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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/12/2005 4:55:56 PM EDT
Speed can be instilled into any car. It can come from a powerful engine, sticky tires, taut dampers and massive roll stiffness. It can be found through the right combination of numbers in any spec sheet. Speed is easy for the engineers to create. Speed is just simple math--numbers laid out in an effort to impress and amaze. Getting caught up in this data will give us a picture of what a car is like. It will spell out, in the simplest terms, what it's capable of and how efficiently it uses its hardware. But, judging a machine as capable as either on these pages by using numbers alone is like describing a train wreck to someone who's never seen a train. That's why we put words between the numbers. Sometimes the fundamental truth about a car boils down to the experience. Not the specs. Not the speed. It's the totality of the drive that makes the difference. This is the case with the EVO VIII and WRX STi. We knew going in that finding a winner in this crowd wouldn't be easy. Sweating every last detail to sort out the strengths of both is a job reserved for the most neurotic enthusiast. So ignore the numbers. Pretend they don't exist. They're so close in so many cases that this comparison might as well be a wash on numbers alone. Don't judge the EVO without driving the STi and vice-versa. The only way to really know which car you'll like better is to drive them both. Both are hugely capable cars. Both surpass most driver's capabilities before reaching their limits. They're not just fast. They're ridiculous. And on the right road, we'd match either of them against any other car on the planet. They're that good. That said, it's understandable why numbers don't do them justice. It's hard to feel a number. It's harder to put a number on confidence and tactility. And that's just what it comes down to when going quickly in either car--confidence to know it will go where you point it and tactile feel and feedback to keep it there once it's pointed.

It's here the EVO shows its greatest strength--consuming the road with precise feedback and response not found in any other all-wheel-drive car. The EVO's steering makes a Miata feel almost numb by comparison. But it's not just the ultra-quick 13.0:1 ratio that makes it good. It's how driver inputs are translated to the road and the way road inputs are returned to the driver without interference, delay or any muddying of the message. It talks back without being a wise ass. Not that the STi doesn't have good steering, it just isn't as articulate. There's more going on between the driver's hands and the front wheels of the STi to mute input and slow response. Subaru tells us the steering ratio is 15.2:1, which is quicker than the standard WRX's steering ratio of 16.5:1. Still, the resultant 2.7 turns lock-to-lock are considerably slower than the EVO's 2.1, which means more monkey motion behind the wheel when driving quickly. Some editors, like Oldham, don't admire the EVO's steering quickness as much on the daily ride home, citing it as too immediate when trying to do anything except drive quickly. Still, only Oldham would evaluate the EVO as a commuter. Nobody buys an STi or EVO to get home. If the EVO's chassis is its best attribute, then the STi has the better drivetrain. With more power and torque on tap than the EVO (see dyno graph on page 64) and a more aggressive gearbox, it's impossible to find a dead spot in the Suby's power delivery. It's difficult, in fact, to find a drivetrain more dedicated to going quickly in any other road car. The gears are spaced so closely that the first five are required to accelerate through the quarter mile. In fact, it takes two shifts to get to 60 mph. And it has three--count 'em, that's three--limited-slip differentials making themselves obvious every time the right pedal hits the floor. And when it does, the STi surges forward, nose in the air, with near-musclecar attitude. It offers pony car power delivery with rally car handling. Mashing the pedal at corner exits turns the STi into a Subaru-powered Camaro--which is a hell of a lot more fun than you might imagine (just don't tell GM). The STi is more an exercise in controlling raw power and momentum than in directing a precision machine. It transitions from understeer to oversteer rapidly with the active center diff doing much of the work in deciding where the power goes. But, at the limit, it's less adjustable than the EVO.


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It's almost as if, in the STi, the driver is less a part of the equation. Sure, it's still blindingly quick, as fast as the EVO in some turns, but not as involving. It's less receptive to mid-corner adjustments from the brakes or the throttle as well. In the EVO responses are more natural, more intuitive to control and ultimately more rewarding.
Braking played out in favor of the EVO. Hard driving resulted in softened pedals in both cars, but the STi produced inconsistent pedal feel which could be disheartening. Coleman put it this way: "Going into some corners the pedal was fine, but in others it felt hard and didn't slow the car well, almost like there was no assist. I had to stand on the pedal and pray." These issues arose only after repeated lapping at ten-tenths. Score one for the EVO here, its brakes provided relentless stopping power, slowing it time and again to match cornering speed. The same goes for the suspension calibration. Coleman likened the difference to that of a tarmac-trim rally car vs. a gravel-trim machine, claiming the EVO felt like it was in tarmac trim with a more connected feeling resulting from higher roll stiffness and heavier damping. The STi feels more like a rally car in gravel trim--still heavily damped but not quite as radical as the EVO. It's still very stuck to the road, but allows more body roll and more radical weight transfer while clawing at the surface with stubborn determination. The smallest differences in response pay huge dividends at the limit in the EVO and it's these miniscule details where it begins to work up a small advantage--stacking one detail after another until the difference can be felt, if not measured. In total, the EVO's grip and balance result in more rear-biased handling which began to lean things in its favor. Then we went drag racing.

We'll be the first to admit that neither car is a drag racer, but let's face it: If Subaru and Mitsubishi are going to build powerful all-wheel-drive cars and sell them in the land of smoking rubber, somebody is going to try to do a burnout.

The STi, we can report, is the king of this contest. Burnouts, powerslides, drifts, more burnouts--you name it. If it involves brute force and spinning tires, then it's in the STi's repertoire. Launching the car is easy; far easier, in fact, than launching the EVO. Dial in as many revs as you want and feed out the clutch. The result, at any engine speed above 3500 rpm, is spinning tires. Four spinning tires. More revs equal more wheelspin. And it's painfully fast. Zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Through the 1,320 in 13.1 seconds at 105 mph. That's .4 seconds quicker to 60 and .3 seconds quicker in the quarter mile than the EVO. Not only that, but the STi feels indestructible. The six-speed box notches solidly between gears with a more hard-edged, mechanical engagement than the EVO's cable-shifted box. This is good, since you'll be shifting more in the STi. What's more, the clutch can be modulated to produce launches which will punish brain cells on a level usually reserved for Naval aviators. And it will do it time after time. No wimpy clutch here, thank you very much.

The handling tests turned the tables back in favor of the EVO. The Mitsu punched through our 700-ft. slalom at an incredible 73.1 mph, 2.4 mph quicker than the STi's 70.7 mph average. And it circled our 200-ft. skidpad at .95g, also slightly better than the STi, which cranked out .91g. No comparison of these two cars would be complete without a lapping session. We took them both to the Streets of Willow Springs near Rosamond, Calif., to sort out the differences and settle the score. And again, the answer to the inevitable question, "Which is better?" didn't come from the numbers. In fact, the difference, a scant 0.15 seconds (in favor of the STi), left testers shaking their heads. If all you look at is the raw time, this contest, again, is a wash. Time and again during this test we were asked which car we would choose and the answer, every time, was "it depends." And, in this tester's opinion, it depends on how you intend to use the car.

Conclusion
If you must have the power, then the STi is your car. Nothing short of a Porsche Turbo will outdistance it from a stoplight and it produces a sensation of speed beyond most musclecars, thanks to its prodigious torque and ultra-short gears. The EVO, however, is amazing on different, but equally impressive, terms. Its precision can't be measured by acceleration, turning or braking tests. It's sharp and focused where the STi is brutal and bullying. It rotates and carves when the STi turns and shoves. It whispers when the STi screams. It's subtle when you want it, yet devastating when you need it. And the bottom line is that the few arenas of performance where it gives up speed to the STi aren't enough to sway us from its hypnotizing performance. This time we choose understated precision over extroverted force. This time we choose quality over quantity. And this time we choose the EVO over the STi. This time.

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 5:42:33 PM EDT
Both belong in the dirt...
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:17:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:42:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigscrun:
Where did you cut and paste this from, maybe we can just post a link........? I see sponsors links?



http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/features/0307scc_stievo/
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 9:01:43 PM EDT
Both cars are truly awesome. I just hope that the new turbo and IC I put in my omni will allow it to stay ahead of the pack of these new cars that are out there. The AWD is a huge advantage for them.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 2:50:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 4:39:01 AM EDT
EVO!!! Yes the STI is a bit quicker in stock form but the EVO more than equals the playing field when handling comes into play. Now modded the EVO wins in every category hands down. The STI's 2.5 liter opposed four is still relatively new. The Mitsu 4G63 engine has been around for years and is legendary. A buddy of mine has an 03 EVO that with stock turbo is making over 360hp to all four wheels. He is running 12.1 @ 115mph on crap tires. That car is capable of high 11's and his car is on the lower end of the spectrum for Evo tuning.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 1:01:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By YELLOWV:
EVO!!! Yes the STI is a bit quicker in stock form but the EVO more than equals the playing field when handling comes into play. Now modded the EVO wins in every category hands down. The STI's 2.5 liter opposed four is still relatively new. The Mitsu 4G63 engine has been around for years and is legendary. A buddy of mine has an 03 EVO that with stock turbo is making over 360hp to all four wheels. He is running 12.1 @ 115mph on crap tires. That car is capable of high 11's and his car is on the lower end of the spectrum for Evo tuning.



STi is a better built car IMHO, which is clearly seen in the interior.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 1:30:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By csr:

Originally Posted By YELLOWV:
EVO!!! Yes the STI is a bit quicker in stock form but the EVO more than equals the playing field when handling comes into play. Now modded the EVO wins in every category hands down. The STI's 2.5 liter opposed four is still relatively new. The Mitsu 4G63 engine has been around for years and is legendary. A buddy of mine has an 03 EVO that with stock turbo is making over 360hp to all four wheels. He is running 12.1 @ 115mph on crap tires. That car is capable of high 11's and his car is on the lower end of the spectrum for Evo tuning.



STi is a better built car IMHO, which is clearly seen in the interior.



I agree. STi has better interior and better styling. I dont think the EVO comes in black whitch is the only color that I buy.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 3:50:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 3:52:38 PM EDT by YELLOWV]
Both the EVO and STI are cheap econocars made badass. Both interiors are cheap and plasticy crap with the addition of drilled pedals, good seats (the EVO's Recaros are MUCH better than the STI's) etc. If you are looking for a luxury interior neither of these cars should be on your list of test drives. They are simply not built for that quality. As for total build quality both are built quite solidly. You can see that when they are on the dirt. And the EVO is available in black. There is a reason the EVO has won every shootout between the cars hands down and has been called the best sport compact car of all time and it's not because the STI is a better car. Don't get me wrong both are great and I would happily drive either but the Evo is a better car. Remember the STI is the hopped up version of the WRX. Have you ever seen the hopped up version of the Evo? Its called the FQ400. Unfortunately you cant buy it here yet but it stands for fucking quick 400HP and makes Ferraris scared when it pulls up beside them.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 4:45:42 PM EDT
These cars are fast in stock form and stupid-fast in modded form............but still have the goofy styling of a hot-rodded econocar.

YMMV
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