JDM Rally Legends Nirvana!

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Wed 2012/05/09 10:57 JST
Hello! My name is Leopaul del Rosario. I was born in the Philippines since January 15, 1991. I used to live in Muntinlupa City, Philippines, but now I live in Seattle, WA.

If you like the rivalry between the Mitsubishi Evo and the Subaru WRX STi, then you should check out the ones that set the stage. Both of them are featured on Forza Motorsport 4's May Top Gear Pack and these are the BC5 Subaru Legacy and the E39A Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. Oh my words! Would you just look at that!

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I can't recall ever seen those two together on the Top Gear Pack so let's get cracking, beginning with this one...

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This is the first generation Subaru Legacy. First introduced in Japan since February 1989 and available in the following variants; the 220 PS (162 kW) DOHC 2.0-liter turbocharged "RS" with a 5-speed manual transmission only, followed by the "VZ" sedan and wagon and the "TZ" sedan and wagon with the 150 PS (110 kW) DOHC 2.0-liter engine. A smaller 102 PS (75 kW) SOHC 1.8-liter engine was used for the "Vi" sedan and wagon with FWD only, "Ti" sedan and wagon, the "Mi" and the entry level "Ei" sedans and wagons.

This first generation model was also involved in motorsports. The 1990 Safari Rally saw two Subaru Legacys finished the race, with one driven by Patrik Njiru winning the Group N Category. Then moments later, a Group N Legacy finished the Acropolis Rally, driven by Ian Duncan, in 8th place.

This car was homologated by the Subaru World Rally Team in the 1990 World Rally Championship with the partnership of Prodrive. It hasn't been competitive at first but it showed its true potential under the supervision of Markku Alen, who managed a 3rd place finish at the Swedish Rally in 1991. 1992 saw the appearance of both Ari Vatanen and the late Colin McRae for Subaru WRC effort. Each driver achieved a 2nd place finish, providing the boost for Subaru's WRC efforts.

In 1993, the Legacy placed 3rd at the Swedish Rally and a one-two finish after the first leg of the Acropolos Rally. Eventually the boss of Prodrive wanted to debut the Impreza rally car but charged with the Legacy winning the race before the Impreza's time to shine. In the eight round of Rally New Zealand, the Legacy, on its final year of its WRC service, along with the late Colin McRae, won the fight against Francois Delecour and his Ford Escort Rally Car.

I drove this first generation Subaru Legacy on Tokyo Xtreme Racer Drift 2 (日本名:KAIDO BATTLE 峠の伝説) and I just wanna say that this first generation became the template why the Impreza was born on rallying. The nostalgia, the originality, the perfection, the 4WD layout, I can't really think how good is this old chap is. This is more of a childhood hero for an average petrolhead and this isn't just pride and power. It's all about storing up memories by the time you saw one. Thanks to Forza Motorsport 4's Top Gear Pack, I finally got myself a second chance of driving the first generation Legacy. Ah the memories...

When the first generation Legacy was involved in rallying, it's formidable rival was none other than this...

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The 2.0L turbocharged 4WD Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 E39A.

The sixth-generation Galant was launched in Japan since October 1987 with variants such as the 2.0L-powered MX, VX, VZ, 1.8L-powered MS, VS, 1.8L-powered MF, GF, 1.6L-powered ME, GE, and G. Two months later, 4WD versions such as the 2.0 DOHC TURBO VR-4 and 2.0 DOHC VX-4 were launched and it has won the Japan Car of the Year in 1987.

This VR-4 version comes with the 4G63T DOHC 16v inline 4-cylinder engine that has a peak power of 177 kW (241 PS; 237 hp) at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 304 N·m (224 lb·ft) at 3500 rpm. It is mated with either a 4-speed AT or a 5-speed MT.

This was homologated for the Group A class, using the underpinnings from the Starion 4WD. By 1988 to 1992, it was campaigned by Ralliart Europe and it won three events courtesy of Mikael Ericsson (1989 1000 Lakes Rally), Pentti Airikkala (1989 Lombard RAC Rally) and Kenneth Eriksson (1991 Swedish Rally). Kenjiro Shinozuka pushed this Galant to victory at the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships in 1988 and by 1991 to 1992, Ross Dunkerton did the same thing. Tim O'Neil also pushed the Galant to victory at the 1992 American National GT Championship.

Anyway, this isn't more than just I already played this one in some video games, this is more of a "family memory" if you asked me. Back in the Philippines, I have an uncle, Rosendo Cosme, who drove a sixth-generation Galant as a replacement to his aging Daihatsu Charade 3-door. Every time when I saw his car in most video games, I would say "Ooh! That's Tito Endo's car!" and my reaction goes on and on every time. This sixth generation Galant reminded me of the one which is owned by my Tito Endo. Tito Endo, if you're reading this, thanks for reading. Now that my uncle's car appeared on Forza Motorsport 4, I was gonna say that my uncle's better than everyone else but to be honest, my iffy driving style would ruin my uncle's car.

Both these cars have 4WD and 2.0L turbo engines but how does it stack up? The 1990 Subaru Legacy RS' peak power output is 217HP of power and 199lb-ft of torque. It weighs 2990lbs, 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds, and top speed of 146mph. My uncle's car, the 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, has a peak power of 237HP, peak torque of 224lb-ft, weighs 3,153lbs, 0-60mph time of 6 seconds, and top speed of 151mph.

To translate this from science to lap times we need a driver and of course we have one. Some say, he's very angry at me for ruining his birthday party and he is... Sorry, Stig.


Both of these are close! By personal best, the BC5 Legacy did it in 1:35.418 while the E39A Galant VR-4 did it in 1:34.774! Unbelievable, the Galant VR-4's racing pedigree toppled the Legacy RS! Perhaps no wonder the rivalry between the Evo and the WRX STi became a decade-run phenomenon! Perhaps those ancestors really set the stage from rallying to racetracks! This is more like choosing your heroes!

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Choosing your heroes is like choosing your shirt or trousers. That's just pointless but let's be honest, without these two, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and the Subaru WRX STi didn't exist at all and they didn't have rally racing legends on the road. We have to owe them a big thanks. These two cars are incredibly important because these two Japanese automakers dominated the World Rally Championships for decades right before their retirement. Before them, you have Lancias, Audis, and Fords and in evolutionary terms, this is like one huge step for mankind. With these two, this is even more better than reading a big encyclopedia. They really are that important.

Which of these two do you like most?

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Hello! My name is Leopaul del Rosario. I was born in the Philippines since January 15, 1991. I used to live in Muntinlupa City, Philippines, but now I live in Seattle, WA.