A Playmate for the Pantera:

Subaru WRX STI

OK, I know you're all wondering why this import deserves disk space on our Pantera web site. Last August your humble webmaster had the opportunity to ride along in a new 2004 Subaru WRX STI on a quick jaunt around the Front Range. We ran with Dave Fisher's 1974 Pantera (a very trick Pantera) to see what the little import could do in the mountains against some serious old-school steel. For those of you who don't know, the WRX STI is Subaru's new 300 HP hot rod. With all wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, and all kinds of performance tricks, I can safely say this little Subie is not your average import. We were all wondering how the turbocharged 2.5L Subaru would compare against a race-tuned Pantera. The horsepower advantage of the Pantera is evident on the straights but the WRX STI has no trouble keeping up with the Pantera in the corners. The cornering capabilities of both cars are very evenly matched, although the driving techniques are different. And in case you're wondering, yes, both cars were driven hard on this spirited run. Incidentally, the Subaru got worse fuel economy than the Pantera on this drive. Now I don't feel so bad about my 10mpg Pantera.

Postscript 02-24-04: So for those of you who don't already know, last fall I bought myself a Subaru WRX STI, due mostly to how impressed I was with the car on this run. Click here to check out my driving impressions (both good and bad) of the STI compared with my Pantera.

Dave leads the way for a quick run up the Lariat Loop road in Golden. The huge hood scoop on the Subaru supplies the intercooler with plenty of air. There's also a manual water spray.
Coming down Clear Creek Canyon, Todd's Subaru leads the way. The wing does give a "boy racer" kind of look to it but it's supposed to be functional.
The little Subaru that packs a big punch.
Serious Brembo 4-piston calipers on the front.
Dave's superb Pantera.
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Contents copyright 2003.