You, too, can be like Tom Magnum. All you have to do is purchase Edmunds.com’s Long-Term 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole. Sure, it would get smoked by a 2007 or later Toyota Camry with a 3.5L V6, but it would sound awesome while being served a slice of humble pie.
You can read Edmunds’ adventures with the car here – 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole. It even defeated the mighty Kia Sedona in a head-to-head comparison test! =Þ
Sure, rocking a Detroit Tigers baseball cap and a ‘stache would be easier and cheaper, but I doubt they’d be as cool as driving a Ferrari!
Tip of the Day: A person will usually steer his or her vehicle to go wherever he or she is looking.
Here’s a video of my run down Glendora Mountain Road back on February 18, 2008. One “issue” I had during it was looking ahead with my eyes instead of looking at the rear of Jon Mak’s 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. This gave me greater respect for professional race car drivers who need to focus on the racing line and keep track of the other cars in front of them at the same time. I basically had to mentally force myself to keep looking ahead instead of the rear of his car.
Here’s an excellent article on Inside Line by Mac Demere about using your eyes properly as a driver.
See how I’m not looking ahead into the turns and beyond.
Here are some examples of professionals looking ahead.
Al Unser, Jr. at Long Beach in 1991
Gil de Ferran entering the Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Here’s my magnificent obsession…
Edmunds.com Inside Line‘s Comparison Test of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR, and 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (Click on the image to see the article and video)
My real magnificent obsession lies in God’s call to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength — a humanly impossible feat.
Hanley preached from James 3:13-18 (link to BibleGateway.com James Chapter 3 – NASB) many Friday nights ago (September 7, 2007 to be exact). God really convicted me of my selfish ambition. I should want what God wants–not what I want.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.
16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
A few weeks later (September 23, 2007), God convicted me through Pastor Jackson’s message on the Triumphal Entry in Matthew 21. He mentioned that Jesus Christ wasn’t who the Israelites hoped He would be as the Messiah. He used a cross reference from Isaiah 55:8-9 which says that God’s thoughts and ways are higher (Thanks, Nick!) than people’s. This reminded me I need to have the proper perspective of God and not try to make Him who I want Him to be.
When I went with Steve (Xanga: rice4krxst), Hanley (Xanga: randomranting), and Don (Xanga: udonoogen) to see Steven Curtis Chapman, Sanctus Real, and Bethany Dillon perform live on the evening of October 28, 2007, God convicted me that I had not been placing Him entirely first in my life when SCC and his band featuring his two sons played “Magnificent Obsession”.
Last month, I applied for an Associate Editor position in Edmunds.com’s editorial department. The thought of getting it would be a dream come true (since becoming a professional race car driver or fighter pilot is very unlikely at my ripe old age of 26) as I would get to write about (it’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun, too) and evaluate automobiles for a living. Last week, I started getting anxious that I was probably not going to get the position. God used His Word (Philippians 4:6-7) to remove the anxiety and replaced it with a sense of contentment. I knew His perfect will will be done. And in that, I rejoiced! I probably will find out in a few weeks where I am in that process. I would appreciate your prayers for God’s will to be done, not that I would simply get the job.
With that said, I’ll post Part 2 of “My Magnificent Obsession” in His time.
In closing, here’s a clip of SCC performing “Magnificent Obsession” live along with the song’s lyrics (from www.hughchou.org).
Written by Steven Curtis Chapman
From the recording: Declaration, Track #9.
Matt. 13:44-46; Heb. 12:2; Phil. 3:8-10
Lord, You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers and explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life’s complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling like I’m chasing down the wind
But now it’s brought me back to You
And I can see again
This is everything I want
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession
So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down to so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains
You are everything I want
And You are everything I need
Lord, You are all my heart desires
You are everything to me
You are everything I want
You are everything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You
I want it all to be for You
©2001 Sparrow Songs / Peach Hill Songs / BMI / Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing
Edmunds.com Inside Line Full Test: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX
Thanks to God, Inside Line Executive Editor, Michael Jordan, and Inside Line Editor-in-Chief, Scott Oldham, for giving me the privilege and opportunity to write the Second Opinion piece for this review.
Below is what I actually wrote for the Second Opinion piece before the editing process worked its magic. Please let me know what you think. Any and all questions are welcome.
Regarding the Second Opinion, below is what I wrote before it got edited. I was trying to compare the stock 2008 WRX to a stock 2002-2007 WRX and had a 300 word cap.
With the incoming 2008 Impreza WRX, Subaru has decided to explore the “x” in WRX—the unknown—with its latest sporting icon.
That unknown is the mainstream market. The 2008 Impreza is Subaru’s first concerted effort to enter what it believes is the promised land. Can the new WRX win over both the general public and enthusiasts desiring to slide it like (world rally champion Petter) Solberg?
Being a current WRX owner, I had high hopes for the new ‘Rex. I can easily say the new WRX does everything better than its predecessor—but not by much.
The new car drives much like the old car. That has never been a bad thing. The WRX has always had a way of making its driver feel connected. Rowing through the gears and carving corners remain a delight. The problem is the new WRX’s “improvements” were never felt. And for those wondering, a cheap suit still sticks to the road better than its all-season tires.
To satisfy the general consumer, Subaru knew it had to make the car a better daily driver. Improved areas include interior fit and finish, the radio and available navigation, ergonomics, cabin noise, and usable space. It’s what Subaru didn’t do that hurts its cause. Options that would make life with the WRX grand are still absent. Options such as HID headlights (long offered on WRXs around the world except North America) and keyless start are unavailable on a car Subaru hopes will court most people.
However, like its predecessors, the new WRX will grow on its drivers over time. It may not be the best at anything, but it does everything well. Subaru’s first foray into the unknown—reaching the masses—is an experiment to say the least. But it’s not one gone totally wrong.
Notes (were used for writing the Second Opinion above)
1. Exterior – Neither bland nor boring. Not exciting either. The front fender gap is not as tall as the outgoing model’s. Taller tire sidewalls make vehicle less appealing. Obviously resembles Mazda3 and BMW 1-Series in style and form. Personally, I am fine with the front grille, even with its “egg crate” look. In my opinion, the rear tail lights aren’t that bad; the chrome strip is. A heavily modded Miata owner behind me on Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) had no idea what the car was—he thought it was a Civic of some sort (note: the time was well into the night). Current owners say the exterior is more exciting than the 04-05. Others say it is the most boring Impreza to date. Some absolutely love it. Impreza owners and Subaru enthusiasts are an “interesting” breed to say the least. I actually enjoyed the fact that nobody seemed to really be looking at the car as I sat in stop-and-go traffic for roughly 90 minutes to travel 30 miles on Thursday evening. Why aren’t HID headlights an option on North American market vehicles? One would think there would be a healthy profit margin on it. How difficult would it be to offer the headlamps that will be standard on the STI as an option for the WRX (like they already have been for years throughout the rest of the world)?
2. Interior – Visibility all around is fantastic except for the A-pillar and larger driver side mirror, which affects looking ahead on tight corners. Tilt/telescope steering wheel is a long overdue addition. Driver side front window switch still has no express up functionality. Passenger side front window switch still has no express down (or up) functionality. There is more front legroom width-wise. The interior feels more spacious due to the scalloped door panels. The armrests on the door panels are softer/more plush. The miniaturized Tribeca dash works well for the car. Fit and finish are excellent. Radio and HVAC controls are easy to use. Steering wheel controls could benefit from a little more thought. A slight rattle was heard from the passenger side area of the dash near the windshield when traveling over certain stretches of road (particular frequency of the road undulations is probably the cause of this). The dim blue light and rubber tray on the center console in front of the shifter makes for an ideal location to place a mobile phone and/or a portable digital music player. The electroluminescent instrument cluster is bright and easy to read at all times. Redline on the tachometer would have been better at a 2 to 4 o’clock position compared to the approximate 1 o’clock position it actually is displayed. There is a lot more headroom in the cabin—Subaru shouldn’t have any problems adding a sunroof mid-way through the car’s lifecycle. The front seatback side bolsters appear smaller than 04-06 WRX (excluding the 06-07 WRX TR seats) but hold just as well. The thigh supports on the front seat bottoms seem shorter on the 08 WRX seats than their 04-07 WRX counterparts. Their reduced heights didn’t seem to affect how well the seat held me and may actually facilitate ingress and egress. Rear seat legroom is definitely improved. However, if any of the front seats are placed all the way aft on the seat rail, legroom can be very tight. The rear doors open at a greater angle than the outgoing models thus facilitating the loading of large boxes or other bulky items. The rear hatch opens easily with a press of its latch button. It has a convenient inner grab handle. North American Imprezas finally have a navigation system as an option, but Bluetooth and push button start (actually available on some of Subaru’s other JDM models) options are still not offered. The addition of window frames on the new Impreza definitely help reduce road and wind noise.
3. Engine & Transmission – The 2.5L flat-4 feels fantastic! Bear in mind my vehicle has the 2.0L used in ‘02-‘05 vehicles. I imagine the engine’s performance isn’t much different than the 06-07 2.5L though. Usable torque can be had throughout the entire powerband and turbo lag is non-existent as long as the driver has selected an appropriate gear. The engine pulls strongly to redline—never feeling like it’s running out of breath. Gearing is similar to 02-05 WRX (e.g., 75 mph @ 3,000 rpm in 5th, shift points for other gears seem similar). The “punch” of the turbo (confirmed that it is indeed a Mitsubishi TD04 unit and not the Legacy GT’s IHI VF40 despite the fact that the engine is an LGT motor) providing full boost is no longer felt and may make acceleration less thrilling to the driver. The clutch take-up is progressive and does not require as much effort as the one in my 2004 WRX (pedal travel is slightly shorter than 04 WRX, but still fairly long). No hanging rpm issues (think 2006 Honda Civic Si) were apparent with the drive-by-wire throttle. Shift lever action is fairly smooth and throws are long, but not “cross-country” long (easily cured by the installation of a short-shifter). Downshifting into 1st gear is easier than 02-05 thanks to the double-cone synchros for 1st. Reverse gear can be engaged infinitely easier than the previous 5MTs. The transmission coupled with the engine never left me wanting for an additional cog. I was initially disappointed in April when Subaru announced a 5MT was going to be used with the new WRX, but after driving it, five is fine. The exhaust note is more subtle from both inside and outside the cabin, which like hitting full boost, may detract from the fun factor of the vehicle.
4. Brakes – Brake pedal feel is not as good in terms of the brake system’s initial response as that of the 06-07 WRX with the Subaru 4-pot/2-pot calipers (these were also used on the Z32 Nissan 300ZX). The stopping ability of the brakes (front rotors are believed to have the same part number as the Outback XT’s) is excellent, but still is hampered by the grip of the Bridgestone Potenza RE92A tires. Rear brake disc size appears to be the same as the 02-05 WRX rear discs (unconfirmed). No fade was felt going up or down GMR.
5. Suspension – The new suspension (Legacy front or similar and Tribeca-derived in the rear) seems to be a slight improvement over the outgoing model’s. Healthy body roll still exists, but seems to be less than the 02-07 WRX. The steering rack seems to be quicker. The car is capable of executing quick changes in direction well. Understeer still exists (tires?), but is manageable nearly all the time. The rear stays composed unless the car is tossed hard into a corner or the car is greatly upset in mid-corner. High-speed stability is lacking as the car feels jittery when being driven at high speeds (tires a factor here?). The deletion of the rear limited-slip differential (to make way for the Vehicle Dynamics Control, or VDC, stability control system (can be easily turned off) and an open rear diff) did not seem to affect the vehicle’s handling characteristics adversely.
6. Tires – The Bridgestone Potenza RE92A all-season tires don’t seem to be any better than their RE92 predecessors. They howl in protest in turns stickier tires quietly manage. The change in size to skinnier and taller 205/50R17 from 215/45R17 still does not make any sense.
On Wednesday night, thanks to a kind volunteer on NASIOC (member: theheckwithyou), I drove a stock 2006 WRX to verify (or disprove) some of the things I wrote. In first gear, the 2008 WRX doesn’t feel more powerful than a stock 2006/2007 WRX (compared to the 2.0-liter flat-4 in my car). It’s in the low RPM range in higher gears that the increased “usable torque” is much more noticeable, especially in 5th. Discernible differences couldn’t really be felt in the suspension or brakes. Please note I didn’t open up his car like I did our evaluation vehicle. The brake pedal response and feel I wrote in my “Notes” section were probably an effect of having stainless steel brake lines on my car. The brake calipers on my 2004 WRX are the same as the 2006-2007 WRX ones (I paid an arm and a leg to retrofit them because the WRXs in the rest of the world had them at the time…then Subaru stuck it to me by announcing the brakes would be standard on 2006 North American WRXs). Cabin noise is definitely less in the 2008 model (thank you, window frames).
My 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan
COBB AccessPORT Stage 1
OEM STI 5-speed short throw shifter
Prodrive round tip muffler (axle back only)
Prodrive silicone intercooler hose
Wheels & Tires
Prodrive P1 Gold 17″ x 7″
Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R P225/45R17
Prodrive WRX springs (2004-on)
STI Group N strut tops (2004-on)
Whiteline steering rack bushings
Subaru 4-pot front/2-pot rear brakes (red, same as USDM ‘06-’07 WRX)
Ferodo DS2500 front brake pads
Goodridge stainless steel brake lines
Motul RBF 600 brake fluid
OEM painted sideskirts
2006 STI rear diffuser
OEM turbo boost gauge
MOMO shift knob
STI 5-speed shift pattern emblem
Rear dual cupholder from a Subaru Forester
Team Edmunds is streaking! We won our third game in a row, 12-4, to improve our record to 5-3. I went 2-for-4 (lined out to 2nd base, reached on an error by the first baseman, line drive single to right center field, bloop single over 1st base) with 2 runs scored. I satisfied my “must get dirty” requirement by getting thrown out at home in the top of the 7th inning because I took might sweet time running from 2nd base to home thinking I would easily score on the base hit. My excuse (and I’m sticking to it) is that there was no 3rd base coach to notify me of the “developing situation.” I could also say that I was missing a gear because I aggravated my left groin earlier in the game running hard. I originally tweaked it flying around the basepaths on my “home run” two weeks ago. I’ve had problems with it before as well. I had fun out there and that’s all that matters! We’ll have a break until July 9th which should give me time to recover.
Here’s something cool. A 2007 United States Grand Prix Straightline blog entry I wrote just got posted on Inside Line. Yes, it was edited from what I originally wrote–the main thing being I got over-excited and wrote too much. Let’s see if this could be the start of something great.