something like that.

The thing with putting vehicles back to stock or whatever is that if you are really doing things at the competition levels that you've suggested (running 11s in a neon), you really can't make it work with stock driveshafts, transmissions, clutches, pistons, headers, turbos, and even the engine block itself in many cases. I'd be concerned if they were running the stock stuff, but at the numbers you suggested it's highly unlikely.
 

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Not sure what awd has to do with torque

ZQ8Dude said:
well, its gonna be better then an NA 4cylinder, but its not gonna be anywhere close to the torque of a V6/V8 unless you modify it.

That lag you're feeling is probably from the tq of that engine being split on 4 wheels. So its gonna lag on the low rpms
My Audi A4 kicks in pretty quickly. I do feel some turbo lag compared to my NA 2.0 4 cyl GTi, but that is probably a good thing so it doesn't use too much gas at low speed. Really, its not too bad.

Torque is torque. It all gets used up in the system regardless of how many wheels are being driven. 150 ft/pounds on two wheels will give the exact same acceleration (if weight, rolling resistance and driveline friction are the same) with 150 ft/pounds of torque on 4 wheels, providing the wheels aren't slipping. Of course, more drivetrain equipment will give more drag and weight, but it won't be that much.

Then again, my A4 isn't exactly overflowing in horsepower vs weight (3300 pounds!). It kicks off the line pretty well because of the heavy flywheel and AWD (no slip!), but you have to wind the engine up to really get the turbo spinning and the 5 valves per cylinder to flow... and get big pull out of it (not that its that big, especially compared to a WRX). I don't think the AWD is slowing it down much, other than adding a couple hundred pounds to the car vs the FWD version. Since Subies are all AWD, you can't really compare against non AWD.
 

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Jayem said:
Even with a few modifications it doesn't happen. I'd imagine you have to be pushing 350-400hp or so to get close, with the way turbos spool it doesn't really work.

Are you sure you're not talking about modified STIs? With the adjustable torque split it would be far more likely to see something like that.

The thing with putting vehicles back to stock or whatever is that if you are really doing things at the competition levels that you've suggested (running 11s in a neon), you really can't make it work with stock driveshafts, transmissions, clutches, pistons, headers, turbos, and even the engine block itself in many cases. I'd be concerned if they were running the stock stuff, but at the numbers you suggested it's highly unlikely.
You seem to be completely negating the most important part of this. TIRES. Bad tires will make all the difference. And i have seen both regular and STI's do them. Turbo spooling is irrelevant if you're like those dumb people. They are attempting to do staging burnouts, so they revv the engine(which spools the turbo) and let the clutch go, or stall the converter to try and make it burnout.

The STI TQ split would just make for an FWD/RWD burnout, not all 4.

pimpbot- you're comparing a 2.0 NA GTI...which doesnt have lag, its just slow. And yes having extra wheels for the engine to drive will reduce its tq when compared to an identicle vehicle w/ two drive wheels and it will be noticable.

As for your A4, its a 1.8T, or newer? My brother is a VW/Audi nut and had a 1.8t passat(same thing). The Turbos in those cars spool at a very low rpm. I think its something like 1500rpm when it kicks in.
 

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ZQ8Dude said:
so they revv the engine(which spools the turbo)
Um, no, it doesn't built any pressure by doing that.

Not only do the cars make this impossible, as any pressure is dumped by the BOV when you push the clutch in, but it also doesn't take much power to rev the engine to high rpm without having the car in gear, so it lacks the exhaust pressure necessary to build any real boost (if for some reason it was rigged to not dispose of excess pressure before being put into gear).

You might be mistaking clutch slipping for "revving the engine", in any case revving the engine does not build boost. Pressure is supplied very quickly when you clutch slip, because the car is moving and the RPMs are high, you instantly get a lot of exhaust pressure, but this is after you've started moving.
 

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Jayem said:
Um, no, it doesn't built any pressure by doing that.

Not only do the cars make this impossible, as any pressure is dumped by the BOV when you push the clutch in, but it also doesn't take much power to rev the engine to high rpm without having the car in gear, so it lacks the exhaust pressure necessary to build any real boost (if for some reason it was rigged to not dispose of excess pressure before being put into gear).

You might be mistaking clutch slipping for "revving the engine", in any case revving the engine does not build boost. Pressure is supplied very quickly when you clutch slip, because the car is moving and the RPMs are high, you instantly get a lot of exhaust pressure, but this is after you've started moving.
really?? must be an oem subaru thing. Sounds like yet another reason i wont own one. I'd imagine changing that would be step 1 in modifying one of these cars so you could actually spool the turbo for a decent launch.
 

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FYI if you are going new/newer the new 09 wrx non STI is getting rave reviews. Upped the horsepower abit, toned down the styling. Check out the new car and driver. I autocrossed a friends wrx the second year they came out. Low end torque was fine, steady state grip was nice. The old ones had a little initial understeer, but this was supposedly easy to tune out. The advantage of a manual tranny is you can keep the car in its power band so low end torque is not quite as important as with an auto. In the switch back you mentioned you as a driver can read the road ahead and put the car in the appropriate gear for max power if you like. The auto transmission will just respond after the fact. That really over simplfies it and does a disservice to some of the great autobox cars but manual is a ton more fun to drive.
 
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