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STI owner looking to convert to an S2000

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Old 08-03-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default STI owner looking to convert to an S2000

I made this post on the STI forums and I just wanted to see the perspective from the other side..

I was at Buttonwillow this weekend with a friend who drives an S2000 (I think he's here on S2ki). During one of his sessions, he decided to allow me to drive his car for a few laps. His car is a stock s2000 with only tein springs (stock struts, etc). He was using the same size tires and brand as I do on my 2008 STI, Nitto NT05 255/40/r17.

To compare, my 2008 STI has these mods:
RCE springs
Whiteline 22mm front and rear sway bars (set to full stiff)
Whiteline Steering rack bushings
DAMD flat bottom steering wheel
Bunch of other bushings: rear subframe, tranny x member, group-n transmission mount, whiteline anti-lift kit
Front camber bolts
TIC Holy shift kit
Cobb AP Stage 1
Hawk HP plus pads w/ ATE Superblue fluid
17x9 5zigen fn01rc w/ nitto nt05

Every suspension mod I've done to my car was in ways to improve the feel of the car and the handling without having to go all out with a coilover setup. After driving my friend's s2000 for 2 laps around Buttonwillow, all I can say is, that car does what you think it should do.

The STI in comparison, feels so disconnected from everything. When you turn the steering wheel in the STI on the track, there is a sort of lag in terms of when the car starts to respond. At high speeds, the STI can sometimes be unpredictable. I make up alot of my driving inefficiencies with the STI's AWD which sort of masks mistakes in that it tends to keep you on the road.

When I drove the S2000, the moment I did something that was incorrect in terms of giving too much steering input or too much throttle, the car responded by starting to slide/oversteer, yet I was able to correct it immediately by feathering the throttle or counter steering a bit. I felt that I knew exactly what was going at all times, and I was able to control the car. It reminded me a bit of what it was like to drive a go-kart. I can only imagine what the S2000 can do with a few more mods.

The STI is a horsepower beast and that I cannot dispute. But when it comes to being connected to the car, I think that's where the STI is lacking. The boaty feeling I got from my car was magnified after I went back to driving my own car. I know I'd be able to probably alleviate some of that problem if I went with a full coilover setup, but I feel like I'd be putting a band aid on the issue.

I love the utility of my STI. Being able to haul 5 adults when I go out, being able to attach my mountain bike to the top of my car, and taking weekend trips to mammoth for snowboarding without having to worry about the snow giving me any issues is something I love my STI for. However for the track, I'd prefer to be driving an s2000.

I don't know what I'm going to do at this point. I know that I want to pick up a used s2000 for the track. If I can convince my wife to get an Outback for her next car (takes care of the Mammoth issue) or an SUV, I might not need my STI anymore. If I can keep the STI and buy an S2000, that would be ideal, but my garage only holds two cars and money also would be tight.

Anyway, just wanted to share with you my thoughts. Here's a video of me spinning my STI at Buttonwillow.. The shot is from inside my friend's S2000.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6BP79BfkWQ [/media]
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:18 PM
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Any pics of your Sti?
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:53 AM
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I went from s2k, to sti... back to s2k. Pretty much for the same reasons. I had a Evo IX MR as well and I'd take the s2k over either.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:30 AM
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I also came from owning an STi (an '05 though). I couldn't be any happier with making the switch to the S2K. I was contemplating on making the switch for at least a year before I decided to finally let it go.

Just like you, I used to take my STi to the track as well (Buttonwillow mostly). I am with you about the disconnected feeling that the car has as I noticed the same issues you have. I tried various alignment settings on my car, and always found myself dealing with the issue.

In essence, I simply just got tired of my STi, and I didn't feel like dumping more money into it in an attempt to improve it. The Protune alone was killing it for me: the fact that I was averaging around 14 mpg, and also worrying about getting pulled over at a moment's notice because I wasn't smog-legal.

Unlike you though, I never took full advantage of the utility space that the STi had to offer, so that wasn't something I had to consider. Both my trunk and backseats were always empty. Sometimes I wouldn't even bother re-installing the backseats after a track day.

Don't get me wrong though, the STi is still a great car. I miss the power/torque that my STi had, as well as that addicting "boxer rumble" exhaust note. But the S2k definitely makes up for all of that in terms of handling, driveability, and looks

I don't know if we've ever seen each other at the track, but here's a shot of my STi at the last BW event I attended. I ended up pulling a semi-decent 2:03 that day:
http://vanhap.com/imgs/2010/April/04-11-BW...es/VP__5182.JPG

Anyway, if you do make the switch, I'm sure you will be happy with it!

Good luck man.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:13 PM
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I was at Buttonwillow on Sunday; silver S2k in the Red group.

If you can only afford one vehicle, and want that connected feel, get an Evo. I had a 2005 Evo 8, and it has better steering feel than the S2k. I did a couple laps in a STI (in a student's car, I was instructing) at about 75% pace and the steering rack bushings where completely shot. I've tracked a friends WRX wagon and the steering feel isn't even close to the S2k much less the Evo.

I will say this, I love the S2k as compared to the Evo. Reasons: it's a nicer car (I must be getting old), much easier on the wallet (fuel, cosumeables (tires, fluids, brakes, etc), better handling balance (Evo was towards understeer), better able to balance with the throttle, and probably a few other reasons.

The Evo is a phenomnal car, extremely easy to drive at speed, but it doesn't have the same balance as the S2k. I do miss the boost/torque of the Evo though.... I need to boost the S2k

If you're in the LA/South Bay area, let me know and I'll let you take it out for a spin.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for the responses.. I will definitely miss the power of the STI if I get rid of it, but I think that handling and feel of the S2k would make up for it.

Here are some photos of my car for those of you asking:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fannmail/3229507630/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fannmail/4858895917/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fannmail/3171790255/
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:11 PM
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Your story sounds really similar to my own - I trade my GR STi in for my S2k in April and haven't looked back. My mod path was similar to yours as well, I went for steering response, handling, and turbo lag reduction. Actually our mod list are pretty similar, though I may have had a few more power mods. (iwsti journal

I definitely miss the low-end torque of the STi but appreciate the 8k redline compared to the 6.6 on the STi ( I was tuned to 7k but never really took it that high for fear of the infamous ringlands). I've only tracked the S2k once so far but if direct response and feel is what you're after then this car will not disappoint. Aside from steering feel and blowing ringlands, I went with the S2k because I also felt like the STi was doing much of the driving for me, with AWD and 300wtq on the tap you could pull yourself out of *most* situations simply by burying the right pedal

IMO you wouldn't regret the move, I don't think too many of us that have made similar transitions have..

Best of luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:41 PM
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Coming from an 05 sti, UE lenth headers, uppipe/catless dp, full catback, fuel pump, sways, springs, anti lift kit, strut tower brace, protuned to 380fwhp/400fwtq, moving into an 05 s2000, k&*n intake, eibach springs....
as far as sharpness of feel, turn in response, LOOKS, build quality, the s2000 is superior, as far as road manners, flat out excitement, and that feeling that i owned the road, the sti was the performer. I enjoy the little bit of refinement the honda has over the subie, and the covertable is nice in cooler weather (summer in texas is too f'in hot and UV ridden to leave the top down for a pale skin guy), but honestly, there is a reason I will be buying another sti as soon as financially possible, the power absolute grip on the street in ALL weather conditions is sorely missed. the honda is no slouch, but without thousands of dollars, i'll never see the 12.6 second 1/4mi i saw in the subie with basic bolt ons. So my opinion, keep the STi until you can afford the S2000 as a second car, or you may be second guessing yourself like I am.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:47 PM
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If i can add a bit of odd comparison... my STi (which was a boy) was that good bud, drinkin buddy maybe, who you always want to have around in a bar brawl cuz he'll have your back and straight choke slam some dudes.... the S2000 on the other hand, is that smokin hot chic that you really have to work your magic on, try to be sweet to her face, but in fact you just wanna break down shotgun style and.... well you get the point... that's about as good as i can put it....
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:07 PM
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Even w/ sways & RCE II coilovers, I hated how my STi handled at the track/auto-x iLuveKetchup's STi... lots of understeer. Like I said on IWSTi, I like the STi for the street & s2k for the track.
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