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Past Vs. Present - Editorialisms

Mickey has an opinion on which car he likes better, but which do you prefer?

Peter Tarach
May 22, 2012
Modp 1206 01+past vs present editorialisms+peter Photo 1/1   |   Past Vs. Present - Editorialisms

The new-versus-old debate lingers on, and with the Scion FR-S in the spotlight, it’s hard not to compare it with its much older sibling, the Toyota Corolla GT-S AE86. So we did just that, but instead of using a stock AE86, we upped the ante and brought a thoroughly modified version for two reasons. One, it’s damn near impossible to track down a stock-condition GT-S–version Corolla that we’d be able to flog on the track. And two, in our opinion, it’s a better comparison this way. Most AE86 owners aren’t running them stock, so why not use a car that enthusiasts would drive? With a powerplant that rivals the FR-S’ and all the other bolt-on goodies, this Hachiroku is a very worthy competitor.

In my head I had big expectations for this comparison—flying hot laps, skidpad numbers, the whole shebang—but as you’ll soon read, the FR-S we had to play with was a prototype. That means it’s worth roughly a quarter-million dollars. A 250K FR-S! That’s right, I’m not exaggerating, either. Most of the components are one-offs, and until those parts are built in mass quantity, they cost mucho bucks to produce.

My vision of two wheels dancing in the air through apexes and driving at the ragged edge of adhesion had been reduced to some spirited laps around the track.

My vision of two wheels dancing in the air through apexes and driving at the ragged edge of adhesion had been reduced to some spirited laps around the track.

Now, before I sell the comparo short, Mickey Andrade, the owner of the Corolla, had ample seat time in the prototype FR-S to provide some decent feedback, which brings me back to the new-versus-old debate: Mickey has an opinion on which car he likes better, but which do you prefer?

As for me, new enthusiast-oriented cars do everything extremely well. Their stock suspensions are dialed in, their brakes are adequate, and power delivery is nothing short of stellar. But does that make them more fun to drive than older-generation vehicles?

I’ve spent enough time behind the wheel of most of today’s popular cars in our segment to say that they have few faults, but somehow I keep swaying back to the cars of yesteryear (think ’90s to early 2000s) as the most fun and exciting to drive. I think that’s mainly because I’m in total control of those vehicles, whereas today’s machines are supercomputers on four wheels. Even when you think you’ve disabled all the stability and traction systems, they may still be lurking in the background intervening whether you like it or not. And that, to me, is just not as fun.

Send your feedback to peter@modified.com

By Peter Tarach
352 Articles

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