Introducing the Red Sloth

I have not updated this blog for a while now.

Working as a doctor, I do have many stories to share, on happiness and sadness, of life and of death, of suffering and joy. However, the privilege of being privy to some of the most personal and real faces of patients and other humans alike, that is bestowed upon me in my capacity as a doctor, does come with a cost of protecting the secrecy and privacy of my daily work.

I think I shall focus on things outside work for a little bit.

I have failed the physician exam for the fourth time. I am done mourning over it. I have one last try next year. I will make it.

I have recently traded in my old Toyota Corolla and bought myself a Subaru WRX

My WRX

So far, I have been pretty happy with this purchase. I was looking for a sedan, that is a bit more powerful, preferably with a sunroof. I always wanted a sunroof!

I was initially tossing between a BMW 3 series and Audi A4. For the options I wanted, it would cost me upward of 70K. No doubt they are of more luxurious brand and with much more comfortable ride.

Then I came across the new WRX by Subaru. It is a sedan. It runs on a turbo-charged 2.0L FA20DIT engine which puts out about 197kW , approx 260+ bhp. It has a moonroof. And it is automatic. I was looking for an automatic, or those fancy semi automatic dual clutch transmission since I am driving mostly city and street. Manual transmission used to be more efficient, but now in some cases, automatic is more fuel efficient than manual.

I kinda like its look since it resembles the Evo car I used to dream of driving. However, I come to realise the Evo is quite impractical for daily driving, not to mention for the price you are paying, you can get a European luxury car like a BMW 3 series.

2 months down, I have clocked up nearing 1500km. The power scared me at first, but now I am getting used to it. That said, I have yet to floor the accelerator since I got it. An official 0-100 time of under 6 second does make the heart race. I have learned to lightly feather the accelerator(since it has so much power) It needed just 10% of accelerator at 1900rpm to do a 100km/hr on highway.

Engines

I have read a lot about the new FA20DIT engine before committing. It felt like I would be buying a car with a tech I really like. Subaru introduced the FA20DIT only a few years ago. What I do like about it is its not too bad fuel efficiency. Owners on the internet had been getting under 10.0L/100 km and the official number is approximately 9.2L/100km. For some reasons, BMW can build a 330i to have more power with a fuel efficiency better than my old  Toyota Corolla. I suspect on highway, the car can be a surprising fuel sipper in the region of 7.0L/100km. Of course it’s no match to my brother’s Prius C returning just above 4.0L/100km.  All in all, it’s not too bad. And Evo? The official number was about 13L/100km. In real world, you will probably do 20L/100km in city.

The second thing I have learned recently, about engines is the power at a specific RPM. Internal combustion engine, the torque produced is not linear nor it is constant. Engines produce different torque and different speed. For daily driving, a high torque and max power at low end RPM is more useful than a higher power at a much higher RPM e.g. 4000 rpm, which you will rarely reach on a daily driving. My old Toyota does 100km/hr at 2600 RPM at its final 4th gear. Thus, for me, the FA20DIT, is better than the old EJ 2.5L in its STI which produces more power but at a higher RPM band. In my day to day, the engines rarely revs above 2200rpm even in moderate acceleration. I thought this is fantastic.

Noise

I have just done some driving on the highway. Noise was an issue raised in a lot of forums by some owners. Now that I pay attention to it, the sound proofing is definitely not as good as the BMW or Audi. My Corolla probably was a bit quieter, by a very small margin. I find my Corolla is already very quiet so it’s not so much an issue for me. I suspect it’s because of the hood scoop where the air enters to cool the turbo intercooler that generates a lot of wind noise. That said, my is a 2016 model which apparently had improved soundproofing compared to the debut 2015 model. I can hardly hear the exhausts as reported by some owners where they can not even make a phone call in the call due to the sound. Definitely not the case for me.

Handling

I thought of the word “raw” when thinking about the car’s handling. It feels very raw. Not sure how to best describe it. The car is very responsive, possibly unforgiving if you are too careless on the road. A tap on the accelerator will bring you up pretty quickly to the next car. This applies to braking as well. It feels as if the car would drive the exactly you drive whether intentionally or not. I had the sense of really feeling in control while on the highway.

For the price I am paying for this beast, I am happy with it thus far

Till next update, arrivederci.