Last post on Nov 12, 2008 at 6:09 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks
What is this discussion about?
Acura RSX, Honda Civic, MINI Cooper, Volkswagen New Beetle, Ford Focus, Volkswagen GTI, Coupe, Hatchback
Jul 18, 2002 (2:32 pm)
Kevin - The WRX has a ton of aftermarket mods available that will take it way beyond my GTI, but when I factored in the original WRX cost and the cost of typical WRX performance upgrades you are talking $30k or so. Granted a $30k WRX will blow the doors off my GTI. A huge advantage the WRX has is it's all wheel drive which can easily handle 300 HP. I'm about at the limit of HP a small FWD car can reasonably handle. VW makes a 4Motion GTI for it's European market - hello modified 300 HP 1.8t 4Motion GTI. It is rumored that VW will make the 4Motion GTI available in the US when the Golf 5 debuts in mid 2003. It should be a $1,700 option similar to the Quattro system on the Audi A4. VW 4Motion is essentially the Audi Quattro system.
As far as warranty issues with the mods I've done to my GTI, I researched that as well. I have a mod friendly VW dealer that doesn't reject warranty issues out of hand on modified cars. They have to prove that the modifed part caused the failure. A lot of the after market performance parts I've installed on my GTI have a lifetime warranty which is a lot better than the factory warranty. The VW 1.8t engine is massively over engineered in typical German fashion. It can easily handle the level of performance I'm extracting from it. It is supposedly engineered to handle 300 HP with no internal modifications. I haven't had one problem with my modified GTI in 10k hard miles. I do maintain it really well though.
Gbrozen - I drove the MINI S and thought it was an absolute slug. You have to keep the RPM's up to get anything that approaches performance from it - I'm keeping tabs on the MINI S performance aftermarket, pump that little MINI S up to 220 HP or so and I bet it'd be quite entertaining.
I love really fast little hatchbacks that handle like go-carts more than any other type of performance car.
#413 of 894 rickrover - sounds like you did well
Jul 18, 2002 (8:52 pm)
It looks like you researched your cars heavily and found the right car and dealer that fit your needs. For the price point, it sounds like you did very well. Good luck and have fun with the GTI!
#414 of 894 Beetle Turbo S-- oversteer?
Jul 19, 2002 (5:11 am)
I believe it's understeer
Jul 19, 2002 (6:25 am)
unfortunately, many of these small 4 bangers need to be kept in the high RPMs. Honda and Toyota are notorious for it.
The nice thing about the GTI is the peak torque comes in under 2K rpms and carries you through to the peak hp up there around 5500. But that's the nice thing about LPTs. You're just spoiled.
Jul 19, 2002 (7:33 am)
The 'slug' comment is probably a good example of how & why its misleading to compare vehicles based on their horsepower ratings, or even their HP/weight ratio.
The relevant old adage is that "we buy horsepower, but drive torque".
For most people - - and more so for those who go with an automatic transmission - - they don't have the willingness or interest to make the effort to keep the engine RPM's in the sweet spot of its power band when performance is desired. Typically, this means relatively "high" RPM's. Consequently, we defer to a preference for a larger displacement V6 or V8, partly because they typically will have more torque, but mostly because they have broader RPM delivery band of good levels of torque.
Engineering design philosophy and finesse does address this to some degree. One example is an engine cam design that sacrifices peak horsepower to make more torque (ie, make a "less peaky" motor). Another is what VW has done with the turbocharging system in the 1.8t motor: its considered an "undersized" turbo by many, but its design objective is really to increase torque, not horsepower and it does a good job, providing the engine with a healthy amount of torque across a very broad RPM range.
- - -
On steering, most cars today typically have understeer, not oversteer. Understeer is that "plowing" feel when you go into a corner, turn the wheel and not much happens - the car goes straighter than the wheel input would otherwise say it should be. This has been built in on purpose, because understeer is more forgiving of the habits of poor drivers.
In contrast, oversteer is where a small input results in a large turn-in; typically, the back end wants to come around. Its most commonly found today on AWD systems (with appropriate throttle manipulation) and rear-end-heavy RWD systems, such as the classical example, the Porsche 911. FWIW, the rate at which a car's rear end will swing around is partially a function of the Z (vertical) axis Moment of Inertia ...the lower it is, the faster (which is usually considered to be not a good thing for normal driving).
#417 of 894 8u6hfd - my mistake
Jul 19, 2002 (7:47 am)
Was late in the day. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it!
C&D said the understeer was almost as bad as the Saab 9-3 Viggen (considered to be their #1 understeering car!)
Huntzinger - To emphasise your point, look at the Maxima 99 to 00. The engine displacement was the same, yet HP increased to 32. Interestingly enough, even though the manual 0-60 dropped by over a second, the automatic 0-60 speed was identical between the two years.
Jul 19, 2002 (9:19 am)
"I drove the MINI S and thought it was an absolute slug. You have to keep the RPM's up to get anything that approaches performance from it..."
The engine on that car you drove was not worked in yet.
Trust me as a Cooper S owner. Once you work it in, you'll notice more pep.
BTW, the car (mine at least) has ample low-end power.
Jul 19, 2002 (10:41 am)
The silly thing about the break-in of the Cooper engine is that you want to go above the limits (4500RPMs) while you are under break-in restrictions but once the engine IS broken in you don't really need to unless you really want to haul $$. It was amazing how much power the engine gained on break-in; it took even longer than the owner's manual said to fully open up -- I'd say it wasn't really broken in until after 3200km (2000 miles).
#420 of 894 break-in
Jul 19, 2002 (10:46 am)
Can someone define break-in? I thought new cars didn't need to be broken in anymore.
Jul 19, 2002 (10:50 am)
good to hear other opinions. Wish I could bring myself to go find an S to test drive to judge for myself. I'm just afraid of liking it too much.