New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Subaru Impreza WRX

2008-09-01 07:46

Ruan Meyer

Subaru, Impreza

For most people, driving a car involves just switching their car on, putting it in gear, and going to wherever they need to go.

The idea is to get to your destination. But when you love cars, and you own one that is on your ultimate list of cars to own the experience is different.

So what happens when you get into a car that was born and bred on the rally track? Well even getting settled into the real leather racing seat and putting your hands on the Momo leather steering wheel, you automatically start smiling.

Eating the road

The fact that there are fewer luxuries than any of the more expensive cars doesn't bother you at all. Because by that time you should realise that the car is meant to do one thing and one thing very well. Eat the road.

Once the 2.0-litre boxer engine starts growling, and you drop the clutch, the car doesn't spin, it moves forward, fast.

All four wheels work together (or separately) as you leave GTis, M3s and a whole host of other takers behind you around the corners. The split torque variable differential all-wheel drive system spills the abundant horses to the wheels that have the most traction, making you go around corners exactly like trains don't.

Even in the odd occurrence of being pushed on to the gravel shoulder, the car doesn't miss a beat. As the whine sounds when the turbo kicks in and you get pushed back into your seat, the smile just keeps getting bigger.

I once asked one of my lady friends if she liked my car. The reply was "it looks like it wants to eat me";
exactly the kind of answer I was looking for.

"At least it isn't cute"

The flared wheel arches, blob eyes and a scoop that can suck in small animals may be sexy to me, but for some people it at least isn't cute. It would look rough and cheap next to a Ferrari and that's exactly what it is in comparison until you open your boot and can actually fit something bigger than a wallet in there.

Modifying one is also very easy, you can push an extra 50 kW out of your engine with bolt on parts, adding a nice sounding dump valve for your turbo or performance air filters.

Though it all comes in at a price, it's worth it. Putting up a few dials so you know what your engine is doing is very helpful if you are a petrol head and changing the entertainment system from the vanilla one they put in also helps quite a bit to liven up the driving experience.

This is one of the cars you find yourself going for drives in, just because you enjoy how the car makes you feel. And if the keys are in your hands, life is good.


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