Audio System With Navigation ($795); Crystal Red Tintcoat ($325); Six-Speed Manual Transmission ($0)
Turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
250 @ 5,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
260 @ 2,000
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There is definitely some sort of electronic shenanigans at work to quell wheelspin during each upshift even with traction control off. Still, this is a strong engine with quite the surge of power at about 3,000 rpm. Yet from there it pulls in a linear way. Shifter is smooth, precise, but doesn't like being rushed. Clutch is intuitive and light.
Medium-hard pedal, almost too much travel, but good ABS. Consistent run-to-run with mild fade in terms of distance. Always straight. Some brake odor but no smoke.
Skid pad: Plenty of grip, adequate steering build-up and decent feel for what the front tires are doing. Good balance and throttle response gave me the tools to keep it on the edge of understeer. With ESC on it did a good job blending power cut and brake dabbing -- almost imperceptibly. Slalom: A very good initial turn-in and quick yaw reaction in transition, too. Very good RWD traits in a FWD car. Confident and poised everywhere and excellent throttle response gave me tools to attack the slalom. Eventual understeer, but well beyond what most drivers would expect. ESC rewards smooth input and remains at bay unless it gets startled.