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My Blue Heaven
Subdriven Compares The STi, Evo and R32
by: Travis Kriza

Last edited: 06.03.03
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R32 Overview
Evo Overview
STI Overview
Time to Compare Pt.1
Time to Compare Pt.2
Performance Comparison
The Final Element
Counter Points
Often times when it comes to talking cars with a fellow auto enthusiast, talk inevitably leads to a debate you'll quarrel over for a period of time. Usually it takes the turn of, "Oh yeah, well my car is better than yours because of such and such", or, "This car is better than that car because of …". Most people in the United States are familiar with the classical battle of the big 3 muscle cars: the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Pontiac Firebird. These cars each fought to be the best of the breed, evolving into torque bred monsters and working to best one another continuously. These cars, especially in their classic versions, became objects of lust and desire and in fact, dream vehicles for many car enthusiasts.

Now enter the 21st century. GM is unfortunately phasing out both the Camaro and Firebird - they just don’t sell anymore. A boom has occurred with small compact cars that largely brought the enthusiasm of muscle car tuning and tweaking to a whole new generation of car enthusiasts. With the entry of the Civic Si, Acura Integra Type R, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Supra and others to the US marketplace, a slow revival of the performance car was revealed. Turn to today though and things couldn’t be better for enthusiasts. Both Subaru and Mitsubishi have finally given North American enthusiasts the forbidden fruit in the form of the Subaru WRX STi and Mitsubishi Evolution. Even Volkswagen is entering into the fray with their upcoming Golf based R32. That’s right, the United States is getting 3 performance oriented 4wd beasts, and the best part is that they will each cost you in the vicinity of $30,000. Are we alive? Or did we go to heaven? It is a good time to be an enthusiast.

With that in mind we decided to put head-to-head three of the latest compact hot rods for a little one-on-one: the Subaru WRX STi, the Mitsubishi Evolution and the Golf R32. As we go through this article, we’d like to make clear that we’re not here to pick a car for you, but to help you find out what makes each of these cars great. When it comes to choosing a car, what matters is not what I think, or Subdriven thinks, or any other magazine that thinks hood scoops are safety refuges for the homeless, but what you prefer and what you are comfortable living with. Because in the end you really can’t go wrong with any of these cars.

Let’s first start out by pointing out the key features of each car. Then we’ll get into more detail by comparing the features and performance of each car, back to back.
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