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Sports Car International, July 2004, page 66-68
"Fashionably Late" by Eric Gustafson
Overall a positive review with a few twists:
- p. 67 "...With a slightly taller second gear, the R32 could easily hit 60 in six seconds flat."
(They didn't do acceleration runs but posted the "official time" of 6.4 seconds.)
- p. 67-68 " ..... VW elected to raise the ride height of U.S. spec R32s by 10 mm and retuned the shocks to deliver a smoother ride. As a result, the R32 does not have the 20th Anniversary GTI's perfect, humkered-over-the-wheel stance; the wheel wells are noticeably more airy on the R32. While the R32's gaping grille openings and twin exhaust pipes give it a distinctive look, the 20th Anniversary GTI -- which, by the way, was fitted with the same 18-inch wheels as the R32 -- ends up being the better looking car. This is a real shame. . . . . "
- p. 68 "First Impressions. performed well enough in the cone-course drills we were guided through, but it didn't shine . . . body roll and understeer, turn-in response fell short of being crisp. . . . . . on a mini road course, learned how well the R32 responds to trail-breaking -- if you aggressively brake and steer at the same time. . . . . Haldex makes it so easy to recover . . . . author complained about lack of suspension travel when loaded during braking and then hitting bumps in rough roads where the EVO "really excelled."
Summary: p. 68 ".......The R32 is not really an Evo STi fighter. The VW is in many ways a grown-up alternative to those two juvenile delinquents: It rides better, it feels far more substantial and its interior is more luxurious, . . . As a daily driver, the R32 is a far better proposition. . . . ."
Question -- the author seems to be saying the R32 is 10 mm TALLER on its wheels than the 20th Anniversary. Is that so or did he get it backwards???
Sounds to me as if he might need some more time in the car if he hasn't discovered the throttle-lift oversteer???
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (R(ed)32)

Just read that article at my bro's place last night. It was a pretty good review overall.
Quote, originally posted by R(ed)32 »

Question -- the author seems to be saying the R32 is 10 mm TALLER on its wheels than the 20th Anniversary. Is that so or did he get it backwards???

The wheel gap is larger on the R32 than the 20th Anniversary. But we're talking millimeters so it's barely noticeable.
I like the way the 20AE looks (I have the body kit afterall) and I like the way the R looks as well. The author of the article seeems to like the look of the 20AE better, but in my personal opinion, they're about equal.
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (U n i o n 0015)

The R definately sits higher than the 20th. My brother has a 20th and my R is higher, with about a finger and a half more room in the wheelwell than his 20th.
I actually like the look of the 20th better as well, its a little sleeker looking and certainly lower.
But I love the look of the R as well.
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (R(ed)32)

Quote, originally posted by R(ed)32 »

Sounds to me as if he might need some more time in the car if he hasn't discovered the throttle-lift oversteer???

Yeah..it is rather obvious that they didn't perform measured performance tests themselves...in fact this sounds like the press intro to the R32... where you got to sample the car(s) in various environments...
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (gizmopop)

Coming from a 20th AE owner with 2 friends that have R32's, I've driven them both. I love my 20th AE, but the R32 is definetly a faster, slightly better looking, more solid car than my GTI. Another review (from Car&Driver I think) said it best when it called the R32 "a Porsche in a box". The "gaping" grille has something to do with that, I presume. Car&Driver posted a 0-60 of 5.8
In my opinion the 20th AE is AWESOME...R32 is even sweeter.
-Raj


Modified by GTI2856 at 3:31 PM 5-24-2004
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (gizmopop)

The R32 is 10 mm higher than the 20AE, we have the US spec version which is 20 mm higher than the euro version (go figure). I was also disappointed that they used the chrome trim headlights on the R32 over the black which is on the 20th AE. I have both and the differences are noticable. I have 7k on my 20th and only 500 miles on my R32. Need to get alot more miles on the R32 to give a fair comparison to performance.
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (GTI2856)

Quote, originally posted by GTI2856 »
Coming from a 20th AE owner with 2 friends that have R32's, I've driven them both. I love my 20th AE, but the R32 is definetly a faster, slightly better looking, more solid car than my GTI. Another review (from Car&Driver I think) said it best when it called the R32 "a Porsche in a box". The "gaping" grille has something to do with that, I presume. Car&Driver posted a 0-60 of 5.8
In my opinion the 20th AE is AWESOME...R32 is even sweeter.
-Raj

Modified by GTI2856 at 3:31 PM 5-24-2004

I'll tell you right now that Car and Driver didn't post the 0-60 times, they instead regurgitated VWs conservative time of 6.4 secs. It was either Motor Trend or Road and Track...
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (R(ed)32)

Quote »
- p. 68 "First Impressions. performed well enough in the cone-course drills we were guided through, but it didn't shine . . . body roll and understeer, turn-in response fell short of being crisp. . . . . . on a mini road course, learned how well the R32 responds to trail-breaking -- if you aggressively brake and steer at the same time. . . . . Haldex makes it so easy to recover . . . .
Sounds to me as if he might need some more time in the car if he hasn't discovered the throttle-lift oversteer???

so what you're calling "throttle-lift oversteer" is not the same as what the author is calling "trail-breaking"?
it seems like the same thing i.e., it's pretty darn easy to kick the rear end out on this car - almost like pivoting. i've got a turn nearby that i can do it on everytime, so maybe i can get a friend to film it. i don't even need to brake, just dive-bomb the corner and lift off the throttle for a quick blip and then right back on it hard to recover.
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (vwaudienthusiast)

Quote, originally posted by vwaudienthusiast »
NOT ANOTHER COMPARISON!!!! FACT: The R32 is not comparable to a 20th.

Oh, please leave us alone...
You certainly can compare the two cars. That's the whole idea of the word, "COMPARISON."
You should read more. From http://www.m-w.com
Main Entry: com·par·i·son
Pronunciation: k&m-'par-&-s&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French comparaison, from Latin comparation-, comparatio, from comparare
1 : the act or process of comparing : as a : the representing of one thing or person as similar to or like another b : an examination of two or more items to establish similarities and dissimilarities
2 : identity of features : SIMILARITY <several points of comparison between the two>
3 : the modification of an adjective or adverb to denote different levels of quality, quantity, or relation
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (Max Rebo)

ignore troll-boy and help me understand this thread!

am i missing something or is what r(ed)32 called "throttle-lift oversteer" the same as what the author of the article is calling "trail-breaking"?
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (amgvw)

Hehe... sorry about that. I had to lay the smack down.

Lift-throttle oversteer is just that -- oversteer when you suddenly get off the throttle mid-turn.
Trail braking is when you brake as you enter (and partially through) the turn in order to bring the rear around (on purpose).
You can get a car to rotate in either situation, and either one is potentially dangerous, especially in a RWD car, or better yet, a RWD race car.


Modified by Max Rebo at 6:08 PM 5-24-2004
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (Max Rebo)

Actually, other than the older model Porsche 911s, lifting off the throttle midcorner in a RWD car is
rarely a big deal. Lift throttle oversteer is generally a much bigger danger in FWD cars, because
once it happens you either need to get back on the gas *hard* to get the front to pull
you out of trouble, or you'll end up exitting the road backwards. That's not to say that
induced lift throttle oversteer can't be a good thing. The problem is when it happens *to you*
instead being initiated *by you*.
Lift throttle oversteer happens because while you're accellerating through a turn the weight of
the car shifts back onto the rear tires which gives them increased lateral traction relative to the front.
In a FWD car this usually means some amount of push at the front and you have to maintain a
greater steering angle to maintain the turn. If you now lift off the throttle, the weight shifts
forward onto the front tires which now gain more lateral traction (also because they're no longer
having to provide motive traction), and due to the previous steering angle they turn in more sharply,
while the load simultaneously comes off the rear tires and the rear end swings out. If you don't get
back on the gas, it'll swing wide one way then probably back the other way in an ever increasing
oscillation until you end up spinning and exitting the road ass first.
The proper response is to nail the throttle *hard* and look exactly where you must go
and point the front tires there no matter what happens.
With lift throttle oversteer you're using going from on throttle to off throttle when it happens.
With trail braking you're usually going "too fast" for the corner requiring that you brake
deeper into the turn. Sometimes this is the fastest way though. Trail braking also shifts weight
to the front, and away from the rear, but the rear stepping out is less likely to take you by surprise,
and tends to be less dramatic as lift throttle oversteer.
With the R32's AWD you can do both intentionally, with very little drama. I find that when driving
really fast, trail braking produces nice consistent rotation of the rear end of the car. I haven't
met a car I couldn't run down in the twisties with the R32 yet. At lower speeds, inducing a little
lift throttle oversteer by chopping the throtte and then getting right back on it, will often
keep the tail end hanging out just a little bit. (following a track that's about the same as
the front fires, instead of inside of them).
ian
 

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Re: Sports Car International - R32 Driving Impressions (Daemon42)

thanks for the reply. i just got done doing some reading up on both lto and trail-braking - and i only spelled it wrong the first time because i was quoting and the guy i was quoting spelled it wrong

after today, i'm much more comfortable with both lto and trail-braking and after running the same set of curves 5 or 6 times, i'm happy to say that i was able to do both with quite a bit of control. i'm definitely going to spend more time practicing both as it seems to me that this car just begs to be tossed through the twisties and these techniques clearly allow for higher speeds.
i LOVE the way this car so effortlessly catches up to other cars in the twisties, though i'm guessing there are quite a few folks that didn't appreciate how fast i came up on them
 

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Ian,
I understand what you're saying about FWD cars and lift-throttle oversteer, but I thought it can still happen in RWD cars, too. Is it not that big of a deal because you can get back on the gas and throttle steer? Or some other reason? I know that manufacturers tend to tune many RWD cars for mild understeer for ease of control or something along those lines. What am I missing here?
My idea of trail braking was okay, I think -- compared to what you wrote.
Thanks.
 

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Re: (Max Rebo)

Quote, originally posted by Max Rebo »
Ian,
I understand what you're saying about FWD cars and lift-throttle oversteer, but I thought it can still happen in RWD cars, too.

It can happen, but remember lift throttle oversteer happens typically when going from on-throttle to off-throttle,
and in a RWD car on-throttle mid-corner is generally what produces oversteer, because the rear tires
are giving up some of their lateral traction for motive traction, which increases the slip angle of the rear tires.
When you let off the throttle, the weight shift forward still happens, but the rear tires often gain back all the lateral
grip they lost to motive grip, so the net result is that the car remains fairly stable. In fact if you're oversteering
significantly while on the throttle, chopping the throttle will bring the rear in. Add to this the fact that
RWD cars tend to have a different weight distribution.. say.. 50/50 instead of 70/30 of a GTI, or 60/40 of the R32
and the forward weight shift just isn't nearly as dramatic. Also, if you caught what I was saying
about how a FWD car requires a greater steering angle than a RWD car for the same radius turn
because when it gives up lateral grip to motive grip, only the front tire slip angle increases. Makes the FWD
car turn-in dramatically right when you chop the throttle. The only time I've seen a RWD car really lose
it from engine braking is when downshifting to too low of a gear at too high of a speed midcorner, and it's
more like pulling the handbrake than real lift throttle oversteer.
Cars like the old 911 had a lift throttle problem that mirrored their on-throttle oversteer because
of a rearward weight bias. It's like how a FWD car will push if fast into a corner
too hard on the brakes, and will also push when driven two fast into a corner on the gas. In
both cases the weight at the front means the front tires just give up earlier than the rear.
With a 911, the same thing happens but the rear tires give up before the front, whether
the rear tires are accellerating the car, or the engine is trying to brake it from the rear.
They had less of a problem with braking into corners because then there's a nice forward
weight shift to balance things out, and in fact 911's are renoun for their ability to brake hard.
(Side note: Porsche went through great pains through the years to fix the lift-throttle oversteer
problem with various electronics and even a stab at AWD (namely the 959) and ultimately
discovered that a revised suspension and simply putting fatter tires on the rear did the
trick. Basically match the tire surface area to the weight distribution and everything is happy
again.)
Quote »

Is it not that big of a deal because you can get back on the gas and throttle steer?

Mainly it's because it just doesn't happen. On-throttle oversteer, off-throttle neutral or understeer.
Quote »

I know that manufacturers tend to tune many RWD cars for mild understeer for ease of control or something along those lines.

Manufacturers tune *all* cars for mild to extreme understeer.
Quote »

My idea of trail braking was okay, I think -- compared to what you wrote.

It is, and pretty much works the same regardless of the type of drivetrain, although some cars
do respond better to it than others.

ian


Modified by Daemon42 at 6:38 PM 5-24-2004
 
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