I Love Turbos

I wish there was some way to get a good audio recording of the turbo in my car spooling up. There’s a section of road on the way back to my house from town where the speed limit goes from 40 to 50 and there’s about a 3/4 mile hill. At the beginning of the hill on the right side of the road is a guardrail that does a pretty good job of reflecting some of the sound back to me when I’m driving. It’s really great because I can approach the hill going about 40mph and be at a pretty comfortable rev range for 4th gear. 45mph is actually a good place to move to 5th gear, but with the hill staying in 4th will give you the most power. Anyway, I can’t even describe how awesome it sounds when you’re at the bottom of that hill in 4th gear, turning between 2500 and 3000 revs and you just lay into it. The turbo spools up pretty fast from that rev range and you can hear everything being reflected off the guardrail. There’s a tiny bit of whine, bust mostly it’s a whooshing sound. Agh! It’s so great! It makes super light work of climbing that hill too. In my big Subaru, the hill isn’t a problem if I make a run at it, but it’s an eco automatic transmission, so it really fights you on delivering more revs. For my daily driver, I love it, but it’s not very fun.

I actually find that while you can get into boost at almost any speed, and in any gear, it’s most fun in 4th. It’s where you can feel it the most and once you pick up some speed you’ve got the option to hop into 5th and keep going. I’ve also been on straights cruising at 50-55 in 5th gear, so again, turning around 2500-3000 revs and laid into it. The turbo still spins up and you do get boost, but it’s just not as fun. I think it’s because at that point, you’re already topping out how fast you can/should be going in a car like that, especially if you’re not on a highway. Seriously, it took me by surprise the first few times. You’re doing 50, lay into it, and bam! Now you’re doing 80 before you even notice. The acceleration in 4th is similar, but at least by the time you finish you’re only doing 65 or something.

Boy, it’s just so much fun. I love the sound, and the feeling, and the lightness of the car. It’s a very road-connected driving experience I’ve never had before. Handling is pretty good. The suspension is tight, but the balance of the car doesn’t feel quite right. It’s hard to say for sure though since I haven’t taken it on any good driving roads yet. There are a few corners on my way to work that I can work through and in those cases, I did feel it was a bit front-end heavy. That’s to be expected in a FWD car, though it didn’t really fight me and it did track the line I wanted it to.

Anyway, hopefully lots more experiences and fun awaits.