brown university lectures Subaru engagesportmode

We’re continuing our twelve car odyssey through this year’s SMMT test day. Part one can be found here if you need to refresh yourself. Things get a little weird and a little crazy in part two. If our first selection of cars at SMMT were varied, although generally performance themed, the second sextet proved to be incredibly diverse. From the ridiculous to the sublime, and everything in between.

7. MG3 1.5 sport remember the world before everything became turbocharged and you had to rev the nuts off a naturally-aspirated engine to make progress? Drive the MG3 and the 1.5-litre VTI petrol motor will take you back to those heady days. Let’s not kid ourselves here – the MG3 is undoubtedly a cheap car – but any real potential it has is hamstrung by an outdated engine. In a world of ecoboosts and boosterjets, having to pin the throttle to the floor constantly just to keep up with traffic becomes a chore.

A chore that damages fuel economy and C02 figures compared to rivals. It also makes for unrefined progress, matched by the slightly bouncy ride quality. Brown university fees handling is, however, pretty neat and although the interior is built to a price it’s relatively well-equipped. There’s the potential for an acceptable bargain supermini in the MG3; it just desperately needs a modern small-capacity turbo engine.

8. Subaru forester 2.0i XT lineartronic the subaru forester is a product which appeals to a certain niche population in the car market. Typically farming folk who want something reliable and usable. This particular car, being the performance turbo petrol XT version, manages to be even more specialist in its appeal. Rural people who want to get to the market in a hurry. It’s the quickest horse in the forester stable, although we only tried it off-road, so can’t really comment if 238hp turns this into a high-riding performance SUV like the RS Q3. The boxer engine was noticeably quiet – no iconic flat-four burbling here – and overall refinement was strong for something many might label as mildly agricultural.

Hitting the dirt tracks of millbrook’s ‘brown route’ showed off the genuine ability the forester has in the rough. It was more than capable with steep inclines, juggling torque to the wheel with most grip quickly and efficiently. The hill-descent control system was brilliantly easy to use, with a simple tap of the brakes to set the speed you want, and the forester handling the rest on the way down. Brown university rating it’s intuitive, doesn’t require messing about with extra buttons, and is very effective. Overall the forester has a lot of charm and, whilst it might make more sense in diesel specification, you can’t doubt the capabilities of this XT version.

The annual SMMT test day is often described as being like christmas for motoring writers, with a huge range of cars available to drive on the demanding millbrook test track. So, is it really the automotive journalism nirvana it’s meant to be? You bet. With this being our first time at the SMMT test day, ESM didn’t quite know what to expect. Driving onto the famed mile straight at millbrook – including some banked corner action – certainly got the adrenaline racing, ever so slightly. That was raised more, as the minibus pulled into the steering pad, covered with over 170 cars from almost 40 manufacturers. The deal at the SMMT test day is quite simple; which makes it even more special. Approach a friendly PR/media representative from a marque, ask if a car is available, and then be handed the keys after a quick check of your name badge. Be it 1.0-litre suzuki celerio or rolls-royce phantom, the process is the same. Brown university us news ranking that is what makes it an amazing experience.

As such, ESM made sure to try as many cars as we reasonably could in the time we were there. We managed twelve in the course of the day, with the option to drive direct rivals back-to-back hugely valuable. Time with each car is, relatively, limited if you want to make the most of what’s on offer, so the below are more initial impressions, rather than a full detailed road test. With the number of cars driven, we’ve broken this down into three parts:

Lexus RC F what car to learn the formidable millbrook hill route in? A 5.0-litre V8 coupe, with 470 bhp and rear-wheel drive of course. Fortunately, despite the power on offer, the RC F wasn’t too intimidating on the tight twists and turns. It’s certainly quick, has an excellent eight-speed automatic gearbox, and sounds superb. However, you’re also reminded of the 1,800kg kerb weight under braking, and there’s a little bit of confusion as to whether it’s more muscle car than pure sports car.

As the first major event on the global automotive calendar, the north american international auto show sets the scene for the rest of the year to come. Yes, there’s a definite US-centric bias to a lot of the offerings on show, but many of the new cars will also be available globally. Check out the key trends below:

Last year at geneva we noted that blue had replaced brown as the paint colour of choice for cars on display at motor shows. At detroit, things got turned up a level, with virtually everything painted bleu this year. Ford even went to the extreme measure of painting its new performance models all in the same shade of liquid blue for their detroit show stand. From fiesta ST to F-150 raptor and, obviously, the new GT everything was the same hue. It’s worth noting that liquid blue isn’t a production paint colour so, despite being teased by it, you can’t pester your local dealer to deliver you a focus ST wearing that shade. Notable exceptions to the blue-ness were the new acura NSX in red, and cadillac who painted their ‘V’ series performance models white.

Enter mark higgins; manx native and former british rally champion, accompanied by his almost standard US-specification subaru WRX STI. Remember, it’s definitely not called an impreza anymore. Modifications included an FIA-spec roll-cage, racing seat and harness, fire suppression system and uprated suspension springs / dampers. Further additions included grippy dunlop direzza trackday tyres, along with an unsilenced exhaust to ensure crowds could hear the WRX STI coming. The latter definitely not because it sounds cool, honest. Finally, the car’s speed limiter was removed, allowing it to top over 160 mph.

The result was a lap of 19 minutes 26 seconds, some 30 seconds quicker than his 2011 effort. Across the 37.8 mile circuit, higgins and the subaru averaged 116 mph to set a new lap record, up from his previous average of 115.36 mph. Brown university organizations for comparison, the outright lap record stands at an average of 131.17 mph (17 minutes 11.7 seconds) set in 2013 by john mcguinness on a honda CBR1000RR motorbike.

EDIT (1): mark higgins made one last run on the TT course today (friday 6th june 2014), after feeling there was more time to be shaved off his best lap. He was right; taking another 11 seconds off his previous best to record a lap of 19 minutes 15 seconds, giving an average speed of 117.51 mph. (more…)

Subaru UK leaves engagesportmode confused at times. Recently we’ve seen them drop the impreza part of the WRX STI name tag; banish performance cars to concentrate on suvs; reintroduce said performance cars in an about turn, and decided that what people really want now is an non-turbo hatchback. All whilst still selling this:

If you’ve never seen one before – we wouldn’t be surprised – that’s a subaru BRZ. A highly-regarded rear-wheel drive coupé developed and built in partnership with toyota – they call it the GT 86; you’ve probably spotted one of them. In fact, at the end of 2013, there was a grand total of 197 brzs registered in the UK compared to almost 3,000 GT 86s. Hardly big volumes for either model, but that’s a fairly substantial disparity between the two.

Given that both share the same 197 bhp 2.0 litre boxer four-cylinder engine, the same 0-62 mph in 7.6 seconds / 140 mph top speed performance and even the same five-year warranty why is nobody buying the subaru? The fact that there are only 57 subaru dealerships in the united kingdom perhaps doesn’t help, especially when there’s three times as many toyota dealers out there. Realistically, you’ll need to deliberately drive past somewhere selling a GT 86 to get to a BRZ shop.