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1995 Subaru Impreza WRX STi version II

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

red_sti_snow.jpg

Year: 1995
Class: Sport Compact
Type: 4-door sedan

Host: GT1, 2, 4, & 5 
Country: Japan


Price: $22,280 (GT1) /// $13,740 (GT4) // $23,295 (GT5)

GT5 Mileage as tested: 19,034.3

Construction: Unit Steel
Length: 170.9" // Width: 66.5" // Length: 55.3"
Wheelbase: 99.2"
Overhang: 5 feet 9 inches
Track: 57.7" [F] 57.3" [R]
Ground Clear: 6.1"
Weight: 2,733 pounds

Steering: Power-Assisted Rack & Pinion
Layout: Front Engine/ All-Wheel Drive
Tires: 205/50R-16
F. suspenion: Macpherson Struts, Coils, ARB
R. Suspension: Dual Links, Coils, Shocks, ARB
Brakes: Vented Discs

Test car in GT5 was given oil change but no engine rebuild. Not sure if the GT4 car had oil change or not.

Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC Flat-4
Construction: Aluminum Block & Heads
Aspiration: Intercooled Turbo
Fuel System: Multi-Point Fuel Injection
Bore x Stroke: 3.62" x 2.95"
Compression: 8.5:1
 
                        GT4                       GT5
Final BHP: 267 @ 6,500 rpm       265 @ 6,500
Fnl Torque: 237 @ 4,000 rpm     235 @ 4,000
 
Credits per HP: $51.46                     $87.90
Pounds per HP: 10.23                       10.31
Hp per Liter: 133.9                           132.8
 
Idle Speed: 1,000 (GT4), 800 (GT5)

GT4 & 5 Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 8,000

*testing below currently for the sedan of GT4 and GT5. I have also included test results for the '94 STi sedan.

0-60 mph:
GT4 94 STi: 5.716 seconds                 
GT4 95 STi: 5.766
GT5 95 STi: 5.933

0-100mph:
GT4 94 STi: 14.033 seconds             
GT4 95 STi: 13.983
GT5 95 STi: 14.081

0-150mph:    
GT4 94 STi: NIL                          
GT4 95 STi: 41.850 seconds
GT5 95 STi: 45.534
 
400 M:   
GT4 94 STi: 14.548 @ 101 mph          
GT4 95 STi: 14.377 @ 101
GT5 95 STi: 14.447 @ 101

1/4 Mile:
14.498 @ 102 mph

1 Kilom:
GT4 94 STi: 27.825 @ 130 mph           
GT4 95 STI: 26.015 @ 130
GT5 95 STi: 25.951 @ 129

1 Mile:
GT5 95 STi: 35.065 @ 143 mph 

 
test track lap:
GT4 95 STi: 2:39.859                         
GT4 95 STi: 2:27.117
GT5 95 STi: 59.095 (Daytona)

Brakes 100-zero:
GT4 94 STi: 3.83 seconds            
GT4 95 STi: 3.82
GT5 95 STi: 5.166

Top Gear RPM @ 60:
GT4 94 STi: 2,800                    
GT4 95 STi: 3,200
GT5 95 STi: 2,875


Top Speed at Redline--'94 STi
1st: 37 mph
2nd: 58 mph
3rd: 78 mph
4th: 101 mph
5th: 145.70 mph @ 7,800 rpm

Top Speed at Redline--'95 Sti version II
1st: 33 mph
2nd: 59 mph
3rd: 83 mph
4th: 111 mph
5th: 159.18 mph @ 7,700 rpms

Top Speed at Redline--'95 STi version II
1st: 34.7 mph
2nd: 58.4
3rd: 80.1
4th: 107.9
5th: 157.2 @ 7,750 rpm

sti_v2.jpg

------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY----------------

The Subaru Impreza WRX Sti version II is a car I have gotten to know recently, as I've been sick all weekend, and have driven it both on and off-road in GT4 (and later GT5). I've also driven a real-life 2.5 RS, which is from a later model year (since I live in America), but some of the same concepts apply from game to reality.

Starting in 1994, Subaru introduced the STi version of the WRX lineup of Imprezas. We can find WRX versions of these cars in just GT1 and GT2, but the STi sedan appears in all five GT games to date, and rightly so. STi stands for Subara Technica International by the way. The word Subura in Japanese means "to unite", and the word "Impreza" is a Polish word meaning "party, event, or show," although Subaru didn't mean to choose this word just because it has meaning in Polish.  Anyways, did you know all that? I didn't. Till now.

The Impreza started production in 1993 and had a dual purpose: it was both a compact, smaller car than the Legacy, and was also intended by Subaru to compete. There were both front-drive and all-wheel drive models ... liftbacks and sedans right from the getgo; and in 1995, Subaru started making coupe versions as well, which can be had in some GT games but not in others.

This particular model (the STi version II) can be had in GT1, GT2, GT4, and GT5. But not in the third game. GT3 features a surprising lack of STis, matter of fact. The WRX is a rather middleish-light car. The STi is made even lighter via lack of air-conditioning and other luxuries, and it also has less soundproofing. We can take a version II sedan down to 1,966 pounds via racing kit in GT1 (the wagon falls to 2,030), 2332 pounds via race-kit in GT2 (the wagon falls to 2,409), and about 2,450 pounds in GT4. I have not fully reduced weight in my GT5 sedan, but I promise some day I will.  

PD apparently got sick of making 20 versions of Impreza STis for GT4 and 5, and doesn't include a wagon version of the STi version II, or many other versions. This is okay. I know for a fact the Impreza wagon does appear in these latest games; I don't remember which versions, though.

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---------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------------

Subaru's famous flat-4. Look at it and shed a tear if you like. Oh dammit, I already used that preamble in another Subaru review...let me start over.


GT1
There are a total of four turbo stages in this game, oddly. Full power takes us to 404 horsepower @ 6,600 rpms with 329 foot-pounds, also at 6,600. Despite this lowish power (for a Stage 4 system, that is) there is what feels to be miles of turbo-lag, which can be a bit frightening if you're not prepared. At the start of a race, the engine also has a habit of bogging down as the clutch links power to the rest of the drivetrain. It doesn't matter if you're running stock or full power, the engine bogs just like the engine in the Subaru SVX. It's a bit annoying.

GT2
The first thing I noticed in this game was the sound of the boxer engine, which doesn't sound anything like the real-life car, or the car in GT1. Instead, be prepared, because it sounds like some sort of power-tool, even when stock. Everything else, however, seems correct. Oddly, there are only two turbo stages instead of four. At first, I wondered about this...did I mistakenly by a WRX non-Sti? Nope, I had an STi for sure. Why are there just 2 stages in this game, yet 4 in the previous one?  

Anyways, just two turbo stages in this game. At most, they crank out less than in GT1: 377 horsepower at best. A bit of a disappointment.

GT4
When GT4 was released in 2004, things change for the better now that (it seems) so many after-market competitors want business from STI. In this game, HKS, Mine's, and other companies can provide us with a Stage 5 turbo, and at best we can acheive about 483 bhp @ 6,500 rpms with 392 foot-pounds. So, power isn't much greater than can be achieved in GT1, but at least we can attain more instead of less, right?

GT5
to be added

Now the transmission. *clears throat* These cars do their best with their 5-speeds, which have close gearing from speeds one thru four with a taller 5th gear. Despite this, there are times once the car is racing when 5th isn't tall enough, and you'll need a racing gearbox. Even while power is stock or nearly so, the boxer 4 can get a thousand RPMs or more past its prime power area down longer straights.   

Other than this, the drivetrain is fantastic. Traction is amazing, with plenty of flexibility, as we'll see now. 
 

-----------------CHASSIS / HANDLING----------------------

When driving this car, I can't help but compare the STi version II to its nearest competitor ... the 1995 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 2. There isn't much difference between the Sti versions I and II, or the Evo and the Evo 2, mostly there were cosmetic changes from 1994 to 1995. So come with me as I compare similarities and differences between the STi of 1995 and the Evo of the same year...

GT1
There's a couple words in automotive terminology: "contact patch". This describes how much contact a car's tires have with the road. The extremes we can experience in GT1 are...a bit out of this world.

Here, it really is astounding how much this car drives and feels just like a brick on four wheels. That's the best way to put it. There is absolutely zero understeer even when power is being throw down, despite the all-wheel drive. But it is possible to create huge motions of snap-oversteer by entering a corner with just a jab of what should be ordinary steering input, as if you hurled a brick and it landed sideways on an icy sidewalk. These traits (zero understeer, lots of snap-oversteer) are present if the car is on Normal tires; and it doesn't matter if you're using stock power or full. 

The Lancer Evo 2 handles almost exactly the same as the Sti in this game. It's amazing I used to think GT1 was realistic.

GT2
Here, this car still feels a bit brickish, a bit "slot-carish", but this is merely since it is extrememly grippy for the most part, despite the fact that it leans alot. The STi suspension offers plenty of leeway, but also plenty of assurance. There is still not much entry-corner understeer, but at least there is some. STis should understeer a bit; that's just one of their handling traits. You will notice more understeer when exiting some corners once the car is equipped with maximum power, but it is still plenty controllable since there isn't much power to be had, unfortunately. 

It is (however) much harder to break the rear now than it was in GT1. It usually takes a well-timed downshift and/or some braking while cranking the steering just to get a mild, controllable slide happening, rather than the completely sideways off-roadish feel this car displays GT1. Driving this car in either game is loads of fun, but personally I prefer GT2's physics.
I've even been able to occasionally get this car's wheels to lift off-pavement when really cornering hard!  In comparison, the Lancer Evo 2 feels slightly more understeerish, just as grippy, but not as oversteerish as the WRX STi version II in this game.

GT4
All the rules are different, now. The STi version II is at its most mercurical in GT4, but also at its most life-like. It is possible to experience some understeer, trail-braking, sideways skating, lift-off oversteer, slight fishtailing, and (very rarely) wheelspin ... all in the same curve or corner! Grip still predominates, however, like a lord who keeps careful watch over his manor for errant troublemakers. The STi in this game invites us to make trouble at times, which is just as things should be.

But let's get back to my pseudo-comparison between Evo and STi from the year 1995. What strikes most are vast differences between each car on-road and off-road. Since both cars are so similar in dimensions, weight, and power, I was surprised to find there really are variations in each car's performance. On pavement, for instance, the STi shines, whereas the Evo is problematic. The Evo understeers heavily, and only thru a series of parts and settings does it become more raceable. The Sti, on the other hand, feels much more capable...with less understeer (although there is some), more lift-off oversteer (the Evo has none), and you won't need any particular settings to get the STi competing at many tracks. Nor will you need to dial in a VCD device in GT3 or 4...the STI is simply more flexible, plants power down more efficiently with less plowing, if this part is left on the shelf where it belongs.

Now off-road, it's a different story! Here, the Evo starts to dominate ... and is an easier car to pilot thru any off-road course. It attacks corners of all kinds with more confidence. You can slide the Evo in, and give some gas early while this car pulls out of its slide. Not so in an STi. Matter of fact, the STi feels more oversteery on pavement, and this gets pronounced in the dirt! Which sounds cool but is actually dangerous, for the Impreza wants to spin more often. Only after equipping a 2-way differential and learning to give partial throttle throughout many off-road turns (to keep the car slightly understeering rather than stepping out) did I finally master the STi.

Not that it's a bad car. I recently learned that the Evo is actually closer-based on its WRC version. Which makes sense. But I've also read that both cars feature a similar system of limited slip differentials in the center & rear of the car, with an open diff up front. Apparently, Subaru calculated their road-going versions for more flexibility.

GT5
The Version II appears as a Standard car in this game, rather than a Premium. So far I have only driven this one in the Online 4WD events. So in this game, what I am expecting is Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system will be represented to full capacity. Hard sport tires are shod when we buy the Version II, but I couldn't help but swap these for some soft radials (comforts) before taking a few laps around Tsukuba. Why not? We only have one life to live ... unless we are believe in reincarnation.

One thing I really like is how flexible the STi feels on these tires, and how it's constantly communicating with us, too. It has a certain vulnerability we can experience, as well as a certain zone of safety. Drive the car mildly, for instance, and all it does is GRIP. In and out of turns. Grip grip grip, like it's on rails instead of pavement. Now... if we start driving more aggressively, the Version II lets us know we need to back off. It shows us the limits, shows us the rules it wants us to play by, and then gives us a choice. We can try to break past these limits, and depending on the situation different things can happen.

The front end will start understeering on entry, of course, but by mid-turn the pushing tends to stop, assuming we let-off that gas. The car starts predictably gripping inwards with lift-off, even on these cheap tires. But then I noticed that on-exit (exiting the three hairpins), it is also very possible to crank that steering very sharply, give lots of gas in 2nd gear, and now the rear starts stepping out a bit. We have a choice not only for some aggressive throttlesteer; we can also overheat a rear tire or two--make a bit of smoke and wiggling for our replays!

 Ahhh...these are the things that make me smile, folks. 

This changes once we're in Tsukuba's final turn (the long right curve). Let off the gas, and understeer is quickly cured if we need it to go away. But at this stage (70-ish mph in 3rd gear) giving a LOT of gas did not provide those swingy oversteerish motions we saw during hairpins. Instead, the car will only understeer at this point. Again, it wants a bit of respect, and we have no choice but to give such respect. Or deal with understeer. Anything more than half-throttle is not a good idea during these longer, non-banked curves. 

I got rather obsessed with this car all over again, since it's my first GT5 experience in an Impreza. Started tuning step by step while keeping the cheapie tires: sport suspension, height-adjustable sport suspension, closer gears, better drivetrain parts, etc. I noticed that even with the Fixed Sport Suspension, I could brake a little later, and carry a little more speed in and out of turns. That lap time fell. Three-quarter throttle in that final turn (on average) rather than half-throttle. The Height-adjustable suspension provided a little more options on exit (with my tuning), options for even more or less oversteer. My choice.  

The lap time fell from 1:09.543 (stock) to 1:08.691 (lightly tuned) by now. Not that those are the best-ever lap times with such tuning and parts, but it's noticable that with each new set of parts (and not much effort otherwise) the car became more and more pilotable. Pilotable. Is that a word? I'll have to look that up. I like that word, though; think I'm gonna keep using it. :-) 

Everything was an improvement until I decided to try messing with the variable center differential, which changes the torque rating from front to rear. VCD tuning started with curiosity on my part; I wanted to see if I could kill understeer dead in its tracks. But ... just as in GT4, I simply could not match the car's stock Symmetrical AWD system.

A 10/90 split created an awkwardly fishtailing STi, for instance, which teetered and tottered out of the hairpins with weird moments of rear tire-smoke. Understeer was now at a minimum when exiting, but the rear had a tendency to LASH OUT with anger at times, which means power had to be kept reigned back when the car was ordinarily accepting lots of it. I dumbed the setting down to 30/70 (stock settings) and got better results, but it felt as if I were fighting the STi now just as often as I was enjoying it. I came within +.397 of my best lap time so far (without VCD) and could improve no further.  Prognosis: this part is not needed on-road, but may still become handy off-road.

Now, off to the races! ...with full intake, exhaust, and computer tuning (371 @ 7,100 with 306 @ 4,600), as well as hard sport tires. Doesn't matter which track we are at--the Impreza sedan now aims to please even further. Its previous "respect" rule now gets tossed out the window, as again and again I found myself able to ....well ... toss this car in and out of turns of all kinds with less of a care.

Braking zones were respected, yet even if I missed one, the Impreza's Damage Control options are large. Much larger than they were in GT4 for sure. I dove into a few turns way too late on occasion. Hey...it's okay! I'm a SUBARU, I can still work with ya here!  Even a trip off-track at Laguna Seca barely seemed to slow this car down; its AWD system keeping fine control at all times despite some sand-bouncing. At certain tracks, the front-end had the option to grab lightly (rather than simply grip or understeer) which only added to the fun, of course. I garnered 2nd place during that first race at Laguna by the way, despite the fact that my car was only making 487 pp (530 is the max).  

Summary
What else is there to say? At times, I wish the STi sedan Version II had more power in all games. But its ability to handle and tear up some tracks of all kinds, and on all sorts of surfaces, is simply something to start to take for granted after awhile. Damn I wish I could get more power, though. Sigh.....                      
 
 

sti2_slide.jpg

PROS-------------------------------------------

1). Not too pricey. The STi version II appears as a used car in every game except GT3, and falls in price from game to game (GT5 is the exception here).

2). Traction galore ... on or off-road.

3). A mid-weight vehicle, no matter if you've got a wagon or sedan. GT1 and GT2 cars can be race-kitted.

4). Acceleration of a mongoose on its way to fight a cobra.

5). Fantastic brakes. From GT1 to GT5, they are represented with more and more accuracy. In any game, experienced players will have plenty of fun trail-braking..

6). ...and getting these cars sideways, even on pavement. The all-wheel drive system pulls out of most any slide with minimal suspension tuning.

7). You won't need an assortment of specialty parts to get these early STis to handle nicely. Arguably, you'll never even need a limited-slip until you're travelling off-road. This car has fantastic all-wheel drive that combines slip with grip perfectly. Extreme players can push these cars with a lack of "help" on-road (GT2, GT4, GT5) or off road (GT2 only).

8). GT5: driving while using the 'inside' view allows us a decent amount of visibility along with some large, (and therefore very useful) mirrors. This car's wimpy "beep beep" horn may turn some drivers off, but personally I like it.


CONS----------------------------------------

1). Boxy aerodynamics hurt this car up above 100 mph. Perhaps since the real-life STis from this era are electronically limited to 122 mph, this wasn't such an issue for some.

2). 5-speed gearbox. It's just not tall enough for certain situations. Occasionally, you'll need full-custom gears to gain extra mph, or to find a better feel at more technical courses.

3). Too oversteerish off-road (GT4 only). You'll need limited slip or a VCD to keep these cars from becoming too spin-happy.

4). Odd looks many don't like. I've recently seen people vote against the STi online in comparisons, ignoring its amazing capabilities, simply because they don't like they way it looks.

5). Understeer does become a problem once you're really pushing this car on pavement, though it's not nearly as bad as what you'd find from an Evo 2. These cars (STi version IIs) occasionally fishtail, get clumsy, and spin wheels under power.

6). In some games with stock or after-market exhausts in place, the STi winds up sounding unrealistic. The famous boxer thrum is replaced for a bashee or a power-drillish sound.

7). Since these cars are used, they are occasionally hard to find in GT4 or 5, although since there are so many similar Subaru Imprezas lurking the lots, this isn't always much of a problem. 


Published: October 20, 2008

GT5 Content added: December 7th, 2012
  

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