Sport Package ($1,500 -- includes 17-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Traction Control, xenon headlights); Premium Package ($1,250 -- includes multifunction steering wheel, anti-theft alarm system, chrome trim, automatic climate control); Interchange Yellow Cloth Leather ($1,000); Cold Weather Package ($500 -- includes heated power-folding mirrors with washer jets, heated front seats); Rear Park Distance Control ($500); Bluetooth and USB/iPod Adapter ($500).
1,598cc (98 cu-in)
Double overhead camshaft
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
172 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
177 @ 1,600
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 4.044, II = 2.371, III = 1.556, IV = 1.159, V = 0.852, VI = 0.672, R = 3.193, Final Drive = 3.685
Tricky to launch effectively with so much tire grip and so little torque. Easy to A) bog or B) light the tires. Best technique abuses the clutch. Shift throws feel long, but gearbox doesn't mind being hurried. Shift knob came off in my hand on one 1-2 shift (yikes).
Short, straight, confident. A lot of brake-induced suspension windup where the rear of the car "sinks" when releasing the brake pedal after a full-ABS stop.
Skid pad: Exemplary balance (nearly identical in both directions) and crazy levels of grip. Steering loads up, but it doesn't feel natural. ESP on breathes the throttle to maintain a smooth arc. Slalom: Amazing and trustworthy grip! Aggressive but not spooky turn-in. Adjustable rotation/attitude with throttle. Neither under- nor oversteers unless "told" to do so by driver. Plenty of power at the exit to pull it out of a four-wheel drift. Way more athletic than expected.